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Making the Most of a Long, Narrow Family Room

Sometimes challenging spaces force us to push and pull and stretch our creativity, as designers. When a family room needs to seat a crowd and be multi-purpose, we had to sharpen our (drafting) pencils a bit and think about the space differently. A standard sofa and pair of chairs just wasn't going to cut it. 

How do we know they wouldn't make this space the room of the client's dreams? Well in this case, I WAS the client, and when we moved into this home, that is exactly the furniture that traveled with us from a previous home. And, let's be honest, very rarely is a sofa and pair of chairs going to make a space feel custom-suited for you and your family's long-term needs. On a good day, those pieces will seat four people comfortably, at the maximum. When does a family room seating capacity need to top out at four people? Well, in my decades of experience as a designer....never. 

So, once we determined that the sofa and chairs wouldn't work, we got busy thinking about what WOULD work. Typically, in a family room we would place the largest piece of furniture on the largest wall. In this room, that happened to be a wall of windows. but the same concept still applied.

In this space, an asymmetrical sectional was going to offer the most seating (and lounging) while still keeping the traffic pattern open to the adjacent den. Since my family all likes to sprawl (including our 80 pound Golden Retriever) while watching television, the sectional was absolutely the way to go. This space is our "everything" room. We have movie marathons, do puzzles, impromptu pizza parties, play games and work on projects in this space, so we needed lots of surfaces. 

 

 

A generous, distressed, wood-topped coffee table is perfect as it is durable and would mask scratches from tumbling Jenga blocks or Lego creations. This table is perfectly placed across from the television. Our television is built into the custom bookshelves and offers the perfect vantage point for all of our dinner- time movie marathons. The TVs placement allows for the entertainment to seamlessly blend into the wall while also housing some of our home’s most valuable written treasures and mementos.

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Along with the wood-topped coffee table, an end table and a console table are incorporated at the end of and behind some of the seating spaces. Everyone can use the extra space to for magazines, books, drinks, snacks, remotes and more! The last thing you want is to feel like you have to precariously balance your mug of hot chocolate because there isn’t a nearby surface. That doesn’t exactly create an atmosphere of relaxation. 

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Now we realize that with two kids and a golden retriever, even with a generous sectional sofa we would definitely need more seating in this space. This becomes even more challenging when we have family and friends pop in. Luckily, we have room for two, angled arm chairs with a gorgeous orange leather ottoman in between, for putting your feet up by the fire, or extra seating. This cozy seating arrangement is the perfect place to “exhale” your day away. 

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An angled wing chair is tucked near the sideboard storage piece, and faces the pair of lounge chairs, as well as the television. This works well for a group of any size as all of the seating faces one another in a way that encourages conversation, and takes the focus off of the television. The storage cabinet houses games and puzzles. To add softness, custom drapery panels give the space that final splash of color and texture. 

This room was fully customized to fit our particular family’s needs. My daughter loves to curl up in the corner of the sofa (also known as the “nest”) with a good book. My son enjoys sprawling out with his feet on the coffee table and one hand on the dog at all times. I love to rest my head on the winged chair and do some work while watching a mystery crime show. Everyone in our family relaxes and socializes in different ways and this space allows for each of our needs to be fulfilled within this particular space. All the while, incorporating design elements that make the space cozy, and our very favorite space in the house.

Want to know more about what we can do to customize your living space for your family’s needs? Schedule a consultation with our interior design team today!

  • edye

    January 23, 2022 | 09:45 AM

    I want your family room…


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