A Family Room That's Fun, Functional and Fashionable

A historic bungalow’s main living space is reborn as a family room that's as fun as it is functional.

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January 12, 2017

Let In the Natural Light

Inspired by its original fireplace stonework, this family room's design is light, bright, airy and packed with cozy creature comforts.

Combine Warm with Light and Bright

A pair of leather couches ground the space while natural light and neutral accents keep this family room bright and airy.

Sprinkle in Cozy Texture

When decorating a room that will be occupied by kids and parents, pillows are a great way to introduce comfy textures that make the space warm and welcoming. Here, a mix of simple cotton pillows mixed with oversized knit pillows tie the room's accent colors into the sofas and add extra comfort.

Utilize Sturdy Materials

When designing rooms that need to withstand heavy traffic, stick with elements that are slow to show wear and tear. The area rug of this family room is traditional in style but transitional in coloring, a characteristic that helps mask light stains and surface wear.

Cohesiveness is Key

If your family room opens up to other spaces in the house, it's important to keep all colors cohesive to avoid a choppy or disjointed look. Here, the gray-green tone of the family room coordinates beautifully with the gray-blue tone of the adjacent multipurpose room.

Have Plenty of Storage Options

Although it may seem like a small detail, coffee tables with open storage can be a big storage solution for active families. Here, Mom and Dad's old books remain within arm's reach thanks to the open shelf along the bottom. Down the road, the books can be swapped for baskets to keep kids' clutter organized and out of sight.

Free Up Space with Floor Lamps

Too short on space for end tables? Floor lamps may be just what your family room needs. If your square footage doesn't allow for end tables, consider flanking your sofas with floor lamps to allow ample illumination without sacrificing floor space.

Incorporate Modern Touches

Put a modern spin on vintage maps by framing them in seamless, clear acrylic. The acrylic affords a lightweight look that doesn't compete with the integrity of the artwork's careful detail. 

Consider Glass Inserts for Doors

Families tend to spend the most time in rooms that get the best natural light. Maximize your family room's light by using doors with glass inserts. When the doors are closed, they'll still allow plenty of natural light into the space.

Shimmer and Shine

A mix of metals can add depth to a space. Whenever possible, try to introduce metals in interesting ways. Here, ram's-head bookends introduce high-gloss silver into the space.

Display Kids' Art

Framed kids' art is one of the quickest and most effective ways to put a family spin on any room. Consider having the art professionally framed to create a polished keepsake for future generations.

Neutrals, FTW

When choosing floor lamps and table lamps, get the most bang for your buck with neutral shades made from organic materials.

An End Table Is More Than a Table

Busy families need work surfaces that can accommodate impromptu projects and after-school assignments. Create a versatile family room with a mix of occasional tables that can be used as extra surfaces for book storage, an additional spot for someone to eat a meal or more seating for an overflow of guests.

In With the Old... and the New

Make a room feel lived in and well curated by adding a mix of old and new books. Placing the books within arm's reach, such as on top of a coffee table, will help spark conversation among guests.

Vintage Items Add Character

To make a space feel more collected, combine brand-new furnishings with antiques. Here, new floor lamps help shed light onto an old, rustic ladder plucked from this historic home's garage.

Add Organic Texture and Color

To create textural balance in a room, try incorporating as many organic elements as possible. Geodes, used as bookends here, are an easy way to add color, texture and sparkle.

Take Inspiration from Nature

A mix of shapes can help create a well-balanced room. Shapes seen in nature, such as animals, animal prints, botanicals and landscape art, are typically well suited for just about any room

Shelf Styling 101

Bookshelves don't only have to house books. Get the most out of your built-in shelves by combining stacked and standing books with square, rectangular and spherical objects. Letters and numbers are also a great way to introduce unique shapes that carry personal meaning.

Show Off Your Style

Bookshelves offer a chance to showcase personality in a living room or family room. To style shelves with personal flair, collect old and new items comprised of favorite objects, photos and family heirlooms.

Statement Lighting Is Always a Good Idea

In addition to serving as a light source, statement lighting can help ground a space. This star-shaped ceiling fixture is architecturally appropriate for a historic bungalow and introduces rich, metallic hues into the space.

It's All in the Details

Rolled-arm leather sofas can be too big or too traditional for spaces short on square footage. Instead, look for low-slung leather sofas with unique stitching. This modern sofa, with its baseball glove aesthetic and worn leather upholstery, is perfect for a young family with active boys.

Experiment with Shades

Not all rooms need accent colors. If you're looking for a less-is-more approach to decorating, consider layering several shades of the same color and adding neutral accents.

Make Poufs the Hero Pieces

Poufs are a great addition to family rooms that often welcome impromptu guests. Allow your poufs to serve double duty as footrests by keeping them stacked next to your sofa.

Rely on White

If you’re having trouble deciding on a paint color for trim work, keep in mind that white is ideal for houses with unique trim work. The white paint used on this ceiling’s classic beams commands attention and draws the eye upward.

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