Family Room Ideas
Meld Style With Function

These family room ideas will keep yours from looking like the catch-all relic in the depths of your basement. You know, the room with the out-dated, leftover couch before you upgraded the furniture in your living room. These multi-purpose rooms wear many hats but they can still have a stylish, cohesive look.

Family Room Accent Wall Color Regardless of the location of your family room, keep its style up to par with the rest of your home. This is especially important if it is on the first floor or adjacent to the kitchen, such as a great room. They are wonderful areas for entertaining and gathering so show them off at their best.

Choose colors that reflect your style. If you have a family room that is part of an open floor plan, coordinate its colors with those it neighbors. In the family room/kitchen scenario, choose a color for your walls that is a lighter or darker shade of your kitchen's wall color. You could also take the kitchen's trim color and translate that to the walls of the family room, perhaps in a flat finish or again in a lighter or darker shade. If your family room is graced with plenty of windows and natural lighting, consider going the darker route with color or simply do a few accent walls which is my preference.

An earthy yellow accent wall really warms up this space and increases the intensity of the other colors found throughout.
Tip Like this color? It's Caraway Seed (3005-9C)
by Valspar's American Tradition line.

For more family room ideas on color, visit my color picks page.


Family rooms can be classy and comfortable at the same time. Want to cozy up your space with more than a paint color? Choose a neat area rug to anchor your seating. Consider some of these trendy, plush shags, great for a contemporary setting. Rugs are a smart way to introduce color, texture and pattern into your space. Consider those with neat graphics as I have done, that also have a uniquely soft, plush fiber and pile.

Depending on the size of your family room, pick furniture that fits both scale and comfort. If you have a large space, choose sectionals that are curved, or L-shaped for a more modern look. Consider modular sectionals that can be moved around to create various seating arrangements and include pieces that function as additional seating, such as large, square ottomans. These pieces can also play duty as a coffeetable.

Consider pieces with hollow interiors that can be used for storage of extra pillows, throws, blankets or even your DVD collection. Think of how multi-functional your pieces can be for this multi-functional room.

Choose seating with a comfortable finish and a casual style. Micro-fiber and micro-suedes have been popular choices for family rooms but leather is my preference. Consider ultra-soft, smooth leather finishes that you can sink into. They wear well, get better with age and always look presentable for company with a few, straightened-up pillows.

Frugal Tip Unify mismatched sofas and chairs with casual slipcovers. This frugal family room idea will allow you to put the savings toward other necessities.

Arrange your seating to allow for both ease of conversation and comfortable viewing of a centrally located television (if one is being used in the space). Experiment with your furniture layout to find a solution that looks good and functions well.


A Sunny Family Room

Family Room Ideas For Storage

Besides cube ottomans for storage, repurpose chests or trunks as storage-containing coffeetables. Look for those of the correct scale at estate sales and auctions. They will provide some extra character that can't be beat. Visit my Living Room page for more coffeetable suggestions and possible family room ideas.

Look for shelving units to organize your collections of DVDs, CDs and books. Choose units with doors that hide everything away nicely and keep your room looking tidy and presentable.

Already have shelving without doors? Make some. Create doors out of old, louvered shutters or purchase a thin piece of MDF (medium density fiber) board or wood. Add some unique framing with decorative moulding. Stain or paint the wood, add hardware and hang. This family room idea will help you develop a customized look.

Want an easier solution? Use a roll-up blind.
See how I used one to disguise a doorway below.


Choose entertainment consoles with built-in storage. Whether baskets, drawers or cabinets, these extra compartments will assist with a clean, orderly look.

Add your own baskets to current shelving or as tuck-away storage under your coffeetable or sofa. Storage baskets introduce texture to your decor while providing function. Woven banana leaf storage baskets are my favorite and provide nice contrast with espresso finished furniture. Rattan and jute baskets are another, excellent option.

A Family Room Transformation


Family Room Before And After
This sunken family room is now a bright, airy and inviting space. Dingy carpeting was removed and replaced with wood parquet flooring. The landing and stairs received durable, slate tile flooring, repeated from the adjacent kitchen above.

Family Room Before And After

A ceiling fan replaced a light fixture that didn't fit the space. An accent wall color creates warmth and depth.

Note: Ceiling fans provide comfort and cost-savings when used in conjunction with your HVAC system.


Family Room Before And After
Wide plank wood "wainscoting" is cleaned up, stained a lighter, colonial maple, and sealed with a clear, matte-finish polyurethane. Plenty of greenery, in front of French doors, bring energy and life into the room.

TIP: Make your room feel complete by simply adding
some potted plants or fresh cut flowers.


Family Room Before And After
An opposite wall receives the same accent color. An entertainment console provides organized storage for components. Banana leaf baskets store media out of view.

Want to create this look in your home?


Family Room Decorating Accents and Design Elements

Follow these family room ideas and decorating strategies.

  • Choose an accent color and search for similarly colored decor. Use this accent color on a wall to build further cohesion. In this room, an earthy yellow color chosen from throw pillows is reinterpreted on some accent walls. An area rug of wonderfully cohesive, earthy colors inspires further accent colors for decor throughout the room.

  • Choose materials and repeat them throughout the space. Lots of natural decor elements such as dried fruit, seed pods, rocks and branches imbibe a very organic feel to this comforting space. Carved wooden figures in black or espresso stain provide stark contrast to the random, modern hints of brushed nickel.

  • Add interest with various textures. Woven grapevine balls live in harmony with solid, dried gourds in a large bowl, creating a focal, tabletop display. A jute-coir entry mat repeats the pattern of the parquet floor tiles. Numerous woven baskets of reed, wicker and banana leaf provide visual character among the smoothness of the leather furniture and the softness of pillows and throws. The lively print of the area rug consists of high and low pile fibers, creating its own unique textures.

  • Repeat a pattern or design motif. Tribal elements such as carved wooden masks and figurines are seen throughout this space. Block and line geometric patterns are seen in custom artwork, relating back to both the parquet and rug. Rounded, curved or spherical elements are also repeated in decor accents, planters and candlesticks.

  • Carefully combine unique furniture pieces to create a cohesive look. Repeat wood stain finishes, or those closely related. A steamer trunk, used as a coffeetable, introduces some unique color combinations and becomes the common thread for the other furniture pieces. A small wooden chest in a corner and a wooden crate "repurposed" as an end table, build upon the strong, natural styling of this space. Black, dramatic pieces such as the console and shelving, tie in nicely while relating back to the steamer trunk.

Stylish Entertainment And Storage
Tucked on a side wall, a shelving unit provides tidy storage for CD and DVD collections. Custom-made doors would be a nice addition to provide further concealment.

A Frugal Makeover?

This family room required cosmetic upgrades only. The parquet flooring was the greatest, single expense totaling around $500.00. A textured ceiling was also added. Paint and wood stain costs as well as a slate tiled stairway and landing equate to around $200.00. A new light fixture and window treatments (blinds) bring the total cost to around $1,000.00; not including furnishings, decor or labor.
Not bad for a room that has become a favorite spot in this home.


Storage Shelf

A Disguised "Doorway" Revealed


Blind Conceals Doorway
Frugal Tip The entry way to the basement stairs is nicely disguised with a woven, bamboo roll-up blind. Rather than installing a door that would open into the room, thus creating wasted space, a simple blind solves the problem with ease and at a fraction of the cost to install a door. This family room idea provides additional texture and style too!

Additional Family Room Ideas

  • Can't decide on your accent color(s), choose an inspiring area rug for your space and develop your room's overall color story from it.

  • Want the look of a wall mounted flat panel but not hassle? Consider a tv/storage console unit with an integrated back mount. They provide storage and hide all your connections and wiring.

  • Keeping in mind the multi-functionality of this room, choose a sleeper sofa for when guests and relatives visit or the kids have a slumber party.

  • Create a cozy space by installing a gas fireplace. There are many ventless fireplace options that are easily installed by a certified professional and add additional character, style and ambiance to your room.

  • This is the room to go "all out" with your audio/visual equipment. You have the flat panel television, now consider installing surround sound to create your "theater". Recessed ceiling or wall speakers add a custom, high-end look.

  • Speaking of recessed, don't forget your lighting. A family room is a great space to install some cool, recessed lighting with remote dimmer controls.

Hopefully I've helped you develop some family room ideas to consider. Remember, the family room should be a casual, carefree space to unwind. Choose furnishings and decor to express that point. Keep it relaxed with comfortable style.

These additional family room ideas and images may provide further inspiration.


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