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Family Room Design: 14 Cozy Family Room Decorating Ideas

Ah, family rooms. Undoubtedly, it’s the most casual and comfy space in any home for the whole family (yes, even pets!) to gather, relax, and lounge out. It’s the happy medium between formal living room and media room, where conversation and movie marathons all take place. It’s also the busiest space where children, for the most part, have free reign.

With all that in mind, it’s also easy to see why it can be a challenge decorating a family room. There needs to be a balance of function and style, from making sure there’s practical storage to having a TV setup that isn’t a complete eyesore. There often needs to be kid-friendly designs also. And most important, there needs to be big, comfortable seating, because the family room is designed to be used every day.

The Difference Between Living Room vs. Family Room

Before we dive in further, you may be wondering what’s the difference between a living room and a family room. For the most part, the terms are interchangeable today, but they ultimately do refer to different spaces.

First, the living room is commonly seen as a more elevated, formal space, while the family room is a cozier and informal gathering spot. Second, the living room is usually located in the front of the home, to welcome guests, while the family room is often more tucked away, either closer to the back of the house or in a basement. And finally, while some homes have both these spaces, others only have one main living area, in which case, it tends to be used more like a family room.

Either way, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to decorating. Just be sure to decide how you want to use your space, and follow your design instincts!

Now to help you design a space that’s right for you and your squad, we’ve rounded up our best family room decorating ideas from our designers. Find out below!

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1. Prioritize Comfy Seating

Casual and comfortable seating that’s no frills and easy to clean is key to a functional family room. It’s similar to any living room furniture except you want to opt for larger scale pieces with comfy proportions that invite the whole family to lounge and spend time together in the space. Plus, family rooms often have media, so you want the most comfortable seating for watching TV and movies. Think a wide sectional with the chaise and ottoman, extra poufs, and plush side chairs or reclining armchairs. It’s all about creating a homey and welcoming environment.

Because it’s a space that gets a lot of use, especially if there are kids, having upholstered furniture in durable fabrics is essential. You’ll want to look for performance materials that are stain resistant and easy to clean, slipcovers you can toss into the wash, and quality leather that can stand up to wear over time.

family room designed for tv viewing

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2. Center Seating Around Technology

If the family room is primarily used for watching TV and movies, arrange your seating around the media area for ease. By centering your main seating with your TV, it optimizes the space with a family friendly layout that’s designed for practical everyday use.

Additionally, just because the TV is centered in the room doesn’t mean that it has to look like an electronics focused space. Add a media console that elevates the look of your TV or if you’re pressed for space, hang a flatscreen on your wall and surround it with cool art for a more balanced look.

Check out our TV viewing layouts for other family room decorating ideas that seamlessly incorporate media.

 

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3. Make It Personal

A family room is a ‘family’ space, so it should feel personal and not overly prescriptive or precious. Adding personal touches will help make your family room feel more inviting while still keeping an elevated look and serving all your practical daily needs.

Consider incorporating family photos, mementos from travels, and even artwork and crafts from the kids. Some tried-and-true family room decorating ideas like a gallery wall of black-and-white personal photos or a bookcase filled with favorite heirlooms and objects are always guaranteed to bring a touch of personality and flair.

If you’re at a loss for family room ideas that feel ‘you’, you can always start by adding a few of your favorite books, a few plants, or a grouping of small accents on a tray on the coffee table.

Family room with work area

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4. Create Spaces for the Whole Fam

The family room is meant to be a gathering spot for everyone in the house, including the kids and pets. So it’s important to factor in every person’s needs for the most family friendly space.

Consider different areas for each person when everyone uses the space at the same time. You don’t want everyone competing for the best spot on the sectional, so be sure to have several comfy spots for lounging.

That means taking into consideration how each family member would use the space—which can be a cozy reading chair for dad, a place for books for mom, a play area for the kids or the perfect corner for a pet bed for Fido (also see: pet-friendly design tips.) And if your family room functions as a multipurpose space for homeschooling or computer games, be sure to carve out spaces for those too.

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5. Pile on Layers of Comfort

You can never have too many pillows and throw blankets in the family room. After all, it always comes down to extra layers of comfort that can be shared by everyone in the family room.

Beyond comfort, layering pillows not only adds style and pattern, it also brings texture and warmth to your seating area. Try starting with a mix of three to five pillows for your sectional, then add in one or two throw blankets at each end. You can also take it one step further with a basket full of throw blankets for guests or for when the whole family piles onto the sectional for a movie night.

Family room with kid safe furniture

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6. Kid Proof With Soft Edges

When it comes to kid friendly family room decorating ideas, proofing your space with furniture that have rounded edges and soft surfaces is top priority.

Look for upholstered ottomans and curvy chairs that don’t have sharp corners, and pad the floor with cozy rugs that are gentle on the feet and soft enough for little ones to crawl and lay out on. This keeps the family room safe for babies, toddlers, and kids across all ages to comfortably lounge and play.

Need help finding the right pieces for your family room? Take a peek at our top picks for kid-friendly coffee tables and the best rugs for kids and pets.

Family room with play area

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7. Set Up a Fun Zone

In a busy household with children, you can make the most of your family room by carving out a kid-friendly play space for games, crafts, and even homework. It’s one of the most practical multipurpose family room ideas, because it doubles the function of the space and provides a perfect setup that lets you keep an eye on the kids while relaxing.

How you decorate your kids’ fun zone is up to you. You can try adding some playroom elements to start, like a kids table, easel or toy chest if your kids are too young for family games. And you can ground it all with a soft rug that they can comfortably play on. You can find more inspiring ideas with our kid-friendly design tips.

Family room with bold colors

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8. Don’t Shy From Color

Most family room ideas revolve around practical neutral furniture. But we’re here to encourage the opposite. Make it a point to liven up your family room with colorful accents, such as a patterned rug, bright pillows, vibrant accent chairs and poufs, and eye-catching art.

In a room where functionality is often the focus, having bursts of color and pattern is the quickest way to add personality and style. And if you’re worried about having too much color, just remember you can always swap out these small accents each season with new shades or neutrals. And if neutral is your go-to palette, you can still add texture and depth with textiles, which will have the same warming effect as colors.

family room with playful accent furniture

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9. Add Playful Accent Furniture

Beyond functional family room ideas, leave room to have a little fun with your design of the space. Playful accent furniture, like a casual hanging chair, pretty patterned poufs on the floor or a stylish home bar cabinet, make for unexpected touches that instantly liven up a family room. These also help set your space up for casual hangouts, no matter the occasion. If kids or teenagers use the family room to hang with friends, these will ensure you have a space that’s fun, functional, and relaxing to hang out in.

Family room with cozy reading nook

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10. Carve out a Reading Nook

Give yourself a cozy place to sit and read in the family room. You can easily create a reading nook by adding an armchair in a corner or alongside a bookcase. Just be sure to round out your reading space with other accents, like a side table, floor lamp, and a throw pillow and blanket.

For those days when you just want to curl up with a good book instead of tuning into a show, a cozy reading nook can feel like the most comforting hideaway. And when it comes to family room ideas that are stylish, functional, and inspire a bit of escapism, none come close to a reading nook with a deep armchair designed for hours of comfy lounging.

Family room with extra seating

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11. Bring in the Extra Seating

There’s no better use for poufs, benches, and comfy ottomans than in a family room setting. They provide extra seating around the space for entertainment, but they can also conveniently work as footrests and impromptu surfaces.

The best part is that they all make for moveable seating that can be pushed off to the side or pulled in for use in the family room at any time. If you’re pressed for space, you can also try using poufs and benches in place of a coffee table. Versatility is what makes sets these hardworking accent seats apart!

Family room with light curtains for added sunlight

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12. Consider Curtains for Light

How comfortable your family room feels also depends on how much light it gets. The best way to control the light in your space is to hang curtains on all your family room windows.

Try adding layered window treatments, like blinds that filter in some rays when you want a little natural light shining through. Or if you prefer less light because your windows face the sun during the day, blackout curtains will do the trick nicely. Plus, nothing is more frustrating than trying to watch a movie and light from the windows create a glare that makes it impossible to see anything on the screen. Having curtains that are just thick enough to block out a good amount of light will help; and the same heavy curtains will also provide a warmer look in your space at night.

Family room with lots of surface areas

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13. Keep Surfaces Within Reach With Accent Tables

Don’t forget to also bring in small surfaces to go in your seating area. Accent tables, like poufs and ottomans, are workhorses in a family room. They’re perfect surfaces for holding snacks, drinks, remotes, books, and even a vase of flowers. And best of all, they’re highly functional, moveable, and don’t take up a ton of floor space.

While you don’t need half a dozen small tables crowding up your family room, you do want at least two or three mini ones that you can easily pull up next to your sofa or side chairs. Consider small end tables, like C-tables, nesting rounds or a small drinks table, to ensure there are plenty of surfaces where you can set things down.

Family room with closed storage

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14. Make Room for Big Storage

Out of all our practical family room ideas, having a large closed storage piece ranks second only to comfortable seating. Whether it’s a sideboard that doubles as a media stand or a console cabinet that also serves as your home bar, a piece with ample storage will help keep your family room organized and clutter free.

For instance, a cabinet under your TV is the best place to store all your wires and electronics, while also providing room for extra books, throws, candles, and other living room essentials. And in a busy space like the family room, you’ll love having closed storage that keeps all the little things out of sight. If you’re struggling to find the right piece, we’ve rounded up the best home storage to get your started.

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7 Ways to Put Your Empty Dining Room to Use

Some people just aren’t formal dining room people—and that’s ok! Maybe you have a more casual dining space in your living room or kitchen and don’t need a formal dining space. Or perhaps you just want to prioritize using that room for something else! Regardless of the reasoning, there are plenty of ways to put your dining area to use that don’t involve a table and chairs!

empty dining room designed as a bedroom, home gym, office, and more!

We’ve all spent a lot of extra time at home this past year, so it’s worth considering the function and practicality of each room in your home. Because you want your space to work for you! And if a formal dining room isn’t what you need right now, don’t be afraid to move your table into storage, stash your spare dining room chairs elsewhere in the house, and make this space more of what you need.

Looking for some ideas of what to do with your empty dining room? Keep reading for some of our favorite unused dining room design ideas and multi-purpose space design hacks! (Pro tip: these ideas all work for spare rooms elsewhere in your house as well!)

empty dining room turned into a kid's play room design with lots of toys and cute decor

1. Make It a Playroom

If you have kids, a great way to switch up the use of your repurposed dining room is to create a playroom for them! This creates a dedicated zone for your kids’ toys and gives them a fun space that’s all their own! (And hopefully, doing this saves some of your sanity, so your whole home isn’t littered with their stuff!)

Start by choosing a large, plush rug in a fun pattern, creating a soft space for your kids to play. For an extra dose of coziness, add a pouf, which makes for a fun seat or backrest while reading. We added some cute artwork to the walls, along with a blackboard for drawing or practicing letters. A kid-size table is perfect for coloring and crafts, and lining the back wall with a low bookcase gives your kids a place for toys, books, and baskets that are all within reach for small hands!

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small home office design with clay walls, wooden furniture, and large bookcases

2. Try a One-Person Office

One of our most practical alternative dining room ideas is to make an open office for one! Most dining areas don’t have doors that close them off from the rest of the house—but if you don’t mind the idea of not having a door, you can create a really nice home office in a space like this!

With this dining room home office, we left the middle of the room open so the space didn’t feel cramped and is easy to walk through. We added in additional stools for when someone else stops into your home office to chat. And a narrow and tall wall-mounted bookcase offers ample storage and display surfaces without taking up a ton of floorspace. We opted for a soothing clay color on the wall and in the rug, mixed with other darker earth tones for a space that’s low-stress and promotes productivity.

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empty dining room redecorated as a home office for two in chic, minimal style

3. Or a Two-Person Office

Working from home with a partner? Turn your repurposed dining room into a home office for two! To fit in two desks and storage, opt for smaller and more delicate furniture that will give a sense of airiness to the space. Putting the desks against a wall and perpendicular to one another helps make the best use of the space. And hanging a large piece of artwork in between creates some visual space between the two workspaces. With this arrangement, you still have room for a wall-mounted bookcase for office supplies and decor—a must-have for small spaces!

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guest bedroom with brown walls and a platform bed frame

4. Create a Guest Bedroom

Other uses for a dining room? Hosting guests. It may sound weird, but if you don’t have a guest room elsewhere in your home, this is a great option since guest rooms don’t require much space. In this design, we opted for a bed that has built-in nightstands, which creates a minimal look and makes the room feel less cluttered and more open. Since dining rooms don’t have closets, a simple six-drawer dresser is a great add for guest’s clothes. (And you could even use a couple drawers for your own storage!) Opting for Roman shades rather than curtains keeps the windows unobstructed and allows for maximum natural light during the day.

If your dining room doesn’t have a closeable doorway, you could hang curtains for privacy. Or, if you don’t mind undertaking a larger project, you could have French doors installed!

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unused dining room reconfigured into a home gym with a Peleton bike

5. Turn an Unused Dining Room into a Home Gym

We love the idea of creating a dedicated space to workout at home! This is one of our favorite alternative dining room ideas of the moment. And a home gym design is easier to put together than you might think. We started by hanging up a pair of infinity mirrors to really establish that gym feeling—you gotta make sure your form is on-point, after all! (Plus, the mirrors reflect light and make the whole space feel more open and airy.) And we opted for a blue-green wall color that adds some energy to the space.

If you have an exercise machine or large equipment, like a bike, treadmill, or ballet bar, make sure to create space for that. Then, just be sure to include space for a floor mat for stretching and yoga, and perhaps a storage bench with baskets for easy organization of smaller equipment! We also hung up a hook near the bike for a towel. But, really, it’s all about making a space that works for your exercise needs and your preferred workout style—so personalize and change as needed!

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library design reading room with a leather armchair and large bookcases

6. Relax in an At-Home Library Reading Room

Are you one of those people who has always dreamed of having a home library, with a whole wall lined with books and a cozy chair to curl up in and read? Well, maybe it’s finally time to make that dream a reality! One of our coziest alternative uses for a dining room is to transform it into a reading room—creating a space where you can escape and totally relax, complete with a wall of deep bookcases. You can either max out the shelves with books, or integrate some decor and storage baskets on the shelves as well.

Besides shelving, we placed a comfy swivel chair in the corner, along with a side table for your beverage of choice, a pouf for putting up your feet, and a floor lamp for good reading light. Soft colors and natural materials throughout the space make for a soothing and serene setting.

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empty dining room converted into a TV viewing lounge space

7. Convert Your Dining Room into a Lounge

If you like the idea of having a TV-free living room, you could create a TV lounge in your empty dining room instead! This makes for a fun space that’s dedicated to relaxing, watching movies, and even reading.

To set up this space, opt for an apartment-size sofa and a cool lounge chair to offer enough seating for multiple people to relax but at a scale that won’t overwhelm the space. Mounting your TV on the wall and hanging a small shelf below it for electronics is a perfect alternative to a media cabinet and a great compact space-saver. A C-table is a great versatile and small surface for snacks and drinks—and since it’s on wheels, it’s easy to move it around to where you need it. And poufs are great footrests or extra seats, and can slide under the shelf when not in use!

And if binging TV shows isn’t your thing, you could also create a game room using similar elements! Just swap out the TV and shelf for a coffee table suited for games!

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This post was updated May 21, 2021

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5 Tips For a Dining Room That Encourages Family Meals

mid-century dining room ideas

You know those especially long days where, by the time you’re finally home the last thing you want to do is cook a meal? You know there are groceries in the fridge but ordering takeout is so much easier. Us too. Making dinner at home is one of those things that we say we’ll do but we always seem to find an excuse to get out of it.

It’s not surprising then that sit-down family dinners are becoming a rarity in American homes.

On the flip side, many studies have shown that eating together is a great way for parents and children to deepen their bonds in today’s fast-paced world. But what gives when it comes to making more time to eat together at home?

A well-designed family dining room might just be your answer to making it all happen. Make your dining room a place that is comfortable and inviting so that it encourages family dinners. A dining room that’s dedicated to meals and family time can also reset old routines and inspire a new way of eating together.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. We’ve rounded up five tips to help you create a dining room that’s sure to get everyone around the table at dinner time.

Read on for 5 tips to create your perfect family dining room.

rustic family dining room1. Invest In A Dining Table (That Works For You)

First things first: If you want a dining room that encourages more family meals, a nice table can make all the difference. Think of your table as the centerpiece that everything else will be built on.

Choose one that fits your space and suits your family’s dining style. A long communal table is great for dinner parties if you like to have friends and family over. A shorter table or a round one is ideal for casual everyday meals and if you have a small family dining room.  A wood table can be especially kid-friendly and easy to clean. And, finally, a glass top option is great for small spaces.

contemporary dining room2. Find Comfy Chairs

The key to any great family dining room is comfortable seating. If you want a space that’s all about getting people to gather and dine together, it’s got to be comfortable.

Find chairs that not only speak to your style, but are comfortable enough that people won’t think twice about lingering for dessert or to finish that bottle of wine.

Don’t worry if all your chairs don’t match—embrace a more eclectic look as you add chairs to your space over time.

For kid-friendly seating, opt for chairs in leather (it’s easy to clean) or wood (upholstered ones are prone to stains). Or add a bench on one side for a seat that’s spacious with lots of room to move around.

dining room storage3. Incorporate Everyday Storage

Want your dining room to feel less utilitarian and more like a true family gathering spot? Take full advantage of the space by rounding it out with a credenza or buffet that can be used daily.

This is a great place to stash everyday dinnerware that you can pull out at meal time as well as for excess kitchen equipment (or any clutter you just don’t have room for). And you can dress it up as a self-service bar, food station, or just a simple decorative focal point during dinner parties.

dining room ideas4. Make A Statement

Warm up your dining decor so that it feels inviting. And don’t hesitate to take some interior design risks.

You likely won’t want to change up your dining room decor frequently. This makes it the perfect place to try a statement wallpaper or bold chandelier that makes it feel extra welcoming. This will also give it that one-of-a kind WOW factor that guests won’t be able to stop ogling over.

family dining room5. Set The Mood

What’s the one thing trendy restaurants have in common? Ambience! And that’s just as important in your dining room. An experience involving all your senses, striking the right mood with your lighting is key to a great dining space.

If you can, opt for a dimmable pendant or add an extra table lamp to your credenza. And don’t forget to light a candle or two (or a dozen) to add that final touch. It all adds up to setting a cozy and inviting mood that gets everyone excited for time spent together around the table.

 

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