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Family Room Sense & Sensibility

It's the time of year when we retreat indoors and spend evenings enjoying hearty meals, soft sweaters, warm blankets and casual evenings watching movies with the family. We often hear the kitchen is the heart of the home, but more and more the family room has become a natural extension of the kitchen, though its importance is often overlooked.

I am pleased to share some of my secret model home tips to help you enjoy the full potential of your family room:

Tailored Fit

A sense of scale is one of the most challenging and coveted skills for any designer to master. Many of us have made a furniture purchase only to find that while it looked great in the showroom, it looks substantially smaller or larger in our home. Try using painter's tape to outline the dimensions of your furniture pieces on the floor. This will let you easily see how well it will fit your space. This trick could save you thousands of dollars and guarantees that you will furnish your room like a designer.

Quiet Comfort

Many of us invest in richly stained hardwood floors in our family rooms. While hardwood floors are durable and elegant, they do not offer sound insulation. By adding a soft wool area rug, a visually defined gathering area is created that not only looks appealing but acts as a sound insulator.

A room with an echo reminds our subconscious of commercial passageways. The walls of your family room should envelop you. Window treatments offer the same comforting effect.

Aspiring Atmosphere

A family room should be a refuge from the daily grind. Think about how you want to feel in your room. If a calming atmosphere is your goal then choose a monochromatic colour pallet and layer soft fabrics like chenille. If you want to feel energized, opt for neutrals with pops of your favourite uplifting colours and sleeker textures like leather. If you don't know how you want a space to look, sometimes knowing how you want a space to make you feel will help guide your senses.