I say this all the time but when children have to be considered for design, BRING. IT. ON. I don't know why but I love designing spaces that involve the kiddos. Maybe because they are often more challenging? Or maybe when it's a nursery I just have all the feels the entire length of the project?! Either way, I love it. And I am here to teach YOU how to design the perfect family room for your own home!
Recently I had a client give me a fun problem to solve. She wanted her family room to work well for her husband who wanted comfortable furniture for lounging. It had to be kid friendly and include storage pieces. And it had to be relatively neutral because if you even bring any level of color to my sweet friend, the answer is almost always NO. I love a client who knows what she likes and dislikes! And the final challenge? This space is right off of their kitchen and isn't very big. To be honest, these challenges are actually very common so that's why I wanted to share and help you all out!
Let's do this. You can see my mock that I did below. It HAD to have some level of color so I went with softer, pastel hues and just small pops. I knew the shelving unit would be storage for toys and books so organically we'd get color there, too. The frames we custom designed with Framed and Matted and I added a soft mint mat to offer more visual interest. The sofa was deep and cozy and husband-approved. The leather pouf is versatile, a bit masculine and of course, kid-friendly. And we HAD to give their sweet little boy his own little seating area which I hear he now loves.
Now, here is the real-life family play room and 8 rules to help you design the perfect family room. ALSO BIG BONUS! All sources from this space are listed below. ENJOY :)
1. Ensure the fabric of the sofa is a performance fabric. Kids are going to spill. Ahem, adults spill. The performance fabric will save you money in the long run and of course, it's PRACTICAL.
2. Have at least one piece of furniture that has storage for all. the. kids. stuff. I love this line from Ikea because you can add bins or doors to hide the mess. I personally use a TV console unit that I paired with 2 floor baskets to store Zoey's toys and books.
3. Give the little ones their area to play. Here, the space was pretty small and hence, the area their son got was pretty small. But, it works. A little table with chairs for snacks and drawing and a little basket for toys worked perfectly for my client.
4. Don't design for the kid, design for you. In other words, don't make the space feel like a daycare. There is absolutely a way to ensure you don't lose sophistication and style in a family room. Nothing pains me more when parents have fully allowed their kids and all of their kids stuff to dominate their home physically and aesthetically. Please stop the madness (or at least confine it to one room in the basement)! YOU CAN DO THIS.
5. Make it comfortable. Cliche? Probably. Necessary? Yes. Make sure you sit on the furniture before you buy it. Buy a softer rug. Add some pillows. Allow for the space to breathe - DON'T CRAM IT WITH ALL THE TOYS AND THINGS!
6. Make it safe. Of course, if you have little ones, you want to ensure the space has no dangerous items or accessories. Sharp glass corners are a no. Heavy pieces that are taller that risk being tipped over, nope. Just be cautious when you are shopping.
7. Add family photos. To me, there is no better place in your home to display family photos than a family room. HELLO. I try to keep it minimal and creative - this is key IMHO. Don't have 47 frames that are different colors and shapes - the pictures get lost. I'd say no more than 5 and curate them well in the space. Hang them together like I did. Display them sporadically but tastefully.
8. Last, do not stress if something breaks or gets spilled on. Kids and family members feel that tension. In my own home, I created a rule that in our family room, it's a stress-free zone. Kids can have snacks and color and paint at the small table. Parents can drink wine on the couch. We can live. Creating that rule has helped, in turn, create great memories which is what we want!
Ikea TV Console and Storage
West Elm Rug
Pebble and Vine Plant
Anthropologie Ceramic Stools
Framed and Matted Frames for Gallery Wall
Target Faux Fur White Pillow
Kids Play Table and Chairs
Lulu & Georgia Leather Pouf
West Elm Harmony Sofa