As much as we all might dream about having a really spacious family room or living room area, large rooms in and of themselves can cause some decorating angst. How do you deal with one really big room and make it feel cozy, coordinated, and inviting instead of huge, hodgepodge-y and cold? If you’ve faced this decorating dilemma, then you’re in luck, because I’ve got a few tips for you today on how to handle decorating large spaces. And reader beware – I’m using pictures of my own large basement family/exercise/game/play room (where all of our old and less-loved furniture gets sent to die) as examples. So please keep that in mind – this is not the most expensively or beautifully furnished room in the house. But it works for us, and I’m going to show you how you can make a really large room in your house work for your family, too.
Tip #1: Divide a large room into activity zones
This little tip is number one in my book for making a large room functional and cozy. Just think of the various activities that will take place in the room. In the case of my really big family room downstairs, the activity areas are: play area, reading area for kids, games area, conversation area for adults, exercise area, and a refreshments area.
That’s a LOT of activities for one room to handle. But knowing what you want to do in a room is key to making sure that it is functional for your family.
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Tip #2: Divide the room visually with furniture, rugs, or changes in flooring
This pretty rug helps to define the “conversation area for adults” in my basement family room. Using furniture or rugs will help to visually break up a space into zones – crucial for making a large room feel comfortable instead of overwhelming.
This laminate wood-look floor is both functional and aesthetic. It works great for exercise equipment, and the change in flooring helps define this space (even though it is completely open) as the exercise area.
Two sets of couches facing each other with a coffee table in between, a large sofa table behind a couch, or a table with chairs gathered around are examples of how furniture groups can help to visually break up a space.
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Tip #3: Don’t be a wall hugger
Avoid the inclination to line your walls with furniture. Bringing seating areas, tables and chairs, and game playing areas into the center of the room helps to make the room flow, and avoids that cold, “wallflower” feel.
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Tip #4: Unify a large room with color
When you have a lot going on in a room visually, it’s important to stick to a few colors so the overall feel says “coordinated” instead of “hodgepodge”.
In my large family room, I used shades of tan, blue and red, with a few pops of yellow (mostly thanks to the toys). Repeating the colors in different areas of the room help it to have a unified feel.
Hope these tips help you the next time you’re struggling with how to divide and conquer a large room. Thanks for stopping by – have a great day!