Your family room or living room needs to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional, especially if you have children. It is a room in which each family member is sure to spend an extensive amount of time, so you will probably be wondering how you can design it to ensure that it meets everybody’s needs, and to keep up with the various family demands. Here are some amazing tips to keep in mind throughout this planning phase.
Consider furniture carefully
This is especially important if you have children under the age of 10. You might want to avoid investing in high-end designer couches until they are at an age where you can trust them not to spill their grape juice or draw a new masterpiece all over them. You should also think carefully about the material used to make the furniture that you buy. If and when accidents happen, a couch made out of absorbent material is going to prove impossible to clean, whereas a leather couch will allow you to mop up spills in seconds without having to stress about stains.
Some parents opt to invest in furniture specifically for the kids so that they don’t have any reason to sit or play on the more expensive pieces. A great option to think about is that of a massive SumoLounge beanbag chair. These beanbag chairs have been supersized so that the entire family can cuddle up and watch a movie together. They make for the perfect gaming nesting spot too! In short, the kids will love them and they will also add lots of visual interest to the space.
Choose your colour scheme wisely
Bringing your attention back to the possibility of stains once again, you probably want to steer clear of white or pastel colours if at all possible. While these colours can often help to make a smaller living room appear larger, they are going to require more maintenance and will probably lead to a lot more stress on your part. As such, do your nerves a favour and opt for darker colours instead. The great news is that grey is currently one of the trendiest interior décor colours to opt for, and it looks amazing on walls, floors, furniture – anything, really. Pair grey with royal or navy blue for a really stylish look and feel. Navy blue has, after all, been deemed to be ‘the world’s most relaxing hue’ by top interior designers from around the globe. It could be all that you need to help you unwind after a long day of running after the kids.
Choose family-friendly flooring
Do you really want to spend money on plush white carpets when there are children or pets in the house? While they might look incredible for a few weeks, they are certain to be dotted with stains and marks soon enough. Think muddy feet, play-dough stuck in all of the fibers, and tomato sauce stains in every direction you look. With this in mind, you might even want to avoid the carpets in general and opt for a more family-friendly flooring option.
For example, rubber flooring is the ultimate kid-friendly flooring alternative. While it might not look as luxurious as classic hardwood floors, it is effortless to clean, extremely durable, resistant to both stains and odours, and is also known to help absorb sound of up to 18 decibels. Great news for you if you are trying to relax while the kids are running around screaming and playing in the other room!
If rubber flooring is not for you, there are many other family-friendly flooring types to consider. They include:
- Laminate flooring: You can achieve that luxurious look for your home with laminate flooring without having to spend a fortune or worrying about preserving it. It is also easy to clean and is scratch-resistant too.
- Cork flooring: Cork flooring is similar to rubber flooring in that it absorbs sound waves for a calmer, more peaceful household. It is hygienic and soft underfoot just like carpet, although much simpler to clean.
- Vinyl flooring: Vinyl flooring is non-porous and is water-resistant, so super spill-friendly!
Decorate on the walls
Avoid placing expensive, delicate, or sentimental decorations anywhere near the height level of the kids, regardless of how old they are. You can be quite sure that, eventually, they are going to get knocked over and break. Instead, focus your décor efforts on the walls. You could create floating shelves, for instance, and place a few favourite pieces on there, or stick to wall art, such as paintings and photographs. How about ordering a few custom made canvases of your favourite family pictures and personalizing the family room wall so that it really feels like a family-friendly haven? These canvases also make for wonderful talking pieces when guests come to visit.
Create an area dedicated specifically to playtime
If you are sick and tired of having to deal with hundreds of toys strewn across the family room floor, try to keep the mess to a specific area of the room as far as is possible. Create a little playtime nook where you store your children’s toy boxes and keep all of their items in one place. They will probably love the fact that they have their own little ‘area’ and work hard to keep it that way. Plus, you will have more space to yourself as a result. If the living room is not quite large enough to do this, consider dedicating a separate room in the house to your kids’ playtime. A standalone playroom could save you endless amounts of stress!
The secret to creating a functional family room lies in accepting the fact that kids will be kids and designing and laying out the space accordingly. You will have plenty of time in the future to pull out all of the stops and put together a room fit for royalty. However, right now, the focus should be on creating a space in which to make as many memories as possible. They really do grow up so fast!