Let’s talk a bit about 3 of the common mistakes made in decorating a room. Today, I visited a new client and their family room was furnished to accommodate large groups of people. However, when deciding on how and what to buy for their room, they made three of the most common mistakes I see homeowners make.
When you are buying furniture for your family room, what are some of the first things you think of when deciding on what to buy? How do you determine the placement of the furniture in your room? Many of you consider the normal questions:
- How many people do I need to seat
- It is kid and pet friendly
- How do I use the room
- What style do I like
- Is it high traffic and what are the traffic patterns
These are all the right things you should be thinking about. But what I have learned is that sometimes you still don’t have all the information you need, or maybe the sales person doesn’t ask you the right questions. And sometimes, you just don’t understand what your options are.
The Design Dilemma
So, what are the 3 of the common mistakes made in the family room we are going to go to talk about today? They are the type of furniture used in the space, the placement of the furniture, and the materials used. The homeowners had sound reasons for why they designed the room this way and technically, yes it does meet the needs of their family. But it isn’t a room they are happy with.
Leather, or faux leather, is the default fabric of families with kids and pets. Yes, it is fairly easy to clean up messes and hair doesn’t get stuck to the fabric. And I agree, leather is a great option and should be considered. But it isn’t the only option you have.
I had my sofa cleaned a couple of months ago, and I am embarrassed to say it had been about 4 years since I had it done. But you should have seen how well it cleaned up! I have two kids and two dogs, and I do let my dogs on my sofa. (Guilty) So, I knew I needed a fabric that would be heavy duty and clean well. I chose an indoor/outdoor fabric. Let me tell you, I was AMAZED at how well my sofa cleaned up!
The Crypton fabrics that are out are definitely ones you should be aware of when shopping for upholstery . They are the Superman of fabrics for families with kids and pets because they are the only textile that is stain, water and bacteria resistant. The key to this super fabric is its weaving process coupled with its proven barrier.
And last, my steam cleaner, and I, still swear by microfiber. It is soft and easily cleaned. I have my barstools and dining chairs upholstered in it, and it has saved the day with many a sticky finger that has used them as napkins!
In this family room, one leather piece would be good and then you can add to it with furniture in performance fabrics to add to the durability of the space while also giving it more tactile appeal.
One of the most common design don’t interior designer come across in the family room is furniture placed along the walls or perimeter of a room. Now, to be fair, in this instance, with 4 large sofas/sectional in one room, there wasn’t lot of options for where to place the pieces so they would fit in the room.
When I see this done, I think of your furniture like wallflowers at a party, too shy to come out and talk to everyone else. Now bedrooms are a different story, they tend to need the furniture placed on wall, but the family room does not. Unless you have a very small (and even they benefit from furniture being brought in), or a narrow one, then you need to bring your furniture away from the walls and let them create cozy seating areas. It makes the room feel larger and airier, and it is much more conducive to entertaining and conversation.
How Many People Do You Need to Seat?
These homeowners have a large family and thought they needed the number of large pieces they have in this family room. The first question I had was how frequently do they entertain that many people at one time. They admitted it was only twice a year.
Very rarely will you come across a room that can accommodate this many large, dark pieces of upholstery.
When you are considering how many people your room needs to seat – yes consider how you entertain and how many people you entertain. But most of the time, you won’t be entertaining that many people, that often. When you do, it is parties where your guests will be standing and talking. So, we are talking holidays mainly. Definitely keep this in mind when you are planning your arrangement. And this one good reason why you want to bring furniture into the room, because it allows you make secondary vignettes in your room and thus more seating.
You also don’t need to think just big when you think a lot of people. Yes, sectionals, sofas, and loveseats need to be used, but you can also use lounge chairs, accent chairs, upholstered ottomans, and small stools.
And you can borrow from other rooms, too! 🙂
Solution for this Room
What are we doing to help solve our current client’s dilemma? The homeowners wanted to keep two of their 4 large sofa pieces. We turned one of them to be perpendicular to the TV wall and the smaller sofa, so it is facing the outside entertaining area. By doing this, we created an L shape, and separated the back of the room to allow for a secondary furniture vignette. You can see in the floor plan below what furniture pieces we will be using for seating.
I can’t wait to show you the after when it is done!
If you are struggling with a room in your home, we would love to help! Book your complimentary discovery call where we can talk about your project and see how we can serve you and your family!