Kathryn's Family Room
is your current arrangement in your family room as far as I can tell. Since
you said the desk can go elsewhere and you want maximum TV seating and baby
proofing, I have planned some arrangements with that in mind. We are going to make it far more
intimate than you presently have, very
cozy, and I think the room is going to be very pleasing to look at, while
extremely functional for your lifestyle. While the sofa is facing the room's architectural focal point,
the fireplace, and the TV is fairly close, the few furnishings make the room very sparce. This is further
problematic because all of the furniture is placed around the perimeter of the room. While it gives the
kids a wide open space to wrestle and tumble, it just doesn't look as good as it can and is less
functional for other desires you have for the room as well.
Your Requested Goals
Let's summarize your stated goals for the room:
- Maximum seating for family of 7 to watch TV together
- Child proofing for infant and toddler
- A game table for 4 or more, which could be expandable
- Access to book shelves flanking fireplace
- Access to sliding glass doors to back yard
- Retaining large cabinet for electronic equipment
- Permission to bring in matching love seat
- Permission to remove desk, computer and chair
- Maximum viewing of family from kitchen area
- Retain cable on present wall in vicinity of TV
- Inclusion of end table near seating
- Nautical theme
- Inclusion of plants
ARRANGEMENT 1 - The first thing I've done is bring in a large area rug
to help define the main seating arrangement. This is an 8x10 to accommodate the sofa and loveseat.
Creating this "island" effect will create an intimate, cozy feeling right off the bat. I've moved your
TV closer to the bookcase, more in the corner, and brought the cabinet from the corner over to make a
grouping. I like to keep all electronic stuff together, if possible. You can add in a floor lamp and tree to complete the grouping. Place some art on the wall over
the TV to keep from have a huge drop in height from the cabinet to the TV. The books still remain
accessible. Add two soft cushiony ottomans, to act as additional seating for kids, but to double as a sort of
coffee table. When you want to have food/drinks, bring them out on a tray and set on the ottomans.
The soft fabric on the ottomans should protect your toddler and infant and assist them in standing and
walking without you needing to worry. You can use your nice scolloped table for the end table or buy
a new one. I would add more pillows, as your two are pretty small for such large seating. Repeat the
colors in the room. Access to the sliders and bookshelfs have been kept in tact. A plant in the
other corner near the bookcase will hide the electrical cord that goes to the mood light on the mantle.
This will open up room for a 36" wide table and 4+ chairs in the back corner to double as your game
table, homework table for your homeschooled children or for eating. Everyone will still be able to see the TV from here as well.
All you have to do is add some more plants, some art, some nautical things: brass bell, rope pulley,
netting, shells, tropical fish, and you're there!
ARRANGEMENT 2 - This variation uses a smaller 4x6 rug to anchor the main
seating arrangement. You'll have more open floor space in this idea, but slightly less seating for watching
TV. All else remains the same as idea above.
ARRANGEMENT 3 - In this variation (see below), I've brought in an 8x10 oval rug for a
more "country" feeling to go with the antiques you have and the nautical theme too. A floor lamp has
been placed behind the club chair in corner, so you'll want to remove the mood light on the mantle on this
one. You'll have less seating in this idea, but more open floor space for navigation. In all of the
ideas I would suggest bringing in lots of plants, baskets, figurines, art, navigational things. Your
husband is right: lose the globe. But consider replacing it with a large maritime map or globe - something
far more antique looking. Any good art gallery will have catalogs with large nautical and maritime posters.
Always use mats and quality frames. Don't go cheap on your accessories, because they are what bring
the personality of your family to the forefront. Scatter lots of family photos about, but don't overdo it.
And there you have it. I'd love to see pictures of the arrangement you choose and what creativity
you've brought out too. You could also have your children paint some sailing, boating, nautical type
images, have framed and hang in groupings. My book, "Where There's a Wall - There's a Way"
(click here) teaches you
how to create stunning wall groupings. You have considerable space above the fireplace and book shelves,
and on two walls in the room for some art. This will be the finishing touch!
Thanks for allowing me to help you resolve your decorating issues for your family room. - Barbara