One way to jazz up your family room is to let your sofa set your room's style. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Mitchell, Design Hole.
Built-in storage is a great way to keep toys and clutter organized and out of sight. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Mitchell, Design Hole.
You can change the entire feeling of a room just by adding color--it really brings a room together. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Mitchell, Design Hole.
Make Decluttering a Family Event
Don’t forget to de-clutter regularly. Get the kids to join in by making it a game or offering a reward. Then, you can have a garage sale to get rid of the excess and go to the movies with the proceeds.
Family Room Makeover: From Blah to Beautiful
Simple ideas for jazzing up the busiest room in your home.
- by Jennifer Mitchell
Back in the 1960s, home design was more formal and less flexible. Families owned a single television set, which usually sat in the living room disguised as a piece of fine cabinetry—and family rooms hadn’t yet been invented. When not gathered around the set, children and their toys were relegated to bedrooms and basements. Boy, have things changed.
Today, parents are highly invested in the lives of their kids. We spend weeknights helping with homework and give up our weekends for soccer games and gymnastic meets. We include the kids in our social activities. And the family room has become the heart of the home.
Not surprisingly, with everyone so busy these days and the television competing for space with toys, the family room often looks, in a word, “blah.” The heart of your home should be as beautiful as it is functional, so here are some ideas to inspire you.
Let the Sofa Set the Room’s Style
Start with the sofa. Why? It’s usually the item with the largest expanse of color and pattern and will set the tone for the rest of the room. Then you can build around its color(s) and style. Don’t have room for a sofa? Buy chairs and a chaise.
When it comes to making your family room family-friendly, you can keep your good sofa looking great with a slipcover. Choose a washable, sturdy fabric and remember to wash and dry the fabric first! You can remove it for an instant spruce-up, and you can lose it when your kids are grown.
Hide the Toys with Style
Family rooms need lots of storage. A storage ottoman is a great solution, but it will soon be overflowing. Invest in a good storage system and you’ll enjoy the many benefits of organization for years to come. Look for a system that’s versatile, with countless ways to configure and reconfigure the storage. Fill an entire wall to create a built-in look, or create a focal point with media storage.
Speaking of the television...whether or not you opt for a storage system, you’ll need a nice home for your TV. A closed cabinet that hides the electronics and accessories is easy on the eyes and child-friendly, too.
Get Creative with Artwork and Accessories
The family room is the perfect place to decorate with art that expresses your family’s hobbies and loves. It may not be the room for fine art, but is perfect for imaginative décor. Skateboards can hang as art. Or, you can stack vintage suitcases to create a table. Fabric-covered boxes and open baskets look stylish and create a casual, organized look on shelves.
Decorate with Color
Color really brings a room together. Bold colors? Why not—even if it’s just on one wall. Or, you can also go minimalist with a neutral hue in varying shades and tints. An easy way to extend your color palette throughout your home is to use a color from the family room in at least one element of the other rooms. Most importantly when it comes to color: Always choose the paint last. You can find paint to match any fabric, but not the other way around. Keep this in mind when buying your sofa.
Just Like in Fashion, a Room Isn’t Finished Until It’s Dressed
A room isn’t finished until, well, it’s finished! Don’t forget the final touches. A series of solid color canvases look smashing as an art grouping. Play with your art arrangements and hang single pieces at eye level. Keep accessories simple if small children are at home. Arrange things in a set of odd numbers—like 3s and 5s—for a balanced look.
Be Good To Your Heart
The family room should be the best-looking room in your home. After all, it’s where you spend most of your time. Don’t skimp on quality for budget—buy the best quality you can afford. It will last longer and you’ll take better care of it. Most importantly, it will make your family happy, and isn’t that what life is all about?