Family Proof a Family Room

Your family room takes about as much abuse as a room should ever have to take.  Decorating is but an afterthought when you’re considering an armored  tank and bulldozer for decorating and cleaning.   Try a few tricks of the trade when decorating a family room in spite of, or just to spite, kids and pets.

  • Use an outdoor fabric as upholstery – it’s no longer the stiff ugly deck chair pillow covering of days gone by, but softer, stylish, stain resistant and fade resistant. 
  • Keep furniture away from windows, it’s an accident waiting to happen.  Since furniture looks better angled and grouped in family rooms, it’s best to move it out and away from the walls anyway.
  • Secure furniture so it’s tip proof – bookcases and secretaries in particular can tumbling down if they’re top heavy. 
  • Flat panel televisions look so much better than the old bulky televisions – our last 36” television weighed 223 pounds and had the bulk to prove it.  Either mount the flat panel television on the wall or secure it so it will be tip proof.
  • Hardwood floors can usually withstand the kids, and area rugs can protect them, and your child, from those hard knocks from the toddler years.  Area rugs are also a budget friendly room makeover to update décor and tie in furnishings.
  • Protect carpeting with an area rug – use it to define a seating group or a focal point and guard the carpet at the same time. 
  • Choose paint in the highest sheen possible, semi-gloss if you can stand it – it’s more durable and wipes off easily.  Keep a Magic Eraser handy for crayon wall art.
  • Trade in that glass-topped coffee table for a nice plush ottoman to soften the room and the falls that toddlers can take.
  • Window treatments are necessary in any room of the house – but make sure the cords are up and out of reach.  Use a cleat to hold cords away from children and possible strangulation hazards.
  • Patterns work wonders for hiding dirt and wear – consider heavy patterns for upholstery and area rugs.
  • Take the time to declutter and reorganize accessories – out of harm’s way.  Groupings of three or five accessories look best than single objects scattered about.  Group them out of reach.
  • Storage, and lots of it, is needed for keeping a cap on clutter, have that new ottoman double as hidden storage.

Use common sense when decorating the family room – cottage style is an adorable look, but that white furniture and soft prints make it oh-so unfriendly in the family room.