“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.” -Albert Einstein
The family room. The name alone conjures up memories of a warm, welcoming space to hang out with those you love most. A family room should be cozy and comfortable, but most of all, casual. Save the formal furniture for the living room. You should love your family room as much as your favorite pair of jeans, and it should fit you equally as well.
Achieving this level of accidental intention is easier when you see what others have done. Let our favorite family room ideas serve as a springboard to design your family’s favorite space.
1. Modern Family Room Ideas
Modern style can be the primary focus of your living room idea, or you may prefer to accent the room with modern design touches. For example, set a minimalist black floor lamp next to a traditional style sofa and buy ceiling light fixtures that match the lamp’s lines. Paint a coffee table or end tables with metallic gold or copper paint.
Mid-century modern furniture with its low profile and simple design works well in a modern family room or living room space. Make sure your dining room, kitchen, or other rooms visible from the family room continue visually with modern style. A gallery wall that runs between rooms is a great place to mix modern art with framed family photos.
2. Grey Family Room Ideas
The most popular neutral tones today fall somewhere on the grey spectrum. The definition of “grey” varies by the eye of the beholder, with warm tones of brownish-grey on one end of the scale and nearly-blue cool grey at the other. Any shade can make a beautiful paint color for your family room. Grey’s neutrality is a welcoming blank canvas for your furniture and decor to stand out against.
Grey goes with anything—from bright colors to pastel shades. Grey is an excellent transitional color between black and white décor, and it also pairs well with natural, rustic materials. Consider a monochromatic grey living room idea, where the sofa, coffee table, rug, toss pillows, and extra seating are all different values of grey. If your family room has a high ceiling, painting it in a dark grey can lower it visually for a cozier feeling.
3. Traditional Family Room Ideas
Traditional family rooms use formal living room features to create a more casual retreat. Even so, it’s possible to convey a traditional design style while maintaining a comfortable family feeling. A leather sofa with a pillow tufted back invites traditional warmth but is also a durable, comfortable place to relax. Earthy tones capture that traditional design style and merge well with your favorite colors.
Exposed ceiling beams add a rustic warmth to a traditional family room. You can hire someone to install faux ceiling beams if your home lacks this feature. If your DIY skills are advanced, it may be a project you can attempt yourself. This video will provide an idea of what’s involved:
4. Small Family Room Ideas
A family room doesn’t have to be huge to be functional. In fact, a small family-centric living room offers a sense of warmth and coziness not found in a larger room. As long as your family room is big enough for comfy seating, a plush rug, and a few pieces of other furniture, your family will flock to it.
Choose pops of bright color, such as red, yellow, or orange, to spice up a small living room. A large window can make a small family room feel more spacious. If your family room lacks one, consider widening an existing window to let in more natural light. Or, strategically place mirrors around the room to reflect existing light and create the illusion of more space.
5. Contemporary Family Room Ideas
While contemporary design’s shiny metals and sleek lines speak more to formality, a contemporary family room can be as comfortable as any other interior design style. Contemporary family room decor may include a low-profile sectional sofa, a chrome and glass coffee table, and a wall full of thoughtfully styled shelves. Keep most walls blank, except for one piece of modern art in bright colors.
Black and white decor also conveys a contemporary family room design. Try white walls and white upholstered furniture arranged around a black lacquer cocktail table. Anchor the room with a lush black-and-white patterned rug. Check IKEA and similar stores for Scandinavian style furniture that pairs well with contemporary decorating ideas.
6. Sectional Family Room Ideas
The sectional sofa is all about maximum living room seating. It works well in a family room because it allows many people to gather around the fireplace or TV in a cozy “L” or “U” shape. A sectional is great in a TV room where many people may want to stretch out comfortably and watch a movie.
You can purchase some sectional sofa sets with a coordinating, large upholstered ottoman in the middle. Not only does this provide extra seating, but you can also use it as a footrest for people lounging on the sectional. This type of sofa is ideal if you want a simple living room or family room style. Because it takes up a large amount of floor space, you don’t have to worry about choosing other types of furniture to fill the room.
7. Transitional Family Room Ideas
Transitional family room or living room style combines features of traditional and contemporary décor. The furniture, fabrics, and materials represent timeless favorites instead of fads or trends. This type of family room will feel classic and clean, a marriage between simplicity and sophistication.
A transitional color palette is mostly one of neutral shades, such as ivory, taupe, chocolate brown, and grey. A leather or microfiber sofa draped with a chenille throw and accented with corduroy toss pillows is invitingly comfortable. Keep accessories to a minimum in a transitional room. This doesn’t mean embracing minimalism, but make sure to choose each item intentionally.
8. White Family Room Ideas
White walls, white furniture, and white floors will never go out of style. While too much white can feel clinical or cold, pairing white with warm woods and natural materials makes for a welcoming family room. White built-in bookcases around your TV or fireplace expand your storage options while adding a clean elegance to the room.
Farmhouse design relies on natural materials set against a white background. Make white more interesting by using it in highly textured forms. Think of a white shiplap accent wall, shaggy faux fur pillows, or glossy white marble tabletops. Chunky finger knit blankets are easy to make and add a comfy sweater texture to your white family room:
9. Fireplace Family Room Ideas
Few features say “family room” better than a fireplace. If you can include a fireplace in your family room ideas, it’s always wise to do so. Even in warmer climates, a fire adds wintertime ambiance that you cannot replicate any other way. Whether a brick fireplace, stone fireplace, or a contemporary gas fire panel, make it a focal point in your family living area.
Flank your fireplace with bookshelves stacked with plenty of books. A library invites family members to curl up for a long read. Even if your family members aren’t big readers, antique books add traditional style to your family’s great room. A modern living room fireplace might not need a mantel, but most traditional or farmhouse-style spaces require one.
10. Basement Family Room Ideas
A family room may be the primary living space in your house, or it may occupy a totally different zone. The basement is often a perfect place to create a secondary living space. A basement family room may even be bigger than your upstairs living room, providing lots of room for different activities.
While natural light may be scarce—or even nonexistent—in the basement, you can still achieve a welcoming space with clever use of lighting. In addition, the colors you use in a basement family room should be pale to reflect all available light. Large mirrors can also double the amount of light you see, which is particularly welcoming while they’re reflecting candles and warm lamps at night.
11. Comfortable Family Room Ideas
A family room should be comfortable, above all. While every person’s definition of “comfortable” will vary somewhat, certain elements help guarantee a sense of comfort. Warm-toned colors invite coziness, while touches of nature promote relaxation. Green wreaths, potted plants, and succulents add life and blur the boundaries between indoors and out.
Use a variety of textures in your rugs, furniture, baskets, blankets, and accessories. Wood, stone, wicker, jute, and soft cotton fabrics keep the space natural and inviting. Add a pile of plush throw pillows to your sofas and anchor the room with a fluffy area rug. Keep in mind that distressed and imperfect finishes provide a more comfortable vibe than items in pristine condition.
Family Room FAQs
What is a family room?
A family room is the laid-back alternative to a formal living room. It’s a casual, all-purpose gathering spot for family and friends to spend time together. Ideally, a family room will be a comfortable place to read, watch TV, converse with friends, and simply relax.
What is the best color for a family room?
The family room color you choose should reflect your personal preferences as well as complement your flooring, furniture, and other decor. Grey is a neutral color that can warm up or cool down the room, depending on the hue. Green provides a feeling of harmony and balance, while blue casts a sense of calm. Beige and white are always acceptable, especially with farmhouse or bohemian design.
How do I make my family room cozy?
Warm colors, natural wood and stone, and lush textiles all add warmth to your family room. Rustic or traditional design tends to feel cozier than minimalist or contemporary decor. Cluster furniture into intimate seating groups and be sure to include a soft area rug and plenty of warm lighting fixtures.