Kathryn's Family Room
This 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

Barbara Jennings, decorate-redecorate.com home based businesses interior redesign business training courses, Rearrange It contact us arranging furniture sitemap, interior redesign sitemap how to arrange wall groupings, wall decor interior redesign blog resources decorating newsletter testimonials, quotes, references Decor Secrets Revealed interior redesign recommendations