Balance family-friendly with sophistication by including plenty of color and chic patterns in your family room. Bright hues appeal to kids and adults alike, and a mix of patterns will give the space a designer vibe. Look at including outdoor fabrics, which are durable, or slipcovers, which are washable.
Open living spaces can promote family togetherness: Mom and Dad can work in the kitchen while kids hang out in the living area or do homework at the dining table. Keep these distinct areas unified by using the same colors throughout, while using furniture placement to divide the activity zones.
Dark-color furniture can stand up to stains and spills better than light-color furniture. Capture an airy look by pairing dark upholstery with bright and light colors. Include a transitional piece that marks the move from dark to light for a seamless look. Here, a branch-covered coffee table serves as a medium-tone piece that bridges the design sensibilities of the rich chocolate-color sofa with the room's green color palette.
Deep couches are ideal for lounging. Pile them with plenty of pillows so that family members can easily make themselves comfortable while sitting, laying, and cuddling.
Keep a basement family room comfortable, not cramped, with a few design tricks. Leave the beams and ductwork exposed and paint them a single color. Paint the walls white and include plenty of accent lighting, such as table and floor lamps.
If solving math problems and writing essays are often on the weeknight agenda, set up a homework station in your living area. This desk is a part of the room, but faces away from distractions. Make a few workstations available, such as two desk chairs and a clear dining table, for multiple scholars.
With washable slipcovers, your furniture will always look as good as new, no matter what spill or accident comes their way.
Add stools for a chic way to keep extra seating on hand without visually weighing down a room. A matching set faces a sofa in this family room, completing the seating circle while leaving the view open to the space's focal point -- a fireplace bookended by two recessed shelving niches.
For a family room that comes alive at night, consider painting the walls a dark hue. A rich shade of chocolate brown blankets this room in warmth, making it a favorite go-to spot for television viewing and nighttime entertaining. Two tall mirrors flanking a window help to lighten the room by day while reflecting flickering flames at night.
While hardwood floors are beautiful, they are not always the practical choice for family spaces. Employ an area rug to define the main portion of the family room, and let the hardwood floors shine through around the perimeter of the room. A soft rug is also comfortable beneath crawling hands and knees and can provide traction for toddling feet. Use a gripper mat beneath the rug to keep it in place and prevent trips.
Use transparent furnishings and accessories to provide functionality without visual weight. Two table lamps deliver needed task lighting to this family room, yet the glass bases virtually disappear, allowing the eye to focus on the kaleidoscope of patterned pillows instead. Plexiglass tables and consoles can offer the same hardworking see-through style.
Pay attention to walking areas and traffic flow when placing furniture in your family room. Give kids plenty of space to play and make it simple to get from room to room. In this family room, the sofa is placed away from the wall, making it easy to access the door and move through the space without cutting through the main conversation area.
Windows offer a great opportunity to play with pattern. Solid-color furnishings keep this family room grounded, but bold window treatments pump up the fun factor. Look beyond standard window sources for affordable ways to experiment with pattern. Bedspreads, sheets, and shower curtains can also shine as curtains. With a few clip-on rings, it's easy to get them into the swing of their new role.
Create a flexible family room by using a seating arrangement that is anchored by main pieces but still has plenty of corners and open spaces to pull up extra chairs. Here, chairs from the dining space can be easily placed next to the corners of the love seat for additional seating, while the pouf provides yet another seating source.
A large coffee table can serve many purposes in a family room. It can be a place to position popcorn bowls and drinks for movie time, or it can act as the central hub for game boards during family game night. Kids can also use the expansive surface for playing and coloring.
Solve the problem of the black box by hiding your TV inside an armoire. Armoires can hide bulky tube TVs just as easily as flat panel TVs, along with the accompanying devices and DVDs. Plus, you can incorporate an armoire that suits your style and melds with the look of your space.
Put a youthful spin on tailored furnishings by mixing them with funky accessories and contemporary artwork. Wave-motif accent pillows add spunk to a kick-pleat-trim sofa and chairs in this family room, while a dog portrait rendered in neon hues serves as a surprising juxtaposition to the space's traditional architectural bones.
Bring the outdoors in with a birds-and-blooms theme. Against a backdrop of sky blue walls, leafy prints, and flowery motifs, a rainbow of sherbet hues impresses a sweet attitude upon this family room. Ceramic birds tucked neatly into shelves subtly reinforce the theme.
There's something comforting about sitting in a room lined with books, but an overstuffed bookshelf can read as cluttered rather than cozy. The key to a shelving unit that attracts the eye: breathing room between objects. Follow the lead of this family room and arrange books on half of each shelf only. Use the other half to display collected treasures or framed pictures. Use books stacked horizontally to give petite objects a boost.
Stretch the perceived height of a room by hanging curtains below crown moldings instead of directly above window frames. This trick unites transom-topped French doors and windows in this family room, allowing the eye to travel around the room's perimeter without interruption. Positioning the sofas in the center of the room, rather than pushing at least one up against a wall, also creates a sense of space and creates multiple ways to pass through the room.
Make a dramatic statement by anchoring a focal-point wall with a large piece of art. To achieve a lot of bang without spending a lot of bucks, create your own masterpiece. The striking dandelion silhouette showcased in this family room was made by having the motif, which the homeowners found online, enlarged and printed on flexible poster paper at a copy store. Stretched over a canvas frame, the look cost less than $100 to produce.
Many family rooms are a part of a bigger, open room that is also home to a kitchen and dining area. Here's how to make all three spaces work together.