How to Decorate a Family Room for YOUR Family’s Needs

The family room is like the more casual, younger brother of the living room. Where the living room is often decorated with entertaining in mind, the family room is decorated with more “real life” in mind. (Of course, this can include entertaining, but the family room’s is more like the football-games-and-nachos kind of entertaining.) Family rooms literally come in all shapes and sizes, with different needs as priorities for that specific family. Here are a few ideas of how to decorate a family room to meet the unique needs of your home and family.

Decorating the family room easyView in gallery

Simple family room designView in gallery

How to Decorate a Basement Family Room

Some basement family rooms have windows, and some do not. In either case, though, natural light is at a premium, so your decoration has to take that into account if you’re going to create an enjoyable gathering space.

Grey family room couchView in gallery

For starters, you’ll probably want to choose a light neutral color for walls and floor (and ceiling, while we’re at it), just to make the space feel like it’s well-lit. Unless the prime function of your basement family room is watching movies or TV, in which case you can look to deeper tones. A comfortable and clean-lined sofa helps to create an inviting aura in the room as well.

How to Decorate Family Room with kids in mindView in gallery

If you’re lucky enough to have decent windows in your basement family room, consider leaving them bare, or at least open most of the time to allow maximum light penetration. A few stuffed animals in the windowsill (especially if young children or grandchildren will be enjoying the family room) provides a softening touch without blocking the light.

Ledge on wall to store books for grandchildrenView in gallery

Speaking of children or grandchildren, you can easily make use of a wall by installing floating picture ledge shelves and using them as zero-footprint bookshelves. When filled, this can also double as “wall art,” which simplifies your family room decoration requirements significantly.

Colorful Vitra Wall ClockView in gallery

Simple, graphic details keep the family room feeling youthful without looking cluttered, messy, and/or juvenile.

Famiry need decoration tipsView in gallery

Use furniture to create zones in the family room, particularly if it’s a longer room. Behind this sofa, for example, is the reading area; in front of it is the TV/conversation area.

Victor Hunt Family RoomView in gallery

How to Decorate a Modern Family Room

When you consider the purpose of a family room – to relax and enjoy being together doing whatever it is you enjoy doing together – it will guide you in your design and decoration of the room itself. While many people believe an undecorated “rec room” space is the answer, I submit that there’s a balance between the functional and the well-styled that should be struck for maximum enjoyment in the space.

Large floor lamp for family roomView in gallery

Creating an accent wall, or even accenting just a section of wall, creates instant visual appeal without adding anything physically to the family room. This is a great way to introduce a vibrant color or modern color block effect and can be particularly useful in a basement family room, where natural light may be limited.

Quality leather furniture for family roomView in gallery

Leather furniture not only looks great in the family room, but it’s one of the best-wearing upholstery mediums out there as well. Everyone loves furniture that wears well, particularly in the family room where it’ll see plenty of traffic.

Working with multicolored furnitureView in gallery

The use of a multi-colored, textured, and/or patterned rug in the family room is a good idea because of the potential for spills or messes or whatever else. Where a light colored or solid rug seems to show everything, a pattern on the floor is much more forgivable for real-life living.

Decorating the family room cornerView in gallery

How to Decorate a Family Room Corner

Some homes don’t have an entire room to designate as the family room, but the family living there wants to fake it. That’s the case with this family room area, and the result is a perfectly lovely little “hang out” corner for the family.

Built-in shelving startsView in gallery

Built-in shelving starts out the family room corner with plenty of white space and fun. Toys, games, books, and TV, and more are spaced widely throughout the built-ins, making them easily accessible and aesthetically pleasing at the same time.

Family room storing toysView in gallery

Storing toys and fun stuff in this way also makes for an easier cleanup, as the children can see precisely where things go. Make sure there’s more shelf space than there are items, though, to maintain that critical white space for open shelving.

Small couch family roomView in gallery

I think the perfect place for a plaid couch is the family room. I love the cheery yellow modern pillow to give it more of a cool-funky vibe. And an oversized canvas photo of your smiling, happy family is always in style.

How to Decorate a Home Office-Family Room ComboView in gallery

How to Decorate a Home Office-Family Room Combo

For the family who congregates mainly when doing homework, computer stuff, paying bills, reading, or whatever else one does in a traditional home office setting, you may as well combine your home office and family room into one functional – and absolutely gorgeous – space.

Built-in shelving and cupboardsView in gallery

Built-in shelving and cupboards give easy storage and organizational options to the space. This is useful when you want all those office-type gadgets and supplies handy but not necessarily out and visible.

Chandelier sophistication to any family room’s décorView in gallery

Lend presence and sophistication to any family room’s décor by incorporating glamorous lighting fixtures. This glass chandelier, for example, makes the family room feel elegant and special, which is a nice balance to the rest of the functionality-considered design.

Built-in double desks emphasizeView in gallery

Built-in double desks emphasize the home office aspect of this family room, and they also simplify the aesthetic because they’re one piece of furniture, designed and painted the same as everything else. This is a pretty amazing non-traditional (but modern-day apropos) family room.

Glass-paned French doorsView in gallery

Glass-paned French doors have a number of benefits in this case: (1) they break up and brighten the hall’s expanse, (2) they let everyone see what’s going on in the family room, (3) they provide transparency while providing privacy and quiet, which can be an important need for a family room study party, and (4) they look fantastic.

How to Decorating a Tiny Family RoomView in gallery

How to Decorating a Tiny Family Room

While many of us think of huge rec-type rooms for the family room, this isn’t always the case. The small family room definitely exists and can be a challenge to decorate.

How to Decorate Family Room TipsView in gallery

Some families choose to incorporate a sense of family thoroughly into their family room space. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including multiple photos + frames. Keep the frames similar in size, color, and style if you choose to go this route to simplify the vignette.

Small couch for family roomView in gallery

When the floor plan allows it, choose your largest piece of furniture to face the room’s focal feature. In a family room, this could be the TV, a fireplace, a window, or even a ping pong table (although the latter is probably not involved in this discussion on tiny family rooms). Whatever your focal point is, position furniture to allow the greatest number of people to see and appreciate it as possible.

How to Decorate Family Room - Small AccessoriesView in gallery

A tiny room’s corner can often be softened a bit with something branchy and taller. This works because the silhouette is slim enough to match the proportions of the rest of the small family room, and the height adds some much-needed dimension to expand the space vertically.

Framed pictures above the sofaView in gallery

If you want family room visitors to stop and stay awhile, it’s a strategic (and stylish) move to include a few comfortable throw pillows and/or blankets within view and easy reach.

Decorate the family room with pillowsView in gallery

Throw pillows can usually be a key player in setting the color palette of a space, particularly in a small room where other components are likely to be neutral.