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10 common mistakes people make decorating the contemporary family room

Today the family room is one of the most used rooms in our humble Australian home. Interior designers have described the family room as the most styled and decorated room of the house. Thirty years ago most of our houses had a formal living room and a family room, and if you are anything like me, the living room was hardly used. Today’s modern houses have only one multipurpose family room (the living room is dead) and it has to be many things to the contemporary family:

  • A sanctuary where we can put our feet up after a busy day at work
  • A children’s play room
  • Entertaining our guests

Merging our styling requirements on this multipurpose space does not have to be overwhelming but there are some common errors we all do make.  Here are the 10 most common errors:

  1. Placement of furniture

It seems logical to position lounges against walls but this does not actually make our rooms look larger (it actually has the reverse effect). Even in a large room don’t be tempted to leave the lounges pushed up against the walls – ever tried to have a conversation with someone who is on the other side of the room? It’s not easy!

  1. Heavy curtains

When you have large, heavy curtains – they become the main feature in a room (I don’t know about you, but I want something other than the curtains to be a feature of my lounge room!). There are many other options available  including  roller blinds (they can have a block- out affect in much more subtle style) while simple white venetians are very inexpensive.  If you want an ageless window accessary go for shutters. They are the more expensive option but they date well, and (from experience) they are so easy to clean!  All these options are unobtrusive and blend well into a multi-purpose room

  1. Too much clutter

Clutter collect dusts, and creates unnecessary housework. In today’s modern houses, storage  is the key when it comes to keeping the living room tidy and easy to look after. The more you can put behind closed doors the better.

  1. TV placement

If you can mount your TV on the wall it gives your room a much more streamlined look. Otherwise, make sure you have a suitably sized TV unit to put your TV on.  Don’t try to make your family room into a theatre room, remember this is a shared space for conversations too.

  1. Lack of rugs

A room is never complete until there’s a bit of colour and pattern on the floor. Rugs on floorboards provide warmth in winter, while rugs on carpet are perfectly fine as well (try it!).

  1. Rugging it wrong

Rugs do need to still match the size and style of the space however. Ensure you get the right size as small rugs have the tendency to imbalance a room.  Your rug needs to be able to have the front feet of your family room lounges on it. This provides balance and creates zones for your room, and will also make it feel larger too.

  1. Lack of colour

Restraining from bright colours on the walls sometimes makes us think we should re-strain from any colour in our soft furnishings, such as rugs, cushions and rugs.  This could not be further from the truth. Co-ordinating some bright colours in those little extras will breathe life into a room!

  1. Oversized furniture

Filling your family room with furniture that is too large or chunky does not enhance a room.  Large armed lounges and big pieces of  furniture diminishes the overall effect of spaciousness in a small to medium room.  We want to feel relaxed and calm in our living room: large pieces of furniture have the opposite effect.

  1. Mixing styles

It’s normal to like more than one decorating style, but mixing too many different styles together in one room won’t work. Instead, select pieces that have common elements so that they work together. For instance, if your sofa has rectangular arms, make sure you choose an armchair with matching arms rather than rolled arms.

  1. Too much matching

On the flipside, over-matching is a common mistake, just like putting too many different styles together.   It’s fine to try and match up some of your furniture, but add in a few other splashes of colour to break it up.

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