By Cathy Hobbs
Whether in basements, filled with light or spaces that pose
spatial challenges, family rooms are often the most popular room in
a home. So why not make a family room as appealing and cozy as
possible? Creating a family-friendly family room doesn’t have to
break the bank. Often, creative planning and even “shopping your
home” can help refresh a family space easily and affordably.
Here are some affordable design tips.
Before: A family room’s furniture arrangement is disjointed.
After: The arrangement is now cozy and cohesive. (Design
SoundThe gallery will resume inseconds
A family room, before. (Design Recipes/TNS)
After: Pops of color through accents and accessories help add a
lift. (Design Recipes/TNS)
Before: This family room feels disconnected. (Design
After: A large area rug helps anchor and define the space.
Before: This family rooms furniture arrangement doesnt fit
the space. (Design Recipes/TNS)
After: The new arrangement makes the room more appealing and
open. (Design Recipes/TNS)
Before: This family room feels empty and underused. (Design
After: The room is made functional and appealing. (Design
- Create a furniture configuration around a focal point in the
room. Often this is a television or fireplace.
- Add cozy elements such as toss pillows and throws. The goal is
to create a space your family will feel as comfortable in as
- Try to use commercial or hospitality grade fabric on upholstery
pieces. This is a common tip used by interior designers. Commercial
and hospitality grade fabrics are designed to undergo heavy use and
stand the test of time and often come in the same fun colors as
those intended for normal residential use.
- Incorporate color through the use of art and accessories.
- Anchor a space with a large area rug. Ideally the rug should be
large enough to accommodate the entire furniture configuration for
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Fill a family room with too many special or breakable pieces. A
family room should be kid-friendly.
- Just select dark and drab fabric colors. While colors like
brown and black can hide stains better than light colors, consider
darker shades of brighter colors such as blue, red or green.
- Forget lighting. Often family rooms are poorly lit. When
possible incorporate recessed lighting placed on dimmers.
- Use your family room as a discarded space or storage area.
Family rooms should be a relaxation space and family oasis.
- Forget to create a multipurpose space. The goal is to create a
space for the whole family. It can be divided into various zones
for lounging, gaming and study.
Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning
television host and a nationally known interior design and home
staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and
Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
The do’s and don’ts of affordable family room upgrades