Seeking Your Advice....On My Family Room. Again (Sigh)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My family room has been the bane of my existence since the day we moved in the house. I have changed it more than any other room, and have never been 100% happy with it.  Some rooms, like the kitchen, I have loved since day one and I never change anything. Or if I need to, like when I had to get a new rug, I got the same one I had before the dog destroyed it. But there is something about this family room.

I had wanted it to look like a lofty, airy, eclectic french room. And from some angles, it really does. But it turns out that was a bit ambitious and unrealistic for a family of four.  Or maybe more to the point, it is not functioning well for us. And after grilling my kids and husband repeatedly about why they don't seem to want to use it, I still haven't figured it out. (They're worthless with this stuff. The best answer was "I have no idea" and the worst was "Let's put four beds in here so we can watch tv and fall asleep in here!)

I can't and don't want to start over. There are so many awesome pieces in there that I spent a lot on, like the sofa, the redwood table, and the chandelier. And the tulip table and acrylic chairs. Not. Cheap.

So I am determined to work with what I have, and make it more comfortable and homey. The problem is, that goes directly against what the room was supposed to be. Don't get me wrong - I didn't set out to make it uncomfortable per se, but I did intend to make it elegant and lofty.

Here it is earlier today. Remember that the black paint over the tv is being painted white.  And I know, the tv absolutely wrecks the whole look of the room. But family first, so it's staying.


UPDATE: I changed the  layout since I took that photo above earlier today, but I wanted to keep it because I like how the table looks better without a flash. A lot of you told me already to change it from the one above. I did in fact switch it tonight.... but not to the way most of you said. The sofa cannot go facing the tv because it is way too big and obstructs the entrance. But here is how the layout will stay (the white chaise from the office was there temporarily but is back in the office now:


A lot of you said to add a lamp and tables, and voila, done! Just kidding - they were in there already but just not in the photo :)

But now, the way I see it is that the only way I can go from hereto finish it up is Bohemian, eclectic, mixed chic, artsty - whatever you want to call it.  There is a lot of overlap in furniture styles (think Anthropologie House & Home), so hopefully you can imagine what I mean.

The number one thing we need, yesterday, is a rug. So this is where I am torn. I could go colorful boho, or more restrained. 

Here are examples of very opposite ways I think I could go:

Colorful:

    
  

This last one is probably the best example of what I mean:


Here are the types of rugs I would be looking at:


vs.

Neutral with small pops of color:

Here I am envisioning a Ben Ourain type Moroccan rug:

          

And these are the rugs I mean:



These are terrible little mockups, but I do them anyway most of the time:

Option 1 - Colorful rug:


Option 2 - Neutral Rug:


So what do you all think? I think I already know what I want to do. Writing this post helped me a lot. But the one problem is that my husband doesn't agree. He'll let me do what I want, but if you guys all vote the way he did then I'm not so sure.

Would you choose the colorful rug or the neutral rug?
 
pollcode.com free polls

It's always hardest in your own home. The struggle is real.

And finally, a OKL clearance:



c
Anonymous said...

Hi Stacey, I think this is an amazing room.

As you've asked for advice I would swap over the cream chair and the table and chairs and add a neutral rug to pull it together. I would als hold back the curtains and add a lamp for coziness - job done xx

Paula

Anonymous said...

It's a stunning room but probably too "sophisticated" for your young family. It has the look of an elegant Parisian salon with chic adults holding cigarette holders and martinis! Your kids have told you that they want to put 4 beds in there to watch tv together so that's your clue, they want comfy and cozy and probably a little messy. Add a wonderful rug, pillows, lamps, and snuggley throws. Rosemary

The enchanted home said...

Think the tonal rug would work best...and think a few pillows to warm it up and add some cohesiveness to the room could be wonderful too, its a very sophisticated/glamorous feeling room and think you need to "cozy it up" a little. You are on the right track...and think the rug and a few pillows (maybe a throw could make a huge difference! Look forward to seeing what you pick.....

Anonymous said...

HI I think the furniture is very nice. I don't like the placement of the couch. I would float in the middle of the room in front of the tv for comfortable viewing. I would definitely go with the colorful rugs to match your vibe and pillows for warmth. The ottomans are lovely where they are and I think you could move the table and chairs over to the left of the fireplace if it fits. I don't think the white chair (couch) works in the room. If you have room I would do two individual chairs on the right side of the room.Cant wait to see what you do

Nan Kissiar said...

I am a color person, bold, vivid, happy….you get the picture. I adore your couch, so I would elect to go neutral to let it shine.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful room, beautiful pieces. Try breaking the rules & put sofa facing TV. The kiddos will prefer to watch TV from this angle. Hoping you can still easily walk into the room? Is that a white chaise or a wide chair? If it's a wide chair, that can go on the right side of sofa in front of windows & perhaps table & chairs on left, and everything else adjusted accordingly. I prefer the colorful pallet you chose for the kids. Lots of comfy pillows, throws, lamps. Make it look fun, comfy cozy and good viewing & they will come. Good luck with all of your ideas.

Jennifer@ClassicStyleHome said...

I think you should go with your original vision. Once you get the perfect rug in it will get you excited to finish. I get stuck a lot on the last few finishes in some rooms too and think I made a mistake when in actuality I just didn't finish the room yet. Plus, you're too elegant to go boho. ;) And, I would either get a neutral vintage rug or even something like a Flokati.

tish said...

Stacy, the room is beautiful and i agree with an above poster that it looks like it belongs in a sophisticated Paris boutique :). To me, family room = family time = game nites, movies, snuggles, football, reading, horseplay etc. I think the kids are trying to tell you something :) It needs some coziness, maybe something leather that that can withstand things. Maybe some chaise lounges put together, so 2 people can lay down together. It will still be beautiful but maybe more "useful" to you whole family with some changes. Can't wait to see it!

Sharon said...

Hi Stacey, I've been reading your blog for ages and am a fan but since you asked...

First, as the mother of 4 who aspires to have a sophisticated home, please allow me to save you from yourself. Get a colourful rug, preferably one with a little bit of nap rather than a flat weave. You can either have kids, a dog and a husband or a light coloured rug in your family room. Not both. A wise decorator once talked me into a hideously expensive Bijar because it would stand up to the aforementioned kids, dog, etc. Many years later, it still looks good while the neutral silk rug in the dining room was toast long ago despite being used only a few times a year.

Right now, the room does not invite anyone to lounge around like a family room should. Didn't Isadora Duncan once sip Pernod with F. Scott Fitzgerald in that room? It needs some warmth. If possible, the sofa should be opposite the dreaded television so that viewers will not have to crane their necks. This will also help balance the room. Now you have the heavy sofa on one side and lots of little lightweight things on the other so it looks heavy on the left side. Have some down pillows covered in colourful ethnic woven prints as in one of your photos.

I can't wait to see the end result. I'm sure it will be beautiful. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Stacy, I love the room with the furniture re-arranged - and I voted for the neutral rug, I think it works better in there. Gorgeous room!!!

Lissy Parker said...

Go for Color! What a fabulous room you have created. I would switch the white chair with the table and ghost chairs. I love a good snuggly chair by the fire. Please post the results-go color!
xo, Lissy

Mom said...

The ideal set up would be to have the sofa facing the TV but since that doesn't work for the space, balance the beautiful, blue sofa with two vibrant chairs (Coloful photos 5 & 6) with a neutral rug.

janet said...

I would definitely go for a very large, colorful rug with pattern. It won't show every little spill and smudge. Maybe the family is too afraid to "mess up" something and that's why they're uncomfortable in the room. If you're stressed about it, they will be too! Lots of colorful pillows, throws will make it warm and welcoming (and provide a bit of a barrier to spills on the sofa). Some additional comfy seating will give more balance to the room.

Lissa said...

The plush rug will help lots---it screams come sit down or lay on me and feels soooo great on your feet,
Also a fun comfy furry/fuzzy throw or even some bigger pillows on the daybed/sofa====those are just flat out flat and not squishable

Charlotte Caruso said...

I vote for option one---color. It will warm up the room and make it feel more cozy!!

Deborah said...

Stacy I understand where you were trying to go with this room "lofty, airy, eclectic, French". Your feed has been full of these beautiful pictures for quite awhile. The feel of these rooms ooze elegance, sophistication, glamour. Your furniture selections nailed it perfectly, I love all of them. So why then with all the right pieces is it not giving you the family room you envisioned. In my humble opinion, which you asked for, is you did get the elegant, sophisticated, glamorous you envisioned. I loved your original "almost" finished photos. The blue sofa on the left of the fireplace, the table on the right and the daybed/mirror in the back. The root of the problem is I think you just jumped the gun on the transformation. This is a very adult room, there is nothing about it that reads family, i.e. kids hanging with their friends watching tv, having snacks, playing games. In order to get them in there you have to jack up the comfy, cozy vibe which is totally missing. Even though you thought the comment your kids gave about the beds was the least helpful I think in reality it truly is probably the most helpful. They just want to be comfortable.
What I would do then to make it warm, comfy and cozy for the next few years while they are still at home is first most definitely add the colorful rug. It will notch up the warm and cozy factor plus hide spills much more than the Moroccan neutral. Lots of pillows, that's a large couch lots of room to snuggle. In the same vain a throw tossed over the plus a large basket of extras. I would also add pillows or the small fluffy "hides" to the seats of the chairs at the table. While those ghost chairs make a statement they are definitely not comfortable. I know you love your redwood table, I would move it to the garage for the next few years and replace it with a large, soft ottoman. Something you can comfortably put your feet up on. If you have moved the daybed back to the office, you need another piece on that side of the room. As it is now the balance is off. The table is not enough opposite the large statements couch on the other side of the room.
I know you will pull this off, can't wait to see it finished.

Polly winecoff said...

I have followed you for a long time and been in business for a long time too and can look at someone else's house and point at something and know it is right but NEVER my own so I feel your pain. Go for the rug of bright colors that you used in mock up - I read whole post and looked for two seconds before I saw the one you used in mock up and knew that was the one! GO for it and that pink/blues will bring the zing you need. I have kids too and boys only so the struggle is real that you want to have a "pretty" "styled" room and then those pesky kids show up!;). What about two chairs facing the TV? Or have you already thought about this. Also my husband has a requirement about the sofa - he wants to lay down and look forward at tv so he doesn't have to turn his head!! UGH! So your sofa is in great spot! And gorgeous and so is everything else. Plus colorful rug will hide a multitude of sins from dog and kids! I LOVED your previous layout but the first thing I thought was - her family is going to complain unless there is another tv room. Our struggle is real sister! Keep us posted and love all your ideas!!

Lisa said...

I would go with the neutral rug. Maybe even swap out the gold tables, for some kind of metal coffee table in black with a glass top. I know not very family friendly but would go with your room. With the neutral rug and your sofa this would remind me of Jenna Lyons room with her beautiful yellow couch! Whatever you choose, it will be beautiful!

Karena Albert said...

Hi Stacy, You may have a reason ( space constrictions etc.) however I also feel like the sofa should be facing the television. For a family, it seems more comfortable for lounging and watching Netflix! Someone else mentioned not having to turn your head to watch....
A rug will cozy things up as well, I like the neutral.
xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

Karena Albert said...

Just saw the space issue.Does the wall opposite the sofa have a window? If not can you put the tv above a long console; instead of over the fireplace?

Anonymous said...

Hi again
Honestly looking at your room it does not work. Your idea is amazing and your pieces r beautiful but the couch is way to big.. I personally would ditch the couch and get something that smaller so you can float the couch.. Good luck.

Bianca said...

I agree with Tish and with Rosemary (Anon, March 30, 2016 at 4:11 PM). I love the room and the furnishings but not it's lack of inclusiveness for your family or respecting the actual fuction of the room. "Form and Function" is always a difficult balancing act. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Stacy,
Since you have the gorgeous blue couch which I love, you have already chosen colorful instead of neutral, haven't you? How about some more colorful seating opposite the couch for balance? Then pick a fun rug that you will enjoy looking at.

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with Deborah more. Such interesting pieces for the room, but when put together, they lack a family room feel.

Karen T. said...

Your room is indeed lovely. Perhaps, however, your family feels the room is too sophisticated to enjoy as a family room? Perhaps they are afraid that they have to be too careful and that they will mess things up, and thus feel uncomfortable in the room (to use it as intended)? My first thought was to position the sofa opposite the TV (I like to look straight on at the TV), but then I read that you said it would not work that way. It appears to me (on my little iPhone) that the room needs more pattern. Maybe the pictures don't show it well (on enlarging the photo, it does appear that some of the pillows do have a pattern). Could you introduce more color (in the pillows, a throw or two; maybe the rug color will take care of that)? Could you introduce a small dose of animal pattern/print, perhaps in pillows or on the benches in front of the fireplace? Last, perhaps you have yet to place your Objets d' Art and accessories, but this will add another layer and depth to the room. Good luck! I know it will all come together. I can hardly wait to see the big reveal!

Anonymous said...

It is a lovely room but not a television-watching, dog-jumping on the sofa, kids jumping to sit down next to you kind of room. I would get rid of the wooden coffee table and buy something everyone could put their feet up on. Buy big pillows that can be squished and molded for individual comfort. Position the sofa so that everyone can actually see the television without craning their necks. I know others have stated these opinions but I wanted to weigh in. In a few very short years, your kids will be gone.... give them memories of a great family fun room.