Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.
As a mom of four, I know what it takes to craft the perfect living room. The living room is the heart of our home—from movie night to Christmas morning, it’s the space we turn to for family time. But how do you balance adult aesthetics with plentiful storage and comfort for the little ones?
Define your space
The first step to designing a functional yet beautiful living room is to define your space. Many new home layouts combine the living room and the kitchen into one large space. If this is how your home is structured, try sectioning off the living room using a substantial piece of furniture, like a couch. Take control of a large living room with an inviting sectional. The size and shape of an angular sectional will help you add some structure to your space.
As you define your spaces based on function, remember that the style should not change from room to room in an open space. Continue colors, patterns and shapes in both rooms and through the transitional space for a cohesive and sophisticated look. If the kitchen reflects a cottage style with neutral colors and rustic details, this style should also be present in the adjoining living space.
As you design with kids in mind, one of the biggest tips I can give you is that material matters. From the base of a table lamp to your coffee table to the couch, it is crucial to choose durable, kid-friendly fabrics and materials. Here’s a little trick to choosing the best materials: plan with disaster in mind.
For example, regardless of the paint color you choose for your walls, a washable paint helps guard against crayons, markers and muddy hands. As for rugs, an indoor-outdoor rug is a smart choice. When a juice box spills or the dog has an accident, you’ll be relieved to know you can take your rug out back and simply hose it off. Pick your furniture with this mindset, as well. Given the choice, always go with a fabric or material that is easily washed and as close to indestructible as it comes.
Storage is imperative when it comes to a family-friendly living space. At our house, there are tons of little items we always want on hand but don’t want sitting out in the open—like board games, blankets and DVDs, to name a few. If you don’t have built-in storage, invest in a bookshelf or add some shelving to an empty wall.
For more cost-effective storage solutions, go for colorful fabric or wicker storage bins. Smaller bins with handles are especially good for toys, as the kids will be able to maneuver the bins themselves. While the bins should be in a color or material that reflects your home’s style, you can easily store them out of the way by hiding them underneath a coffee table, for instance.
Speaking of hidden storage, a family-oriented living room isn’t complete without soft, versatile seating that incorporates a storage component. A pouf or storage ottoman is lightweight, easy to move and can add some color and texture to an otherwise neutral room.
The final component of the ideal family room is thoughtful—and, of course, fun—accessories. The purpose of the accessories is to create an inviting and dynamic space. At Home Zone, we always encourage neutral colors for everyday furniture, so accessories are a great way to add some personality. Colorful accessories can also be swapped out depending on the season or occasion.
Celebrate your family with your décor by displaying framed family photos or kid artwork. Open shelving can not only hold discreet bins of living room must-haves, but can also be a great place to display colorful kid sculptures from art class. Throw some vibrant pillows onto couches and chairs, as well. Mix up size, shape and color tones to create some depth and texture throughout the room.