Do you have small children and think there’s no hope for your family room until they are grown? That doesn’t have to be the case . . .
This family moved into a new home last year, and since that time I’ve helped them choose some paint colors, decorate their “formal” living room and dining room, and hang art throughout the house. The family room wasn’t a top priority – it seldom is, right? But over time, they found that THIS is where any entertaining would need to take place because it’s the largest room in the house!
family room before
The best way to decorate when you have small children is to keep the decorative items on the walls and the bookcases, out of reach of tiny hands. There are bookcases on either side of the fireplace, so I knew we could capitalize on those! We needed additional seating here, of course. Because the rest of the room was so neutral, the colors of the new chairs would be our cue for decorative accessory colors.
family room before
The homeowners’ parents had some antique books to donate to the cause:
When you have bookcases, you typically need more books than you think. So I brought in a few boxes of hardback books to fill in the gaps.
Once the chairs that were ordered came in, my client and I spent the morning at HomeGoods gathering decorative items for the space. One trip took care of everything we needed for the family room – accessories in mainly blue and gold.
So here’s the fireplace wall and bookcases in the “before” state. I specified a dark blue for the backs of the bookcases, which creates a much more interesting backdrop for books and decor than trim white.
I like to populate bookcases without over-stuffing them. Most people nowadays put too many decorative accessories and not enough hardback books in their bookcases, which results in a messy and cluttered look overall. Here’s the after of the fireplace wall:
Some of the items belonged to the homeowner already, but new additions included the zig-zag throw, golden candlesticks, oystershell ball, and colored pottery from HomeGoods.
Here’s a “before” shot from another angle:
From this angle, you get a peek at the new chairs the homeowners purchased for the room. The fun pattern in the fabric will be very forgiving with young children scampering about.
Here’s the back wall of this long room. The architecture is so great, with the coffered ceilings and a long wall of windows to the right of this shot. I thought this wall would be perfect to start a family photo gallery that could grow over time:
Here’s the resulting grouping that I hung for them – I used the baby grand piano in the foreground as the anchor for this arrangement.
family photo gallery wall
I usually do more symmetrical groupings, but I like the effect of this from the entry of the room.
Any tabletop decor had to be child-friendly. I found this beautiful organic wood bowl at HomeGoods, and the filler balls will be fun for the kids to play with if they decide to! A bowl like this is also great for corralling television remotes.
Ok, so here’s where we started, after we reoriented the existing sofa, coffee table, and piano:
And here’s the breathtaking after! The gold lamps, sofa pillows, and table between the chairs are also from HomeGoods.
Yes, there will be toys strewn about this room on many, many days to come – but look how nicely it cleans up! In fact, the family is having a large party for friends and family this weekend. I’m invited, so I’ll get to see first-hand how the house and this room functions for entertaining guests!
What’s your favorite thing about this family room makeover?