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Tips for decorating a family-friendly room

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A family room should be fun, comfortable, and, above all else, functional. Whether you plan on using this room as an entertainment area or a place to relax, the most important aspects of a family-friendly room should be based on three elements - Entertainment. Comfort. Storage options.

Entertainment

At the end of a long day, we want to sit back and relax with the family. For you, this may entail watching a movie, playing a board game, or bundling up with a good book. Keep the essentials on hand, but out of sight, by storing DVDs, books, and board games in low-sitting chests or wicker baskets. This way, kids can reach the things they want and need, but the room is kept nice and neat.

If the adults enjoy watching television, but the kids would prefer to color or draw, try sectioning off a small space behind the sofa with a room divider. Equip the children with a small table and chairs, and keep all their favorite art supplies in organized bins. Now, everyone can be together in the same room, but have their own individual space. Remember to place a protective floor mat beneath the kids' table to protect the carpeting from pen marks.

Comfort

Fabrics help add color, texture, and pattern to any space. In a functional family room, you want the fabrics you choose to be as comfortable as they are durable. After all, it only takes one spilled drink to ruin a sofa. In homes with small children, your best line of defense is to cover the sofa with a durable slipcover that can be easily laundered at home. Use throw pillows in varying sizes and prints, and fluffy oversized blankets to bring in softness and comfort.

Storage

Shelving, containers, bins, and double-duty furniture are great ways to keep things organized in a functional family room. Wall hooks can be hung at kid-level to hold jackets or book bags, while pretty baskets can store gloves, scarves, and other small necessities. Save space by combining seating with storage by using lidded ottomans, benches with hidden seating, and other smart double-duty furniture to store objects out of sight.

Accessories

The family room is, after all, a room for the family, so this is THE place to showcase vacation photos, school pictures, children's drawings, personal mementos, collectibles, certificates, and other achievements. Select one wall in the room, preferably a space above a sofa or other low-sitting furniture, and turn it into a focal point. Strategically arrange a group of your favorite personal objects into an eye-catching setting. This will not only make a great wall display, but it will prevent the items from becoming damaged, as well.

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