4 Design Tips For The Ultimate Family Room
Families are spending more time at home together right now than they have in decades, and while they may not have volunteered for this new togetherness, many have found it a powerful experience. At the same time, though, many families have also discovered that their homes’ communal spaces don’t quite meet their needs. If you’re currently questioning how you’ve styled your family room, consider making these four simple swaps. Such easy adjustments can turn a room from stiff and formal to fun and family-oriented, with no major renovations required.
Most homes don’t have room to create a game room, but that just means other spaces in the home need to leave room for play – and that’s true even if you don’t have small children. Prioritize playfulness by creating space to store toys, puzzles, and board games and making sure there’s a table within reach where everyone can gather around, even if you have to toss in an extra leaf when it’s called upon. We recommend adding vertical storage so that you can highlight more stylish pieces like family photos at eye level, while keeping the toys down low, making it easy for little hands to put things away.
Mind Your Mantel
There’s a reason so many stories and movies feature carefully styled fireplace mantles, and it’s because they make a striking visual centerpiece for any home. That’s why, if your mantel isn’t pulling its weight, either in terms of form or function, it’s time for an upgrade. It’s particularly easy to install a new mantle shelf for displaying family keepsakes or, if you’re up for more of a project, you might consider a built-in bookcase mantle. While great for more artistic displays, the right mantle can go a long way towards meeting your family’s storage needs.
Include The Pets
It’s not just people who have been spending more time together lately – since the start of the pandemic, a growing number of families have adopted new pets, and they need space to hang out, too. You can seamlessly integrate spaces for your pets in the living or family room by installing pet beds inside side tables, adding cat perches to the walls or windows, and even opting for slyly disguised litterboxes. With these simple tricks, you get to keep the pets nearby while maintaining the room’s aesthetic appeal.
The longer that families are at home, the more they’ve realized that less is more, especially with young children. With that in mind, look for ways to increase function in common spaces while decreasing clutter. Some key strategies include offering a few places to store toys, such as in coordinated baskets, rotating the toys that are available so that there are fewer choices, and ensuring there are comfortable kid-sized seats.
For families with older children, minimalist practices still apply, but may look different. Consider choosing a game of the week, setting out a puzzle to work on collectively, or choosing a few art supplies to keep on hand – especially if there’s a project you can all learn together, like knitting or sewing. We often don’t realize the impact choice fatigue has on our behavior, even when the choices are low stakes, but reducing the number of activity options can help.
Our current state of imposed togetherness may feel like a burden sometimes, but many families have already noticed the ways that the ongoing pandemic has encouraged growth – everyone is learning new skills, like cooking and sewing, building closer bonds, and thinking about what family means in a fresh way. Maybe we should have been living more like this for years rather than always being on the go, but when we redesign our homes to reflect that new togetherness, we send the signal that it’s a priority now – and that we want our time together to be valued, and to continue.