Family rooms are a place to gather, socialize, play, relax, snuggle or hunker down for movie nights. The bulk of these activities require a comfortable and casual atmosphere but that doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish.
Tips For Designing a Family Room Space That is Stylish & Comfortable
The following tips will help you create family room that is usable and can take a beating but maintains the look of a well-designed space.
- Don’t wait. Is your family room a conglomeration of old college apartment furniture and/or horrid family hand-me-downs? This is such a common mistake families make with the idea, “we don’t want to design a nice family room until the kids are grown…” While the sentiment is understandable, it’s based in the false concept that children will destroy everything. The key is to design a room with furniture and furnishings that are attractive and completely durable. Ditch the tattered furniture and start anew. It’s good for children to learn a healthy respect for their surroundings, so you’re helping yourselves and them when you provide a beautifully designed space for them to play in.
- Think about your lifestyle. Don’t design your family room around a magazine spread you liked. That living space was designed for that household. DO start creating idea books that include the colors and styles you like. In the meantime, sit down and list your family’s lifestyle. What’s the family room used for? Who does what where? What types of food are or aren’t allowed there? This will help your designer select furnishings and textiles that complement your lifestyle and allow the kids to be themselves.
- Choose some fun colors. If you are more of a neutral designer, that’s great. A neutral base is a good idea for family room spaces since they evolve over time. Plus, neutral fabrics work well with the natural wood and durable furniture materials you’ll want to select so they can handle day-to-day use. However, it’s a good idea to pick a few fun or brighter colors to liven up the space. Try taking a color or two from your favorite art piece in the room and building your palette from there.
- Put durability and comfort high on the list. Always put durability and comfort-ability high on the list. Aesthetics will fall into place. Save more delicate, expensive or less-comfortable furnishings for the lesser-used formal living room. Make sure the key players in the family have a chance to sit on, drape/lie down on any couches or chairs you buy so you know the pieces will be comfortable when they’re delivered.
- Look for multi-use pieces. Family rooms require storage for books, toys, movies, blankets, eating trays, etc. Therefore, keep an eye out for furniture that has more than one function: ottomans with storage, cabinets that can serve as end tables, couches with reclining sections and so on.
- Check out indoor/outdoor fabrics. You’d be amazed at how far indoor/outdoor fabrics have become. Now that outdoor living spaces get almost as much attention as their indoor counterparts, manufacturer’s are designing upholstery fabric that can be used in either location. You can have design-worthy prints and patterns that clean up easy, can handle a pet paw or four, and won’t fall apart with a single kick from an errant shoe-bedecked foot.
- Create different zones. If you have little ones of all ages, try to create different zones. Find an attractive trunk/toy box so a play area can exist alongside the movie/gaming zone. Arrange furniture for good conversation flow. Find a way to hide the TV whenever possible so play and socialization trump screen time.
Ready to manifest a family room or home design that looks amazing and can stand the test of kids…er, um…time?