Family Rooms – Entertaining Possibilities

How you create a family room that encourages entertaining, interaction and conversation?   Tired of your family just staring at the television set without speaking to each other?  Try any or all of these easy tips when redecorating your family room or just rearranging furniture: 

  • Create or define a focal point and use it to create a seating grouping.  Nine times out of ten in a family room your focal point ends up being the television or entertainment center.
  • Group chairs and sofa so that traffic goes around, and not through, the arrangement.  You’ll need at least two feet for a person to pass comfortably between furniture.
  • Don’t put one lonely little chair by itself unless it’s for extra seating for someone to pull up and join the group.  Don’t give anyone the opportunity to be a loner, pick up the chair when it’s needed and bring it into the seating grouping.
  • Keep chairs close enough to encourage conversation, but not so close that people ‘invade’ each other’s space.  Notice how that three-seater couch becomes a two seater when entertaining, unless someone offers to ‘squish’ in there.  Keep this situation in mind when arranging furniture – that little loveseat may not end up holding two people.
  • Make sure every seat has a place within reach to set their drink.  Not only is this just good etiquette, but it can help you determine how many or how large your accent or coffee tables needs to be.
  • Conversation groupings can be defined by an area rug, but don’t crowd them together – a good rule of thumb is about 8-10 feet for a grouping, which, as luck would have it, is the size of a large area rug – which is perfect for defining a conversation grouping.
  • Don’t line your furniture against the walls.  Use L shaped or U shaped groupings of seating.  Angle furniture if you don’t have the space to create groupings.
  • Consider lighting when arranging the furniture in your family room.  Are you going to be reading on the couch – have task lighting, a floor lamp perhaps, so you have adequate lighting – on the other hand, be prepared to the change the task lighting to accent or ambient lighting when entertaining.  Three way bulbs can handle that task, as can dimmer switches.

You’d be surprised how arranging your furniture in the family room will end up making your room warm and inviting and encourage ‘audience participation’ rather than just staring at the television set.