There is no doubt many people can relate to this scenario; you walk into your family room and it's a mess. There are clothes, books, toys and shoes everywhere. It doesn't matter how many times you try to clean up the space - things just end up back where they were before in no time flat! Solutions are aplenty with thoughtful use of space and by establishing how household members actually live in certain rooms.
There really isn't a right or wrong way to organise and design a living room and family space. However, we hope you can make use of these ideas, tips and ticks to discover your inner interior designer and find inspiration on how best to utilise your space based on the situation within your home. It's not difficult to add style, organisation and practical function to your home.
What are family rooms?
The word family means different things to different people and there are vast differences within every family's needs. Whether your family or living room is used to entertain guests, host the odd formal function, used as a homework hub, or is simply a gathering space for casual family game nights, you'll want the room to function in a seamless and practical way.
Some people have large families and live in big houses with plenty of space; others have small families living in smaller spaces. How you design the space will speak best to your household needs.
The term 'family room' can really refer to any room that serves as a hub for your family life: the kitchen, dining room or breakfast nook. A family room is often a family's favorite space at home because it's often where the fondest memories are made.
What is the difference between dens, family and living rooms?
Is your living room more like a den, or a family room, or in fact, a living room? Is there actually a difference? Den's are typically smaller, with less furniture. They are often used for reading, or creating a media-type room for watching TV.
Many larger houses will have all of these rooms. Each of these spaces can be multi-use rooms; like a casual entertainment area in the den, or a more formal sitting area in the living room, or a family room, which is where the family gathers around the fire and is usually a more casual area.
Why have a living room and family room?
When space allows and your home is large enough to designate a room for both purposes, there is no reason why both living rooms and family rooms can't be as functional and practicable as each other.
In American homes the living room is often the receiving room for guests located at the front of the house, whereas the family room will be closer to the kitchen and more of a, well, family room, often with more casual pieces of furniture for everyday living.
What are some interior design tips for designing my family room?
Many family rooms today are part of an open floor plan that lead into the kitchen and other areas of the house. Your design and decor ideas should reflect how you use the space and will speak to your family and household members. You might be drawn to modern styled living rooms, where less is usually more, or perhaps you like the concept of designing a cosy gathering area around your elegant and beautiful fireplace. The goal for most people is a practical, clutter-free, organised and stylish room with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
Begin by deciding how often you will spend time in your family or living room and what its main purpose will be. A family room is usually the place where people will gather and relax at the end of a long day - keep this in mind when planning. Whether your room is used for a casual game of cards around a central coffee table, a space with many photos on display, or a room for relaxing on a luxurious sheepskin by the fireplace with a book; how you choose to create the perfect environment is the one which will feel best for your family.
Utilise natural light and be clever with furniture placement - more about that shortly. Depending on the use of the space, incorporate a large floor rug for a cozy feel, add a coffee table, or an end table beside a sofa and selected seating options.
Turn inspiring art into a focal point on a blank wall. Art can be as simple as a photo, or a unique piece of furniture, or a textured cushion, even a sheepskin throw or rug can be classed as art.
How do you arrange furniture in family room?
The answer to this question is not one size fits all. There are several factors to consider when deciding how to best set up your family or living room: the amount of light, the traffic flow, and whether or not there's a need for privacy.
The creation of intimate conversation areas can be achieved with clever furniture placement and is a wonderful way to bring a warm and cozy feel to a room. It's a good idea to avoid pushing furniture right up against walls, even in a small room. A central table isn't always necessary but if you use one then be sure it's within easy reach of a sofa or other seating selections.
When placing rugs in a room, ensure you choose the right size. Wilson and Dorset has another article all about that!
What colour should I paint my family room?
At the end of the day this really comes down to personal preference. It's not necessary to be swayed by popular colours if they don't suit your style.
Neutral tones and whiter shades, of which options are aplenty, work well within a living room. A blank wall with striking artwork will look best with more muted hues and softer tones. That said, a bold feature wall with a brighter colour can change the whole feel of a living room.
If your preference is to have one main colour throughout the interior of your house, you can always add elements of style and character with artwork, your choice of furniture, or a sheepskin blanket and textured, or patterned throw cushions.
How do I refresh my family room on a budget?
Of course, it's nice to have an unlimited budget for any kind of renovation or refresh project, but sticking to a small or tight budget certainly doesn't mean your room can't be designed well. The following ideas are a good starting point:
- Paint the walls. It's incredible what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room
- Refresh your cushion covers and replace tired throw pillows
- Try mixing vintage with contemporary pieces through an accent table, art and unique chairs
- If the room doubles as a media room, hide the television and media items in a built-in or cabinet
- Change out lampshades for a new look
- Switch out the sectional for singular pieces
- A Wilson and Dorset Sheepskin Blanket, or Stone Sets are timeless, quality pieces that will last a lifetime with the right care and can completely make a room
Once you've set your budget, decide if you want to spend it on items that can drain the funds quickly like a couch or rug. Or, maybe you'd prefer to spread it further with new paint and smaller accessory items. Sometimes it's difficult to swallow a high price tag that might use the budget up quickly, but on occasion, to buy once and cry once with quality that will truly stand the test of time, is absolutely worth it.