We’re still several projects away from being ‘finished’ with our family room, but picking out a few key pieces of furniture helped this room move leaps and bounds towards becoming an ‘after.’
One of the things I loved right off the bat about our house was the open layout downstairs. We looked at other homes that were built around the same time (late 80s, early 90s), and the layouts were much more ‘compartmentalized’ — the living room, kitchen, and dining area were all boxed off separately, giving a dated vibe that couldn’t be remedied with a simple coat of paint or new decor.
In comparison, our home is completely open — the family room, breakfast nook and kitchen are basically one big room, very similar the open concepts we liked so much in contemporary design and new construction.
This layout is what made our home so versatile and easy to update.
That said, there was a downside…
Despite the great flow and open layout, our family room is actually quite small… so when it came to picking out furniture, we faced the challenge of picking pieces that optimized the space without making the room feel cramped or closed off from the kitchen.
The biggest ‘make it or break it’ was finding the right sofa.
We decided to go with the Livingston 2-piece from Furniture Row. It offered maximum ass accommodation, while taking up the least amount of space in our room.
We really lucked out with this guy: the grey fabric covering is durable yet soft, it compliments our room perfectly, and it’s crazy comfy for snuggly movie nights.
I was worried that going with a sectional that had a traditional sofa shape instead of a chaise would make the family room feel ‘walled off’ from the kitchen. While it does create a visual division, I think it’s actually a positive: it makes the family room feel ‘contained,’ while still being part of the open layout.
The size of our sectional was a bit limiting when it came to choosing a coffee table. Because both sides were the same length, we were left with a tight square space in the center. A rectangular coffee table just wouldn’t have fit, so we set our sights on square and circle designs.
One that really caught my eye was this silver hammered metal barrel table from Target’s Threshold brand. Besides being a perfect fit for the space, I thought the metallic finish would be a great way to tie in the nickel finishes from our kitchen. Unfortunately it was out of stock, and despite obsessively refreshing the Target website for weeks, it was still unavailable. So I decided to set my sights elsewhere.
I ended up killing two birds with one stone when I headed to Ikea to pick up a rug. Not only did I find the awesomely fringy off-white Gåser rug…
…I also scored big when I found the Vittsjö coffee table for an absolute steal ($49!).
While it wasn’t my first choice, it ended up being a better choice for our room. Maybe there’s some sort of interior design science at play here, because I think the glass top gives the illusion that the table takes up less space and helps makes the area between the sectional feel more open and less cramped.
Bonus: the table’s bottom tier makes is a great place to store coffee table books and gadgets, while keeping the actual table top uncluttered.
(Ok, maybe some books deserve table top placement!)
While our TV setup was totally R’s territory (my TV concerns start and end with the stockpile of Lifetime movies and Bachelor episodes I hoard on our DVR), I did have some pretty strong feelings about the media cabinet or TV stand that would house everything.
Most importantly, I wanted something that looked substantial underneath the TV. We eventually plan to wall-mount our TV and run the cables through the wall (is there anything worse than a clusterfuck of cables wadded behind a media stand?!) but I wanted the cabinet to be wide and tall… not low to the ground, like so many of the stands we came across while shopping.
After a bit of shopping around, we found this super rustic wooden piece at Home Goods. I’m not sure if I would have picked it from a website line-up, but when I saw it in person, there was something so charming and quirky about it. I thought it would be a great compliment for some of the more rustic / farm house-y elements we had chosen elsewhere (like our light fixtures).
Once the TV is mounted on the wall, the top of this cabinet will be a fun surface to decorate (candles? books? random chachkies?)
As the room evolves, so does the decor. Prints are moved and replaced. At the moment, I’ve got these East End Boys and West End Girls prints I made over the mantle.
Another recent addition is the mini gallery wall I put together over the weekend…
I found these awesome black metal baskets in the Target dollar section and have been looking for the right job to put them to use. In the meantime I decided to use them for holding games and dog toys.
The space is still a work in progress, but with a few great pieces of furniture in our family room, our house is finally starting to feel like a home!
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