Thursday, 3 May 2012

Focus point!

It was commonly known as parlours in the 19th century, but now in the 20th century this space was renamed the "living room" where one can entertain guests, watch television, read, and practise the art of 

I've noticed commonly here, (West Africa) that the average household has 2 spaces - one being the 'living room' and the other the 'family room'. The family room is used everyday where the family comes together at the end of their day, relax after a long workweek or to enjoy a television program together and just basically hang out, while the living room, is sometimes a rarely used room, without a television or other media, where visitors are formally entertained. Either way, living rooms provide a design set piece for you to display your signature look from a stylish combination of living room furniture.

Contemporary Kensington House Interior Design-Interior Design of Contemporary Kensington House by SHH Architects and Designers
Contemporary Kensington House - Living room example
Luxury living room interior in black and white

From the pictures above, you can get an idea of modern luxury living, which is characterised by maximised use of daylight, glass panels, pieces of chunky glossy solid wood decor. Straight lines are the main features of contemporary luxury living, because they create less mess and put the little things that can create messy lines. But do not forget to include lines and curves, resulting to break the monotony.

Below is a contemporary but cosy family area. Note the natural colours used on the walls and floor and the furniture gives just enough colour that the room needs so the space remains a relaxing zone.

living area seating mountain view

I wanna give you some quick tips for the 'family room' as that's the space you and your family use on a daily basis and a busy family room can be not only neat and orderly, but also comfortable and pleasant. What's the secret? Making the most of three important elements: storage, versatility, and comfort.


Start by asking yourself how you want to feel when you're in the room, and how you want to use it. Ask family members to identify the activities that will go on in the room. Then consider whether the space is large enough to accommodate those activities. If watching TV, reading books, and playing board games are high on your priority list, be sure you have room for comfortable seating near the television set, adjustable lighting fixtures, and a table large enough for games. Knowing how you'll use the space helps determine whether the room is sized appropriately.

Carefully plan for furniture. Start thinking about how you'll live in the space before remodelling to ensure that everything you want fits comfortably and that traffic flows smoothly. A furniture plan also determines where electrical and cable outlets belong—costly elements to change once the room is complete.

Consider your focal point. Is it the TV or a fireplace? If both are on the same wall, seating is easy, but on separate walls, the room arrangement becomes trickier. Experiment with arrangements that pull the furniture away from the walls and create a variety of conversation groupings. Remember, this is a room of many activities, so be creative with your room plan.

Focus on lighting. Aim for a mix of different fixtures from standing lamps to low hung ceiling lights, and include dimmer switches so that you can adjust the lighting for everything from movie watching to doing the kids homework/school project.

Plan easy-access technology. A built-in computer station with accompanying slide-away doors and added storage keeps workspace close but easily hidden. Plus, kids' online activities can be kept in full view while your watching tv or reading a book.

Choose people-friendly finishes. Because this is sure to be one of the most-used rooms of the house, plan with longevity in mind. Consider comfortable floor coverings and sturdy upholstery fabrics for your sofa with easy-to-clean surfaces. The new microfibers and Ultrasuede are good choices here or leather.

Bring in ample natural light. The ideal window arrangement includes at least two exposures for even lighting throughout the day. If a view is unpleasant or you need more wall space, consider a skylight. As a rule, the higher the window, the deeper the light's penetration into the room.

living room raymore and flanningan
Raymour & Flanigan
                         Contemporary Orange Family Room Ideas in 2012
living room raymore and flanningan
Raymour & Flanigan 
living room raymore and flanningan
Raymour & Flanigan
living room raymore and flanningan
Raymour & Flanigan

I hope all the above has inspired you to look at your family room/area in a new light that can make it stylish as well as cosy for the whole family.

Remember I look forward to your feedback/comments so feel free to write your thought on this post or any other topic you'd like me to cover.

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  1. Nice piece, but what would you recommend for people whose family rooms have become both family and living rooms, especially when the room that was meant to be the living room is bare most of the time. What else can it be converted to?

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your comment/question. It's a good question that you ask actually and I'm sure many people are in the same situation as you and that's why if you noticed in this post, I mentioned that your family room should not only be just functional but also stylish. I don't believe it's only the 'living room' that should look nice. The trick is to design it in a way that is practical for you and the family to use but also presentable for visitors. So like I suggested, think of neat storage ideas that will keep the children's things out of sight when not in use. Also you might want to divide the room up into let's say 2 separate areas if it's big enough by using to different rugs and the arrangement of furniture’s.
      About your un-used living room, to convert it into another useful area I'd really need to see the layout of your house to be able to advice you right on that.

  2. Wow you have done it again. I really love the layout of all the living rooms and they are practical enough for anyone that likes good things. Also, I like the answer to the comment or say the question asked, thank you so much and just hope that a lot of people will appreciate the good work you are doing by enlightening us on how to make our home our palace. Please recommend Tosin to your friends, family and colleagues that you think will need her services. Recommend her to companies that you know will need her advice. Keep up the good work and God bless you.