Lets face it, if you’re not in the kitchen, you are in the family room. This is the space that really gets the life thrown into it. In my house, which bubbles over with three young children, two precious mutts and a very messy husband, it pulls double duty as a study hall, sports bar, cocktail lounge, movie theater…and occasionally if I am not home, soccer field. In this room, more then any other space, you really want to be savvy about where you layer in the chic. Savvy Chic is what I call making smart choices about where to spend your design capital so that it stands the test of time, teenagers and party guests. Rich fabrics, luxe trimmings and woven wallpapers do have a home in even the most boisterous spaces and, when added thoughtfully, do not need to comprise the life inside. You just have to have a good game plan about how each space will be lived in, so you know where to layer in the luxe so it will remain intact. This particular family room was designed for a little girl, her feline and canine siblings, as well as a her parents, who love a good party. A family room should be just that, a space for the whole family, including tots, teens, pets and those friends we treat like family. It should be fabulous enough to entertain in, but cozy enough to hang out in and build forts in on snowy days. As with all the spaces I design, I wanted to this room to be inviting and useful for everyone in the family and still look magazine ready so, I had to be savvy about where to layer in the chic. This ottoman was designed to double as a storage spot for books and board games — the couture tailoring on the skirt gives this “sturdy” piece add an elegant vibe that set the tone for the room. Well-tailored upholstery that takes a twist on the traditional with a tucked pleat or sculpted arm is the most durable detail any room can have…it can make a sofa covered in durable burlap worthy of a magazine cover shot. With visions of little girl sleepovers dancing in my head, I opted to put the design dollars for the creme burlap wallpaper on the ceiling. The ceiling can be the most neglected of all five walls but, if you give it its due, it can add a level of intimacy to any space. The texture of this paper envelops you in the room. I never leave a ceiling bare. Completely immune to the hustle and bustle and sticky fingers of real life below, wallpaper, faux paint or lacquer finishes are safe high up above. Back down on the ground, fabric is definitely my muse. Some designers like to start with the rug or the paint color, I prefer to fall in love with the right fabric and take it from there. This fabric’s bold print is as good as camouflage in this high traffic lane. I chose a very durable woven for the sofa and the ottoman. If we left it alone, all that tan would have looked like a rather boring catalogue buy, but by adding the twist on its tailoring with the creme ultra suede to mimic the burlap ceiling, it elevates a piece that is designed to take on the brunt of chaos. Comfy upholstery aside, every family room needs a great table. A spot for game nights, casual dinners or spreading out while you read the post…and in every family room I design, if space allows, I have a banquette. It is the perfect perch…sofa living pulled up to the table. Durable, preferably wipeable fabric is a must here. This version is covered in a quilted, all weather celadon green. Faux leather in an ostrich or a crocodile is another of my go to choices here…all traces of real life are easily wiped away! I hope you can find some inspiration in this family room that will make your house more livable and more beautiful than ever, in short Chic, Classic and Completely Cozy. Because, in truth, family and good friends make every home more stylish!


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Their painted wood tables are a my go to for family rooms. The chic is in the detail of each piece’s lines. Scalloped edges, notched tray tops and tapered legs are not easily taken down by rowdy party guests or shedding pets.