Keeping it in the Family


Here’s my checklist of my top 10 items to turn a boring family room into a room that hums with good times.


1. Furniture

For furnishings, the key words are comfortable and stain-resistant.  Slipcovers are a relatively inexpensive alternative.  Their easy-living care calls for regular vacuuming or machine washing in cold water.  Warm throws for the cosy movie nights and contrasting pillows for that decorator’s touch.


2. Hitting the Big Screen

When it comes to TV’s I think most can agree, the bigger the better. A 42″ screen is a sensible choice for an average-sized room.


3. Game On!

Be sure to include a game table and chairs for cards, especially the ever-popular poker. Or choose from the long list of specialty tables: pool, foosball, air hockey and Ping-Pong, to name a few.


4. Beverage Centre

A beverage centre is perfect for the family room, and has come along way from the mock “Pub Style” home bars of the 90’s. Keeping drinks and snacks right where you need them.


5. Flooring and Area Rugs

Soft, comfortable area rugs work wonders to create a relaxed, comfortable environment and help create specific sections within a room.


6. Reading Zone

It’s so nice to sit somewhere where you can bury your head in a good book or that must have magazine. You know your family and their reading needs, so be sure to add one or two reading centres outfitted with comfy chairs and good reading lamps. These areas are especially nice on rainy days.


7. The Secret Life of Pets

Don’t forget your beloved pets. Give them something they can call their own, I would suggest a chaise-style bed. Give them a corner of the room.  It’s their own space plus it keeps any pet hair off your couch…and your guests.  You don’t need me to tell you what they do when you leave the house.  Have you never wondered why your couch is always so warm?  Give them there’s and they’ll stay off yours.


8. Storage

Plenty of storage for games, movies, music, toys, books and magazines is an absolute must. Ottomans can act in many ways, coffee table, storage box and additional seating.  Home stores are full of colourful fabric boxes, great for storing toys.  For those of you who haven’t downloaded all their music and movies, myself being one of those people, anything that comes in a case — CDs, DVDs — the best way to store them is in a drawer. Really, they don’t store well any other way. A 24-inch-by-16-inch-by 6-inch drawer should hold about 250 CDs that are easy to access and can be seen all at one time.


Make time to de-clutter your lives. My rule of thumb… if you haven’t used in the past twelve months question whether you really need it at all.


9. Natural Light

Lots of windows, glass doors and skylights let the outdoors come indoors. Family rooms should’t just be for late movie nights, they should be enjoyed all day through. Make them as appealing and multi-use as possible by having lots of natural light.


10. Just Add Family

You’ve created, designed and decorated your family room. Now just add your family, mix in lots of laughter and love — and you’ve got a great family room.


Family Night

You have a great family room — now what? Create a family night. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it can create memories to last a lifetime. Among the suggestions: movie night, take-out night (let different family members pick their favourite food) or game night.

Here are other ways to add to the fun:

  • Let your children invite their friends. It will provide you valuable insights into how your children socialize, as well as providing you a chance to get to know their friends.


  • Allow plenty of free time. Many child experts indicate that unstructured time is important for a child’s development and parents should avoid too many organized activities.


  • Assign chores. Explain that with fun comes responsibility. Everyone will have to pitch in to make sure the dishes get done, the table is cleared and the room is put back to order. To minimize any complaining, set expectations up front.


  • Don’t let it become one more thing to cross off the to-do list. Watch for signs of being overextended and adjust schedules as needed.

Regardless of whether you have a large or small space for your family to enjoy everyone can make it their own special space, dedicated for ‘togetherness’. Not only does it add financial value to your home but value to your lives.


Photos: Canva

This article is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently in contract with other members of the PEIREA. Using this article in full or part without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2019 Melanie Press Real Estate.