How to create a comfortable family living room that works for everyone
For a peaceful home, it’s essential to design a family living room works for all. Consider what changes you could make to the style, layout and practicality of your living room to ensure that everyone in the family finds this room an inviting space to relax in.
The living room is the most sociable room in the house, so make sure it provides enough seating for the whole family, plus a few guests. If you don’t have the space for extra chairs, an upholstered or leather pouffe will do the job and can be used as a footstool when not needed as a seat. If you’re looking to buy a new armchair, check whether you have room to upgrade to a loveseat that can seat two people who are happy to snuggle up together.
See more of our living room ideas
Above all, your living room needs to offer comfort. If your room leaves you feeling cold, make it feel more cosy simply by adding soft texture. Plush carpet or a rug can transform the look of a room, instantly making it feel more welcoming. Deep sofas with plump seats adorned with a line of squashy cushions will entice the whole family to settle in and spend the evening together, rather than in separate rooms.
A low-level table that can double up as a desk for drawing will be useful for everyone, and bean bags or knitted pouffes will serve as comfy seats for little ones. Choose hard-wearing flooring and loose-covered sofas with removable and washable covers that can stand up to a few spills.
Read on discover more of our best family room ideas.
1. Create an area that’s made for play
If you don’t have a separate playroom, it’s wise to dedicate one corner of your living room as a play area for the kids. Without one, toys could spread everywhere turning your entire living room into one big playroom – not ideal!
Family living rooms require plenty of storage, so make sure everyone in the family has an assigned cupboard, drawer or trunk to hide their things inside. Make sure there is plenty of it – at the end of the day, you’ll be glad of somewhere to banish the toys so that you can enjoy some much-needed adult time.
Here, brighter accessories added to a neutral background can be easily swapped as children get older and the function of the room changes.
2. Add photographs
Personalise your living room with an arrangement of favourite family photographs. A bare expanse of wall above the sofa or a sideboard makes the ideal spot. Choose frames that are identical in size and colour, and arrange in a grid formation to make a visual impact.
Buy now: White RIBBA photo frames, from 3.95, Ikea
3. Incorporate technology
Create a media-friendly arrangement in a family living room. Choose low units that won’t overwhelm the room and keep the wall space above feeling open by putting up simple floating shelves. Go for a pale colour scheme for walls and furniture to give a unified look and hide all TV-related gadgetry in wicker baskets.
Buy now: Farmhouse painted TV unit, £275, The Cotswold Company
4. Keep on top of clutter
Create a clutter-free living room by keeping shelves orderly and free from lots of objects. Keep paraphernalia hidden in wooden storage boxes and store books and magazines neatly between stationary box files. Use the often forgotten space above the sofa a for single picture shelf to display coherent black and white family photos.
Ready to tidy up? See our living room storage ideas
5. Choose durable furniture
Who says you can’t have a stylish and sleek living room in a busy family home? Paint walls a fresh off-white in a wipeable finish and update fussy curtains with clean-lined shutters. Choose hardwearing leather sofas for an easy-clean option;they look even better once well loved. Then add modern glamour with a show-stopping ceiling chandelier – it will be well out of reach of little fingers!
Buy now: Carey leather three seater sofa in saddle tan premium leather, £999, Made.com
6. Socialise the space
Modern family life can be busy, so create a living room that encourages you to stop for quality family time and enjoy each other’s company. Create and intimate space within a split-level, open-plan area by adding comfortable sofas in a communal group. The sunken effect is very impressive and is sure to be a conversation starter. Shades of fresh white wall with pink and blue accents will keep the room bright and friendly, while dark wood flooring introduces warmth.
7. Use family-friendly flooring
Choose wooden floors for a classic look that is easy to clean. Keep it feeling snug with one large or several rugs. Storage is important so that bits and bobs don’t take over – a chest with lots of drawers is a good option, as each family member can have one or two of their own. The sheep is a cool quirky touch that kids will love – and it can even double as a seat when visitors are given priority on the sofa.
Buy now: ASKEM purple three seat sofa, £1600, Habitat
8. Make room for everyone
Be sure to put a large sofa at the top of your wish list! Not only will it play a vital part in family life a corner design to accommodate everyone and save space. The layout also means there is a large floor area for children to play. A neutral scheme allows plenty of scope to add colour and pattern, which makes for a fun room.
9. Get in the zone
Open–plan living is a great choice as the social aspect is perfect for family interaction. Design allocated zones for lounging, dining and working to keep the room organised. Use soft textures and uplifting colours Arrange your room around a large window or French doors to make the most of the natural light.
Buy now: Similar Ava fabric chaise sofa bed with storage, £999, Furniture Village
10. You can never have too much storage
Use a basic free-standing unit in multiples to create a bank of storage to fit your space and then fill them box files and colourful objects for interest. Use the space above to store rarely used items in boxes that blend in well with the walls. Baskets near sofas can be used for children’s toys so they are never strewn across the floor and coffee table with drawers underneath makes it easy to keep the surface clear.
Buy now: LIATORP storage combination with doors, £717, Ikea
11. Get cosy
Large squashy sofas with plump feather-filled cushions provide all the temptation needed for a relaxing living room. Add atmosphere warming stove fire and plenty of wooden furniture.
Buy now: Curved basket, £44, West Elm
Woollen or linen throws folded over sofa arms will visually soften the room as well as providing warmth when needed. Every one loves a blanket so make sure there are plenty to go around.