Family. In today’s day and age, it seems harder and harder to carve time out for those we love most. Even with our busy lifestyles, however, it’s important to have a set place where you can gather together and chill.
A family room can be just that— but it needs to be a place where everyone feels comfortable. That may seem like an impossible feat but it’s not. In fact, it’s easier than you might realize. But, before we jump into how to create the perfect family room, let us first talk about what makes a family room different from a living room.
Family Room vs. Living Room: Is There Really a Difference?
Actually, yes. Of course, when two rooms have very similar concepts, it seems almost impossible to differentiate between the two. And understandably so. With that said, there are actually some pretty clear distinctions worth taking note of.
Let’s start with the ever-popular living room. Although the term “living room” wasn’t coined until the 19th century, it dates back much further than that— possibly as early as the 17th century— as a formal space for welcoming guests. Of course, today, it might not be as formal as it was in those days, however, it is still usually one of the more formal spaces in a home.
The family room, on the other hand, is much more informal. Yes, it too is a space for gathering, but it’s more relaxed and typically very kid-friendly. It’s that place where everyone can spread out comfortably to engage in activities such as watching TV or playing games.
As you can see, the key differences between the living room and the family room lie in function, location in the house, and even the layout. In homes that are large enough to have both types of room, the living room will be more of a sitting room used to entertain guests while the family room will be used for family entertainment.
Creating a Space That Fits Your Family
Now, let’s talk about some key elements that can enhance the space, as well as some tips for getting the job done. With some careful planning, you can create the perfect family room that is sure to bring delight to each and every one of your loved ones.
As with any space within a home, color is important. If you’ve heard the term “color psychology” then you know that the theory behind it is that color can influence both moods and behaviors. If that really is the case, then it’s very important to pick the right color scheme (the main colors you want to be surrounded with) since they are what will set the tone of the space.
Neutral shades such as white, beige, and gray are always nice choices that can bring a more relaxing, low-key feel to the room. However, if you want a bolder look that fills the space with energy, choose contrasting colors. Keep in mind that brighter hues don’t just appeal to kids, but to adults as well. To really enhance the space, mix-and-match fabric patterns to keep the room chic and fun.
Socializing and spending quality time with one another is great, but it’s unlikely that that’s the only thing you’ll do when hanging out in that area of your home. Be sure to incorporate some form(s) of entertainment that will give the family something to do that’s fun. For some, it may be a space for a large TV that can be used for movie time, binge-watching, or video games. For others, it may be a space for board and card games. For you, maybe it’s both. Perhaps your family room is large enough for arcade games, a poker table, or a pool table. Think about what your family enjoys and work it into the space.
This is a family room after all, so it is crucial that everyone feels as though the space belongs to them. Framed family photos, art pieces on the wall, and crafts made by the kids on display are just a few ways that you can represent your family within the space.
Putting it all together
Thankfully, we live in a time where having a family room doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style. Far from it in fact. Here are five tips on how to find that middle ground that will help you pull together a space that’s both functional, sophisticated–and yet tough enough to stand up to the kids.
Tip #1: Assess your lifestyle
You can’t really put together the perfect space until you thoroughly assess how your family lives life on a daily basis. Things like ages of children, pets, and favorite family (or individual) activities, are all important to think about when creating a space that will accommodate everyone.
Tip #2: Get everyone involved
It’s important to remember that it’s a family room. Therefore, if you have children old enough to have an opinion, and a spouse willing to give input, you should find ways for them to be involved when it comes to piecing together the room. Let the little ones pick out their favorite colors and fabric swatches and ask your spouse about furniture pieces or artwork that would work best in the space. Not every idea will be chosen, but incorporating small things each person likes will make the family room much more enjoyable.
Tip #3: Think low-maintenance, yet durable
This doesn’t mean bland. It just means a no-fuss blend of casual, cool, and comfortable. Furniture constructed of clean lines and exposed legs looks great in just about any style room you put them in. Vintage and weathered looks are also ways to incorporate some flair without the fuss.
When it comes to fabric, you can pretty much find a durable, low-maintenance version of just about any pattern out there. Indoor-outdoor fabric has evolved so much that you can’t even tell that it’s indoor-outdoor fabric. Leather is also a total win when it comes to decking out a family room. Not only will these fabrics be easy to clean, but they’ll also withstand your family’s busy lifestyle.
In regards to things like window treatments, walls, and floors, look for products that are family-friendly. Instead of long drapes, opt for Roman shades or wood blinds.
For your walls, semi-gloss washable paint will be your best bet. Laminate, linoleum, wood, or tile is easiest to keep clean when it comes to floors, but an area rug can easily be thrown down to sustain the life of wall-to-wall carpet.
Tip #4: Creatively conceal with storage
Over the years, families tend to acquire a lot of items. Instead of letting all those things consume the room, conceal them with creative storage. Think wicker baskets on shelves, decorative boxes in a corner, a storage cabinet in a fun color, or a window bench with a lift-up lid. These are all great ways to store those things that can cause the space to look cluttered.
Tip #5: Don’t forget about the kids
Oftentimes, it’s easier for adults to feel comfortable in a space than it is for the kids. Don’t forget to carve out space for their interests and hobbies where space allows. An oversized coffee table can double as a place for games, puzzles, and crafts. Other things you could incorporate into the space are bean bag chairs for relaxing and a chalkboard wall for a creative outlet.
As you design that perfect family space, be sure to check out our beautiful upholstery fabrics in-store or online. Visit our CUTTING CORNERS showroom a quick trip from Plano , TX
We’d be happy to help you find the right fabrics that can help you design a family room that will create memories for years to come.