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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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The 10 Best Types Of Desks For Your Home Office

2020 was the year of the home office. Many of us now are WFH and have a more permanent home office desk setup. But with so many different types of desks to choose from, it can be tricky to find the right one for your style, space, and needs!

Some key things to consider include the kind of desk that’s most functional for your work and space. If you need a lot of surface to spread out your daily work, a writing desk or L-desk might be ideal; but if you live in a small space, a wall desk or a laddery style one make for compact options. No matter your style or space, we’re here to guide you through the different types of desks and the pros and cons to each. Get our tips below!

If you’re just starting to think about your home office desk, check out our quick guide on how to choose a desk, along with our picks for the best desks for working from home and the best home office chairs to go with them.

types of desks

Writing Desk

A minimalist desk type, writing desks often have open designs and limited storage (aside from drawers). It’s has a narrow surface (great for laptops) and a slender, sophisticated look.

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Writing Desk Pros:

  • It’s generally smaller in size so they fit in tighter spaces like a hallway or behind other furniture.
  • They’re great pieces to also float in a room or use in a home office with two desks.

Writing Desk Cons:

  • It typically doesn’t come with storage besides a drawer or small shelf, so you’ll need other storage pieces, like a bookshelf or a cabinet for your office supplies.
  • These desks are not very long or wide, so you’ll have a narrow work surface which is not ideal if you need a full home office desk setup.

It’s perfect if you… need a simple surface for desktop work, or if you only use a laptop and don’t need a lot of surface space.

types of desks

Executive Desk

This stately desk is exactly what it sounds like. Think CEO desk. It has a large work surface and comes with lots of storage, like locking drawers and built-in file cabinets, that get the job done.

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Executive Desk Pros:

  • There’s plenty of drawers and storage compartments to keep all your office supplies and materials within easy reach—no additional storage needed.
  • The wide surface can fit a computer, books, table lamp, and even a laptop on top of all that.
  • They can come in either rectangular, L-shaped, or U-shape configurations, so you can build out a full home office desk station setup.

Executive Desk Cons:

  • It’s very large and heavy, so they take up a lot of room.

It’s perfect if you… have a separate spacious home office for WFH, and you love a desk that’s slightly more traditional in style.

wood corner desk

L-Desk

Compact and functional, the L-desk is made for a corner office that utilizes longer wall spaces. They offer tons of storage and is great no matter the kind of work you do.

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L-Desk Pros:

  • The L-shape helps designate a corner into a work zone that feels separate from the rest of your room. It also makes for a cozy corner office setup.
  • It’s a multipurpose home office desk that naturally keeps everything organized in one place, from the laptop work surface to storage for paperwork and books.

L-Desk Cons:

  • Because of the L-shape, the desk is very limited in terms of where it can go a room.

It’s perfect if you… are looking to carve out a space in a larger room for an office. The L-desk is also great for people who do creative work, since it gives them plenty of surface (and wall) space to spread out their ideas and work.

corner desk

Corner Desk

If you’re working with a small office space, a corner desk makes for a convenient (and unconventional) solution. They have a clean-lined look that doesn’t visually crowd up a room.

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Corner Desk Pros:

  • It’s a compact desk that fits in a lot of function—surface for computer, pull-out drawer for keyboard, wide opening for a comfy desk chair.
  • They usually have open bases that provide a good amount of legroom for a small desk.

Corner Desk Cons:

  • Unlike the L-desk, which can be moved around, this is a home office desk that can only be used in corners.

It’s perfect if you… need to find room for a practical workspace in a small apartment or studio, or you’re looking to fit an office setup into an existing bedroom or den.

types of desks

Secretary Desk

Another solution for a home office desk that takes up minimal footprint is a secretary. While it has a more traditional look, it has tons of storage as well as a spacious hidden work surface!

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Secretary Desk Pros:

  • It takes up very little space and comes with a hinge top that conceals a very spacious desk surface.
  • It’s a compact and luxurious-looking desk that’s both decorative and functional—when it’s not in use, it can close up to blend in with the rest of your space.
  • You can easily work one into a living room or bedroom without it feeling out of place.

Secretary Desk Cons:

  • Secretaries tend to be more traditional in style, though we’re starting to see more and more modern designs!

It’s perfect if you… want a desk that can be more than an office piece. You can use a secretary to store other essentials, like an extra throw blanket or additional books. That also makes it an excellent piece for office guest room designs.

drafting desk

Standing Desk

The ultimate startup office desk—and it’s making its way into homes all over with more and more people working from home. A standing desk is an instant office station wherever you put it.

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Standing Desk Pros:

  • It’s the only home office desk that gives you the option to stand, or sit on an exercise ball, while working.
  • Depending on the type of standing desk, you can manually or electronically adjust the height of your desk.

Standing Desk Cons:

  • Usually minimal in style, the standing desk prioritizes tech and comfort over style, which means it’s not the most attractive desk to incorporate into a larger room or living space.

It’s perfect if you… want the flexibility to choose between working standing up or in a chair. It’s especially great if you want to stay active while working.

types of desks

Ladder Desk

Like the secretary, the ladder desk combines space-saving style and function. It has a small work surface, but it makes up for that with open shelving that maximizes vertical storage space.

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Ladder Desk Pros:

  • The ladder design offers open storage and optimizes vertical wall space, which makes it a compact multipurpose home office desk-and-bookshelf combo.
  • It’s great for small and narrow workspaces, such as a hallway, closet, compact office, or a guest room that double as a home office.

Ladder Desk Cons:

  • There’s not a lot of surface space, so it’s best used for work on a laptop and or writing.

It’s perfect if you… have very little room for an actual workspace but also don’t need a full office. Also check out our small home office design tips for more ideas on creating a compact and functional workspace.

wall mounted desk

Floating or Wall Desk

The only home office desk that takes up zero square footage, a floating wall-affixed desk is the ideal pick for small spaces like dorm rooms, studio apartments, and kids bedrooms.

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Floating or Wall Desk Pros:

  • It can be installed anywhere in a larger living space and takes up vritually no floor space.
  • There’s minimal storage, maybe a drawer or a shelf, so you’ll have to pull in other storage pieces.
  • You get lots of legroom and space under the desk, so you can easily pull up a bigger, comfier chair or even stow away a storage bin or two underneath.

Floating or Wall Desk Cons:

  • A wall desk is a semi-permanent investment, so make sure it’s a piece you want in one place in the long run.

It’s perfect if you… have a small space but want to dedicate a corner for a full office space without it looking visually overwhelming. Also check out our office design ideas for more space-saving tips.

types of desks

Kids Desk

Designed for homework and computer use, kids desks these days are straightforward in style. And they’re usually made in smaller sizes and height that are specific to kids and teens.

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Kids Desk Pros:

  • They usually come with storage drawers and compartments, which make them a practical choice for a home office desk for schoolwork.
  • It’s designed for kids height and perfect with a kids size desk chair.

Kids Desk Cons:

  • As with all kids room furniture, children often outgrow their pieces after a few years, or invest in a more grown-up desk design that works for both teens and adults.

It’s perfect if you… are looking to carve out a workspace for both virtual classroom studies and homeschooling for your kids.

types of desks

Dining Table

With WFH being the norm these days, dining rooms are doing double-duty as home offices. You can easily use a dining table for a home office desk permanently or as a temporary workstation

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Dining Table Pros:

  • A dining table provides tons of work surface space, so you can spread out your work AND still have room for meals at the same time.
  • Multiple people can use the dining table as a collaborative workspace
  • They come in endless colors and styles, so you’re sure to find one for your space.

Dining Table Cons:

  • There’s zero storage for office and work materials, so you’ll have to move things around each time you use it for work.
  • You’ll have to keep it organized and tidy every day so that it easily transitions from work surface to dinner table.

It’s perfect if you… enjoy the idea of a communal workspace at home, and you have an open living area that allows you to experiment with mixed-use dining room office designs.

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Layout Guide: Designing a Family Room + Office in an Open Loft Space

attic loft layout guideIn our “Layout Guides” series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. Often the trickiest part of designing a space, finding the right layout for your room can be a challenge. This week we’re serving up two solutions for an office/family room in an open loft space.

Attic lofts can be amazing spaces, but they also come with their own set of quirks. If you have a funky loft area in your home, you might be wondering how to make the space work for your needs. The good news is that with a little planning, attic loft designs can have huge potential! This week we look at how we can arrange a loft to fit both a family room and office with two clever and functional layout ideas.

The Space: 20×12 family room + office loft design with A-frame ceilings.

The Style: Atomic Industrial

The Challenge: Designing an attic loft to allow for a designated office area and comfortable family room with lots of space for lounging, playing, and watching TV.

loft designIdea #1: Flexible Sectional Layout

The loft layout idea #1 is all about creating a designated area for cozy family time. The sectional facing the TV makes the layout perfect for family movie nights. We included plenty of seating – and the flexibility of the sectional leaves room for both a play area and a work station. Overall it creates a cozy space that doesn’t feel cluttered.

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Here’s why this attic loft layout idea works.

Ample Seating

The sectional can be arranged in different ways to optimize seating depending on your needs. Plus, the armchair, coffee table and ottoman all provide extra seating as needed.

Attic Loft Friendly

The low furniture hugs the walls and tucks under the a-frame ceilings without wasting space. Since room is tight, we added lots of extra storage in the form of trunks, credenza, storage ottoman and baskets to tuck away all clutter.

Space to Work and Play

The desk is a great small space solution that offers a functional workspace that can double as a side table for the sofa. With room left, we included a play teepee, which provides a kid area that is tucked away from the TV viewing. Finally, the indoor/outdoor rug is perfect for a play space, as it’s durable and easy to clean.

This Is Great If You…

  • Want a cozy family room with plenty of extra seating.
  • Need an optimal setup for TV viewing, where the TV and sofa directly face each other.
  • Want furniture and a design that are kid-friendly.
  • Love extra hidden storage to save room and get rid of clutter.

attic loft designIdea #2 – Double Sofa Layout

Our loft layout idea #2 puts the emphasis on more conversational seating by keeping the TV as part of the design, but not the main focus. One sofa faces it with while the other sofa and chair face toward the center of the room. And the two remaining corners make for perfect work/play areas.

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Here’s why this attic loft layout idea works.

attic loft officeSmall Space Solutions

Here the desk is tucked into the back corner by the closet for a separate workspace that is still part of the family fun. The small table set-up also makes a great, tucked-away play space for kiddos to get creative.

A Loft for Lounging

In this design, the seating is super comfy and geared toward conversation and lounging, but the design also makes it easy to watch TV. The two sofas also offer ample seating (just as much as the sectional) but also give the room an eclectic feel, so it’s not too matchy-matchy.

Slanted Ceiling Friendly

Sloped ceilings can be a real design challenge. Since you can’t hang your art, propping it against the wall is a great solution that makes use of what wall space your have and adds visual interest to the room.

This Is Great If You…

  • Have one sofa that works and want to add another – they don’t have to be perfectly matched.
  • Enjoy a more conversational seating arrangement.
  • Need extra hidden storage to de-clutter your space.
  • Love a clean, modern design.

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