When it comes to designing and decorating your home, no room presents as many challenges as the family living room. No other room needs to play so many roles, and please so many different sets of sensibilities, the lounge room needs to be a place the whole family can feel comfortable and ‘at home.’
Just because the lounge room belongs to everyone doesn’t mean it needs to be an incohesive mess. A lounge room is the common room of the family, a place where everyone can meet up and bond, and as such, it should reflect the personalities and tastes of the whole family.
When it comes time to decorate the living room, involve the whole family! While it may be intimidating, the best way to get started is to dive in and get creative. Here are six tips to help you design the perfect family room.
Get the seating right
Living room, family room, lounge room, whatever you want to call it, the main purpose of this room is to fit the family in a relaxed setting, so please, get the seating right! Customizable lounge options like the Tani lounge from Domayne are the perfect option for the family room with plenty of seats for movie or games night, or even hosting unexpected guests. Your family room should have enough seating for all the regular members of our household, plus two.
Leather vs. fabric is an ever-popular debate amongst decorators, but who cares? It’s your lounge room, and you decide what type of lounge you want. Leather is great for pets and young children as it breathes in the heat and is very durable and easy to clean. Fabric is often cheaper, comes in more varieties of colors and patterns, and is generally more ‘modern.’
Work and play.
My lounge room functions as a nerve center for the family. There is always someone in the lounge room, whether they are watching TV, reading a book, or doing some work. We have achieved this centralized family room by adding a study nook and a workstation.
Creating these areas withing your lounge room can be an exercise in space optimization but present wonderful opportunities to decorate your lounge room. Get the children involved with creating their own space to study and do homework.
Adding some entertainment to your lounge room doesn’t have to mean buying the latest Xbox. Some classy decorations can also double as game sand entertainment. A chessboard looks great and can be folded away when not needed.
For those lucky enough to have a large family room, this idea of games can be taken to a whole new level. A billiards table could act as a centerpiece for your family room and keep the whole gang entertained for years, who knows, you could be fostering the next great billiards player.
Maybe you have your hands full with the family cat or dog, and the idea of added mouths the feed seems silly. What if these mouths were small and only requires a few cents worth fish food? Fish are great pets, require very little maintenance, and can enhance the ambiance of your family room.
Setting up a basic freshwater aquarium can be done in an afternoon for not a lot of money. Caring for your scaled friends can teach your children responsibility as well as inspire their minds. There’s nothing like sitting back and watching your fish swim blissfully in a sparkling tank.
Animals are not the only living creatures that can help decorate your family room. Plants are a popular decoration and for a good reason. Not only do they look nice, but they also give off a sense of peace and calm. There is some evidence to suggest some indoor plants improve air quality, but whether or not the effects are significant remain to be seen.
What is art? No, seriously, if you know please tell me. I spent three years at art college, and I left with less of an idea then I entered with. Art can be anything, from a priceless antique to an op-shop bargain, arts importance is what you imbue onto it. It’s easy to decorate a family room with a million pieces of art, but you should seize the opportunity to express yourself with a curated selection.
Involve the whole family in adding art to your family room gallery. Get your children or partner to find pieces they love and incorporate them into your design. Better yet, how about displaying some of your own artwork? Displaying your creations brings a lived-in feel to your home.
Let there be music.
Music paraphernalia, whether it be functional devices like a radio or antique display pieces like vinyl records, is great for breathing some culture and life into your family room. An old turntable and a selection of your favorite records is a nice conversation piece.
Why not go the extra step and decorate your room with a musical instrument? In an age not long past, it was common for all families to have a piano, and for members of the household to read sheet music and play together. Your kids might scoff at that idea now, but a musical instrument can still bring a family together like nothing else.
Music is a common language that all humans speak, regardless of color, creed, or nation, and having a connection to the magical world of music in your living room can have immediate effects on your mood. If you don’t have space or cash for a grand piano, why not try an old acoustic guitar on a guitar stand.
Your living room is the heart and soul of your home. Sure, the kitchen sees a lot of use and family time, but really, who wants to sit and relax in a kitchen? Your living room should be a den of warmth, fun, and relaxation and with the right furniture and decoration, it’s a room the whole family will never want to leave.
Get creative with your decorations, and involve the whole family, their input is important and will help a family room not just for you, but for all of you.