A Livable Living Room
Loads of texture, oversized seating, and a warm fireplace create kick-up-your-feet comfort in this cozy family room. Although it is in a new home, the room has loads of character thanks to the built-in shelves, thick moldings, and a patterned fireplace surround.
- Small ottomans can be moved around as needed for seating or footstools.
- Leaning art against the wall above the fireplace keeps the display casual.
- Use a miter box to cut molding strips that add classic detailing to walls.
- Tramp art boxes on the mantel and coffee table provide shots of bold color.
At the Movies
Watching movies in this cozy media room is a sit-back-and-relax treat. With little natural light, the small room feels like a movie theater. The 50-inch plasma TV is integrated into a wall, which has a hollow "sleeve" for fans that carry away heat generated by the screen.
- A limestone-face fireplace adds to the room's warmth.
- This contemporary space benefits from a jolt of orange on the wall.
- An overstuffed leather sofa is a natural choice for a laid-back media room.
- A Greek-key rug brings lively rhythm to the room.
Balancing Act Family Room
White-oak trim serves as a neutralizer throughout this modern family room. The neutral background is punched up with bold color, including bolts of red, purple, and yellow. Wool sisal carpet and natural linen draperies temper the colorful scene.
- Shelves in the built-ins are framed for a finished look.
- Accessories are edited to a bare minimum. Too much bric-a-brac crowds a space.
- Funky, blown-glass fruits in bold colors are unique artwork on the coffee table.
- Tuffets upholstered in a concentric fabric are a soft and feminine addition to the clean-lined space.
Bold Impression Family Room
A stepped arrangement reduces the mass of the cabinetry in this family room, and the two-tone stain treatment adds visual interest. The neutral walls and cabinets are accented by pretty plum chairs and a splashy area rug.
- Track lighting above the custom cabinetry illuminates the artwork as well as the hidden TV.
- Light maple cabinetry and floors are trademarks of modern design.
- Tone-on-tone stripes on the window treatment mimic the colors on the cabinets and walls.
- A curvy chair adds drama to a room with lots of straight lines.
Classic Seating Area
- Recessed lighting illuminates the perimeter of the room, enlarging the look.
- Creamy neutrals cover nearly every surface in this space.
- Chairs on casters are easily rearranged for entertaining.
- Accents of black and small touch of red contrast with the pale tones.
A formerly dark and dull basement got a bold makeover, giving it a vibrant, retro look. Most of the walls are painted a cheery yellow-green. Pegboard painted a metallic aluminum color gives another wall prominence as a focal-point media center. Modern, low-slug furnishings help make the short space feel taller.
- Durable faux-suede upholstery is a smart choice for a family room.
- Don't fight a low ceiling. Accent it with bold swoops of colorful paint applied freehand.
- Small metal baskets are hooked onto the pegboard for CD and DVD storage.
- A metal screen, wire, and washers create a casual treatment for the window above the TV.
An organized craft closet can bring order to your busy life. Filled with cards and wrapping paper, decorating materials, and craft supplies, this standard closet features organizational bins, baskets, "in" and "out" folders, and bulletin boards. The formerly bland closet is now an eye-popping shade of green.
- Keep like objects together. Here, metal bins keep pencils and paintbrushes at hand.
- Strategic stitching and a few grommets turned kitchen towels into pocket organizers.
- Tuck an upholstered stool in the closet for comfy seating while crafting.
- Use self-laminating luggage tags to label everything.
Custom Built Family Room
Oatmeal paint on the walls is just enough color to make the bright white trim pop. A custom-built entertainment center offers extra storage. Symmetrical windows in the south wall provide light without compromising privacy.
- Leaning framed prints with large mats against the wall is a casual, modern touch.
- A low-slung coffee table is the right height (and the right worn materials) for kicking up feet.
- A tin bucket, slipcovered sofa, and wood-and-metal coffee table are rustic additions to this contemporary space.
- Colorful branches of berries are a long-lasting alternative to flowers.
Functional Family Room
Clean lines with warm hues make this family room casual and livable, not stiff. Neutral furnishings accented with a touch color keep the look relaxed. Built-in shelves add storage space. Mounting the TV above the fireplace is a streamlined alternative to a media cabinet.
- Spreading an accent color throughout a room keeps the eye moving.
- The crisp folds and tailored lines of Roman shades offer a clean look.
- Red Roman shades trimmed with a taupe border splash color at the windows.
- A leather ottoman serves as a kick-up-your-feet coffee table.
Hitting a High Note
A pale green bookcase anchors one end of a new room addition, serving as an architectural focal point and putting the television within viewing range of the family room, kitchen, and dining room.
- A vaulted ceiling adds to the perception of more space in a small room.
- White, beige, and green complement the home's style and size.
- Ample storage was built in behind cabinet doors.
- The sofa is centered in front of the television, making it a focal point.
This casual living room is all about comfort. Loaded with big pillows, the soft sectional sofa is big enough for an entire family to sit and chat or play games. The low coffee table is the perfect spot for games or crafts.
- Matchstick blinds soften the windows.
- An animal-print footstool adds a touch of whimsy.
- The pillows feature a playful mix of stripe, floral, and other patterns.
- Light walls and well-chosen furnishings make the room feel larger.
Mod Squad Family Room
A bright color-block area rug, which grounds this spacious living room, served as a springboard for the room's bold color palette. Orange accents bring out the warmth of the wood floors while the blue chair-and-ottoman set serves as a vibrant focal point.
- Blue and orange are complementary colors, making them an ideal decorating duo.
- Gerber daises are big, sturdy flowers that come in a variety of punchy colors.
- White sofas fade into the wall, allowing the more colorful furniture to take center stage.
- Maple floors and ceiling panels keep the modern room from feeling too stark or cold.
Modern Media Room
Carving out space for a dedicated media room isn't always possible. In this busy living room, the best bet was to dedicate one wall to the TV and components. A space-saving flat screen hangs on the wall and a multipurpose shelving unit houses the DVD player.
- Nailhead trim is a traditional accent on the otherwise modern chairs.
- A large vase mimics the chairs' upholstery.
- Adding drawers to part of the shelving unit provides hidden storage.
- A glass-top coffee table is modern and feels less bulky.
Open-Ended Family Room
This family room's wall of windows, which soar to 18 feet high, directs the eye to the backyard, which borders on a golf course. On the fireplace wall, pilasters extend down to the mantle and a wide built-in bookcase, which creates a strong horizontal line that reduces the scale of the large room.
- A sisal area rug, wicker side tables, and flowering plants add layers of sumptuous texture.
- Simple valances on the French doors bring a touch of color and texture to the wall of glass.
- A white sofa is a visual relief from the room's darker wood furnishings.
- Bright red accents add a livable dose of color to the neutral color palette.
Large windows, paneling, and a coffered ceiling make this casual room seem like anything but a typical basement. Rainy summer days and long winter nights are great times to use the built-in home theater. Cabinetry surrounds a flat-screen TV and stores books, DVDs, and CDs.
- For a nature theme, the colors of leaves and wood define the decor.
- Nature's influence shows up in the lamp, candlesticks, and other accents.
- Cozy chairs with upholstered ottomans call for lounging.
- Crisp white paneling and accents bring light to the basement.
Quiet Comfort Family Room
At the back of this home's spacious family room is a cozy reading niche overlooking the porch. Dusty teal-hue walls, a neutral sisal rug, and an upholstered chair add to the calming effect. Clean-lined built-ins and a modern reading light are practical additions to the space.
- The dark-stained armchair and ottoman add warm contrast to the light floors and bookshelves.
- Keep a soft throw nearby for curling up with a good book on a cold day.
- The absence of window treatments ensures plenty of natural light for reading.
- Open shelving allows for a vast library while drawers and cabinets below offer out-of-sight storage.
An open room with a pristine white canvas, this small living room relies on furnishings and accessories to bring color to the space. A mosaic tile fireplace surround featuring sailboards and a lighthouse is the focal point in this whitewashed environment.
- A collection of white pottery makes a simple statement on the mantel.
- A bright red side table pulls color from the above-fireplace artwork.
- Keeping windows bare allows light to flood the space.
- A pair of gold sconces add lighting without taking up floor space.
Separate but Equal
An arched doorway into the front hall opens up this living room and creates views to the homeowner's collection of artwork, including a colorful painting in the hallway and a collection of Native American baskets displayed in the antique secretary.
- Soft sisal flooring makes it clear that this space is all about comfort.
- Patterned curtains pull together all the colors in the room.
- Antiques chosen out of love will always look great together.
- The variety of patterns work together because they all have touches of red.
In keeping with this home's carefree summer look, the living room's sectional sofa is slipcovered in pale blue cotton twill. Natural woven elements, such as simple Roman shades and a sea-grass rug, add seaside texture that complements the water-blue upholstery.
- Putting the ottoman on casters makes it more flexible.
- The sofa's slipcover can be removed for easy laundering.
- Two back-to-back bookshelves with wicker baskets add storage.
- Covering the chair in two shades of blue is unexpected fun.
Small Home, Big TV
Encasing a larger-than-life television in sleek custom cabinetry may be the best way to incorporate it into a living area. This asymmetrical unit was designed to include both open and closed shelving, as well as a light bar to illuminate treasured objects.
- No window treatments are required if the view outside is private.
- Matching upholstery and carpeting centers attention on the built-ins.
- Bamboo flooring is both attractive and an earth-friendly choice.
- A see-through coffee table takes up little visual space.
This rough-and-tumble lower-level family room gets its fresh style from industrial materials, exposed pipes, open ceiling rafters, and painted concrete floors. Corrugated metal panels overlap to create a focal-point wall while basic plywood, accented with oversize washers and screws, covers the other walls.
- Stamp burlap curtains with style by adding squares of paint along the hanging edge.
- Add painted squares to a quilted pillow using a metallic paint pen.
- Get this look at a home center by looking for storage gear, metal cans, and utility hooks.
- When painting floors, use a durable paint that's specifically formulated for concrete.