Designing a Family-Focused Family Room

Are you interested in designing a family room that allows you to do more than watch TV? Gather around a table for game night? Work on a tough puzzle together? Read your favorite books or do cross word puzzles? A family room can be a multipurpose space and you should design yours to work for your needs.

The key to creating a family room that is used for more than TV viewing is effective space planning. As with all good design, function comes first! When planning a room for conversation and connection keep the seating close together to make discussions easy. Seating should be arranged so that family can easily see and talk to each other.

This usually means bringing your furniture into the room, off of the walls. If everything is on a separate wall nobody can talk or share the newspaper.

{A cozy family room, with plenty of seating, will serve many needs, design by April Force Pardoe Interiors}

{A cozy family room, with plenty of seating, will serve many needs, design by April Force Pardoe Interiors}

Depending on the space, swivel chairs can be a great addition to a room that has two or more conversation areas. The person in the swivel chair can participate in a few conversations. Upholstered ottomans and/or cubes are also great for adding adaptable seating to a space. Small cubes can be positioned under a sofa table when not in use.

Adding a space for games or puzzles is also a great addition to a family room. A round table is great for maneuvering and fitting 4 – 6 people around. When not used for games the table can double as a buffet area for parties or movie night!

Lighting is not to be overlooked in a space that will be well-used. A room with multiple layers of light — overhead and table top lighting — will be ready for movie night, reading a good book or hosting a party. Dimmers and 3-way switches are you friends when it comes to lighting as they let you set the mood and amount of light in the space.

As far as decor goes, a family room space should include tokens and art that are meaningful to the family. Ideas include personal photos and treasures from travels. This is a great room to display your children’s artwork like your own private gallery. The décor items in this room should tell your story and should make anyone feel welcome.

If music is important for your gatherings, make sure to consider how you will incorporate speakers, surround sound for a stereo system or simply a dock for an iPhone to play your favorite tunes. Dance party anyone?

These elements will help you create a space your whole family will enjoy spending time in no matter the activity!

How do you use your family room? What are your favorite design elements in your space?