Rejoice with your FAMILY in the beautiful land of life. ~ Albert Einstein
Today I write this week’s blog and the topic is about the main room in the house for the family to gather in. It is finally Spring. It is the season of renewal, of rebirth and of HOPE.
A FAMILY room is a space in the home where we gather to share time together. It is the center, the main space, the gathering room. It can offer us many things to do in it – from reading to watching television, to chatting and even sometimes it is blurred with the kitchen and dining as our homes are now often being design as an open-plan space where we are all meant to live in harmony and peace together.
The definition in the Cambridge dictionary for “family” is a group of people that are related to each other, especially parents and children. The Oxford dictionary expands to include those connected through marriage but somehow these formal definitions never fully satisfied me as I have always felt my ‘family’ expanded to include those that were not blood-related but were connected to my soul. I am lucky. I have had a very wonderful and large ‘soul-family’, that was much larger than just my immediate family.
Friends leave memories in your heart and footprints in your soul.
Why is this important to know? Well, I think it is because our homes are the spaces we often share with our “family” – whatever our definition of this may be. And in the home, there is often a room we call the FAMILY room. The room where we are meant to gather and share time with our family. Such an important space for sure.
What do you do consider to be your FAMILY ROOM in your home?
Sometimes it can be the kitchen – as the main space where your family gathers and meets. Though for the purposes of this blog, I will share with you my thoughts and design ideas for how to make the traditional FAMILY room into a lovely and loving space to share with those you consider family, whether by blood, marriage or simply by your heart.
CREATE A VISION
Define what you want the MAIN activity to be in it.
Do you want your family to talk more, to gather more for sharing time? Then you can do this by creating a comfortable, and welcoming space that everyone is happy in. A space designed for casual, spontaneous conversations to take place. A place where the TV is not the only thing to do. We can help you create your vision. Click here if you want help.START your design NOW
I think that the art of conversation needs to be brought back. The room can have many purposes but one of the main ones ought to be a place where a group of people can easily get together and have a chat. Talking with those important to us is essential to a happy and healthy life.
Chairs, sofas, pillows, loungers – a variety of different places to sit for everyone to find what they find comfortable.
Facing each other is also key. I often go into spaces to see all the furniture facing in one direction – towards the TV often. This is a mistake as when we are wishing to talk to someone we need to be facing them, and have easy access to looking at them without cranking our necks into uncomfortable positions.
We can custom design your comfy furniture too. Check out our designs here: Home Designs by Lee
MULTIPLE FOCAL POINTS
It is OKAY to have multiple focal points in a room. This may seem like a design mistake but in fact, in today’s world, I find it fits in just fine. We have a lot of different things pulling our attention and we need to adapt to this. Especially with our kids. The different generations have always had a different view on things that are important and today is no different, though there is talk in the psychological sphere that the gap between the millennials and the rest of us is wider than ever before due to technology. Well, whether wide or small, the gap is there so we need to address it one way or another.
It used to be that a formal living room had a fireplace as a main focal point, then the invention of the family room was created to allow for the television to be the focal point. Then there were sitting rooms where the conversation cluster was the focal point.
I now argue that we need these – in ONE ROOM and make it work. This is the new, modern FAMILY ROOM. Though I am not a fan of the fireplace/TV combo for a variety of reasons (heights are often incorrect, heat is a problem, etc), it sometimes can be made to work as I did in this space.
A room where we can watch TV together, or alone, or not at all. A room where we can talk together or sit and read a book, together or alone. A room where we can sit and stare at a beautiful view or the fireplace or each other, or not.
To me, the purpose of the “family room” is to be a safe space where we can gather with those we are closest to and live our lives.
Having recently lost some of my non-blood family, I will often ponder the importance of the time we shared together. It is in these spaces, that will occupy most of our hearts. Our spaces need to support the things that mean the most to us.
Everyone finds something different comfortable. Some people like to curl up on a sofa with their legs tucked in underneath them. Others like to sit upright and have a straight back and lots of support. Others like to lay down, sit on the floor, sprawl on the furniture in ways that I am certain the designers never envisioned. The use of technology with iPads, tablets, mobile devices have all changed the way we lounge.
A perfect family room allows for a wide variety of furniture to accommodate everyone’s unique needs.
I think that the key is VARIETY. Allowing for different moods, styles and moments to all take place in the same room is a great solution. Also, have items for flexibility in the space such as pillows, throw blankets and ottomans. This allows everyone the ability to create their own comfort zone.
A family room is a space that is to pull in and attract the people in the home to want to be in the space. Having ART in a space is a way of bringing in INSPIRATION and creativity. It allows our minds, hearts, and thoughts to wander, to contemplate and to be touched.
It can be as simple as the artwork by someone in the family itself, as I have often recommended and helped design for my client’s home. Framed finger paintings of the children. Clusters of the long-deceased Grandmothers oil paintings. This links us with family and brings us closer.
I also do not get caught up in the definition of what ART is. Photos to me can be considered art and I love to help my clients determine what is best to have in their family rooms.
Sometimes I must help my clients to REMOVE some artwork, or photos because they have collected so much of it that it has become cluttered and uninspired. Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing but becomes a bad thing.
If we over clutter our senses we cannot enjoy the stuff that is left behind.
Need help to declutter your space? This is a GREAT book – the original- that can help you start NOW. Declutter Your Space NOW
I never think there is such as think as negative clutter, but there is a real problem with people having too much stuff. We live in a world where we just have too much stuff. I know it is ironic as a designer to say that I do not think that stuff is that important, but there you go. I do not think stuff is that important. It is the space that allows us to love each other, to share our time and life together that is important. The space is just the setting in which this takes place. And given that I feel our spaces are an outward reflection of our inner selves, I am always keen to help my clients to have this be the best version of themselves. START your design NOW
Love your space. Love your family. Love yourself. Make the space you spend time in a reflection of your best self. Do not waste time on the small stuff. Make your space comfortable to share time, our most precious gift.
If you need help with any of these steps, I am here. Reach out.