21 Family Room Decorating Ideas, Ranging from a Quick Refresh to a Total Overhaul

The kitchen’s reign as the heart of the home has gone on long enough. This year, it’s time to reclaim your family room—or living room, den or whatever you call the space where your sofa and coziest armchair reside—as the ultimate hangout. Whether you’re looking for a quick refresh or a total overhaul, we’ve got the inspo you need. These family room decorating ideas run the gamut, with options for every skill level and style.

You should feel totally comfortable living in your living room, which is why Maydan Architects did some strategic splurging when designing this San Francisco home. “We selected a fabric for the sofa that can be cleaned easily. The floors are porcelain ceramic, which is almost indestructible and looks particularly elegant,” says founder and principal Mary Maydan. “By using high-end materials that are easy to clean and have excellent durability, we created a home with an elevated style that both children and parents can enjoy worry-free.”

Bold floral chairs aren’t just playful; they serve a subtle secret purpose: “I find that intricate, colorful patterns tend to hide spills and stains better than solid textiles,” says designer Emily Spanos of Emily June Designs.

If you’ve been staring at white shiplap walls for far too long and are desperate for a change, consider a total 180. Sherwin-Williams declared Urbane Bronze, a shade one designer referred to as “melted dark chocolate,” the 2021 Color of the Year for the way it instantly makes a space feel cozy and enveloping.

A sand-colored sofa may seem impossible when you have toddlers roaming the house, but it’s totally doable when it’s slipcovered. And slipcovered doesn’t have to equate grandma—or grandmillennial. For proof, just check out the Keane style Amber Lewis (aka Kristen Bell’s go-to designer) created for Anthropologie. You can’t deny that

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Window installer spied on N.J. family with camera he hid in bathroom, cops say

A home-improvement contractor was arrested after a Bergen County family he worked for said they found a small camera hidden in the wall of their bathroom, authorities said Wednesday.

Romeo Sanchez, 47, of West New York, was hired to replace a window in the family’s Paramus home in August, according to Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg.

After working in the home, Sanchez told family members he would return another time to finish putting in the window, Ehrenberg said.

One of the family members called police on Aug. 25 to report “they had found a suspicious electronic device” in the bathroom, Ehrenberg said.

“The device was later determined to be a micro camera with a micro SD memory card that had been secreted in the bathroom wall,” Ehrenberg said.

A police detective accessed the memory card and found video clips of the family’s bathroom along with videos of a bathroom in another home, Ehrenberg said.

Paramus police investigators said they tracked down Sanchez and interviewed him about the device on Sept. 17.

Sanchez admitted placing the camera in the family’s bathroom and that he had planned to retrieve it when he returned to finish the window job, Ehrenberg said.

The contractor also told investigators that the other bathroom videos were from a home in Wayne where he had also been hired to work, Ehrenberg said.

Sanchez was arrested, charged with one count of invasion of privacy and released pending a court hearing.

Police said they were able to identify victims in the other case and alerted the Wayne Police Department of their findings.

Paramus police are asking anyone with further information or who feels they may have been a victim to call Detective Mark Pinajian at 201-262-3400 ext. 1429.

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Family snaps up stunning East Geelong renovation without inspection

A young family from Melbourne has paid close to a suburb record price for a renovated East Geelong house without making a physical inspection.

The four-bedroom house at 15 Anderson Street sold for $1.32 million after the buyers made the bold play for the extended california bungalow early in the auction campaign.

Buxton, East Geelong agent Carl McCann said the strong early offer attracted competition from other hopeful purchasers, pushing the sale price $45,000 above the top of the quoted range.

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The competition moved the selling agents to skip the October 17 auction and wrap up the sale early.

“They’re a young family coming out of Melbourne. They’ve bought it without seeing it,” Mr McCann said.

“But they were pretty confident with the video that we provided them and I also did a walk-through with the phone in hand talking through it, answered all their questions and they were comfortable enough to move forward.

“I think with the 360-degree videos that we can provide these days, it’s a lot easier to do a walk-through virtually.

“And they focused on a few things with the phone in hand and away they went.”

Mr McCann said the renovation and extension was finished in 2015, delivering a picture-perfect home featuring a custom kitchen packed with quality features and a spacious family living room that spills out to an entertainment area.

The complete renovation also updated the original portion of the house, adding features like hydronic heating, double-glazed windows, evaporative airconditioning and Velux skylights.

“It was a beautiful home. I think it’s a quality area as well and a lot of people are lining up waiting to get in,” Mr McCann said.


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discover the secrets of an artist’s family home

In part six of our Switch it Up series, we explore the gentle approach that artist Isobel Henihan has taken to a ‘living renovation’ in her home. Nestled in an idyllic setting near the sea in South County Dublin, Isobel lives here with husband Ben and their three children.

Moving into a new house is one of the most exciting milestones there is, and it’s not unusual to get caught up in the enthusiasm, going for the ‘what suits right now’ property without considering how the house may need to work differently down the line.

As children come along, space is at a premium, but there are ways that you can make your spaces grow and evolve with you, and you don’t have to spend too much, either.

When we first moved in our understanding of what we needed was different to how it has transpired with three kids

Isobel knows this first hand. Her airy, contemporary bungalow is a perfect example of a property that has been adapted and evolves constantly via mini renovation projects to meet her growing family’s needs. She and Ben constantly update the space to make it work for them.

“When we first moved in our understanding of what we needed in a house was different to how it has transpired with three kids,” she says, “but the property has evolved quite well with us and the needs of a growing family.”

While the structural layout has remained the same since it was built in 2013, the use of rooms, as well as much of the decoration, design and zoning of spaces, has changed over the years. They have done much of the work themselves.

“We have three bedrooms, one is quite small, and that started out as our eldest’s. We also had a guestroom

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Family reacts as Maryland allows indoor visits at nursing homes

Under Gov. Larry Hogan’s new orders, effective immediately, Marylanders can now visit loved ones inside of nursing homes, but it comes with some guidelines.

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“This has been extremely hard for her and she doesn’t really understand. She’s 94. She doesn’t get — ‘I lived through blah, blah, blah. Why can’t you come?’” said Lori Barnard, whose grandmother is in a nursing home.

Each day without being by her grandmother’s side is one too many.

“I’m used to seeing her three times a week, so this has been a big struggle for me,” Barnard said.

The four-year stay of Barnard’s grandmother, Louise, at her Mount Airy nursing home rattled as, like many other facilities and areas coronavirus crept in, leaving the entire state grappling over the virus.

“They have to alternate who goes because everything’s timed, but my grandmother is used to somebody being there every day,” Barnard said.

“Across the nation, nursing homes became ground zero in the fight against COVID-19,” Hogan said.

But now, with improving numbers, Hogan is ordering restrictions on indoor visitation at nursing homes to be lifted, effective immediately, but for specific facilities, “…that are not experiencing a current outbreak, or that have not experienced any new positive cases in the last 14 days,” he said.

The news is encouraging for Barnard’s family, who believes the decision could bring them closer to their matriarch.

“I cried. Like, I was so excited. But I also know it’s up to the facility and they are going to do what’s best for her,” Barnard said. “Mentally, more than anything, this wears on the elderly. Like, they’re alone. It’s been a few

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