Room Design Ideas: Giving Your Family Room Its Cozy Character  

Some families who are fortunate enough to have both a living room and a family room keep the living room for guests. There may even be some families who cover their chairs and sofas with plastic and forbid the room to be visited by young children and pets. But the family room is different. It’s cozy, it’s comfortable, it can stand to be messy, it’s the place where everyone in the family and some close friends who don’t need to be impressed hang out. Here are some tips to make a family room both homey and stylish: 

At Least One Big, Comfortable Sofa 

The family room should have at least one big, comfortable sofa. Plushy sectionals with lots of toss pillows are ideal for rooms that are big enough to accommodate them, but the Lawson sofa with rolled arms and fat seat and back cushions is a good choice, as is the Chesterfield, which also has rolled arms and elegant biscuit tufting in the back. Indeed, according to Jamie Fielden from S.W. James, a high quality Chesterfield sofa should be handmade, sumptuous, and comfortable. Indeed, shouldn’t that be true of just about anything in the family room? 

Something Rustic 

The room can feature exposed ceiling beams, floors made of planks of pickled wood and at least some hand-crafted furniture. Rustic furniture can beautifully complement overstuffed sofas, pouffs, bergeres, club chairs, pillows and throws. For example, a plain, sawbuck coffee table can be placed in the center of a grouping of sofas and armchairs upholstered in dark, buttery leather. 

A Fireplace 

If a fireplace can be put in the living room or the family room but not both, put the fireplace in the family room. Besides traditional fireplaces that actually burn logs and have a fieldstone surround, there are modern gas fireplaces with perforated pipes buried in glass chips, free-standing fireplaces, a small wood stove and even indoor fire pits. 

No Television 

This might be controversial, for where else would the family get together and watch their favorite shows? But some families insist that the room is for the members to reconnect with each other and not sit slack-jawed before a TV screen. Since the TV is banned from the family room, so too should be everyone’s cellphone. 

Lots of Light and Air 

This also means big windows that afford a view and plenty of sunlight during the day. At night, the light should be bright enough to read by without being glary and should not leave part of the room in shadow. Options are modern pendant lights and chandeliers, track lights, sunken ceiling lights and even cove and valence lights to illuminate the upper parts of the walls. As for air, an ideal family room has doors or French windows that open to a deck, patio or garden. This is just the thing for the warm weather, when people can pass in and out of the two “rooms” throughout the day. 

The family room is a place that’s not too fussy and where everyone can come to relax and have fun after a long day or long week at work or school. Free from the distractions of TV and cellphones, it should always be a place of togetherness and happy memory. 

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