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Family Room Designs Photo Gallery
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A family room is a large space that usually includes a sitting area with sectional sofa and chair facing the fireplace and television (which can conveniently be concealed with sliding wood doors).
What’s the difference between a family room and a living room?
It depends. Some homes use the living room as the family and vice versa.
Other homes have a more formal living room and a separate family room that’s more casual. While there really isn’t a technical distinction, one distinguishing mark of a family room is the presence of a television (when there’s another living room with no TV).
Of course, this isn’t set in stone since a TV isn’t a prerequisite for a family room, but it’s one way to distinguish the two. Other room terms which are used interchangeably with family room include salon, parlor, den, entertainment room, TV room, lounge and recreation room.
While there may be slight distinctions in homes with each of these rooms, the fact of the matter is most homes today have one or two sitting rooms to which all terms more or less apply. If you have a 10,000 square foot mansion with multiple sitting rooms, each room may be designated for specific purposes, but this isn’t common (unfortunately).
The family room is designed to be a place where family and guests gather for group recreation like talking, reading, watching TV, and other family activities. Often, the family room is located adjacent to the kitchen, and at times, flows into it with no visual breaks. (Source Wikipedia)
A family room differs from a living room in that it often a more casual space as reflected in its style, furnishings, and features. You’ll often see these rooms located near the kitchen or at least in the back of the house. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that 64 percent of new homes have a separate family room compared to 52 percent for living rooms.
Whether you want to opt for an addition to your home or convert an existing room, it pays to take the time to research the costs and options open to you. A visit to our family room design ideas can get you started.
A. Preliminary Family Room Planning
If you have a separate living room, you can approach the task of planning from a different place than if the family room has to do double-duty. Considering the functions, it’s going to serve, especially when deciding whether to go the formal route or something more like a space for relaxation and entertainment. Other things to consider include:
- Your budget
- Purpose(s) of the room
- Features you want to add
That will provide an excellent starting point for beginning the planning process.
B. Family Room Cost
Your cost will vary depend a lot on whether it’s an addition or a remodel of an existing space. If it’s the former, you’re looking at anywhere between $21,007 and $64,670, according to Home Advisor. On the other hand, upgrading a basement or an existing room will run you under $5,000 if you opt for the DIY route. Jobbing it out can cost between $7,500 to $50,000.
Our best advice is that once you decide on a budget, stick with it. You can easily tweak the costs with different family room design ideas. It’s essential that you find out about building permit requirements in your area. The average cost runs about $1,237 which can really put a hit on your budget if you don’t plan ahead.
1. Cheap Family Room Design
Even small upgrades can make a big difference in your family room, making them worth consideration. For example, you can install a flat screen TV for under $300, based on the average national cost. We probably don’t have to tell you how much that will affect the enjoyment of your family room.
2. Mid-Range Family Room Cost
If you want to extend the functionality of the room, you can easily do it with other relatively inexpensive changes. You can add a surround sound system for under $600. If you want the space to serve as a home theater, you can manage it under $500, depending on the options you choose.
3. High-End Luxury Family Room Cost
If you don’t have a separate living room, this space will likely be the place that you entertain guests. You can give it a more stylish feel with more extensive upgrades. You can replace the flooring which can add upward of $3,000 to your budget, depending on the size of the room and the materials you choose.
A lot will ride on what purposes your family room will serve, so that’s why you need to decide these questions up front. A place where everyone gathers to watch TV will cost a lot different than a formal family room with high-end furniture and a slew of electronics.
C. Family Room Layouts
The key to a family room is comfort, whether it’s a casual or formal place. One way to maintain it is by keeping your layout uncluttered with plenty of space for moving around in the room. Bear in mind the traffic patterns of the room especially near entrances and doorways. And don’t forget the vantage points for viewing when it comes to the TV or home theater.
The NAHB’s Special Study revealed some interesting statistics regarding the place of the family room in new homes. The average size of new houses with a separate space is 404 square feet compared to the 330 square feet for a separate living room. As you may expect, the amount of space goes up with the size of the home with upward of 503 square feet in a house larger than 3,000 square foot.
2. Open vs. Closed
Great rooms are a popular option for new homes. When it’s present, nearly 70 percent of these spaces include the family room in its real estate, followed by the living room and dining room. If that is your floor plan, you’ll need to take into account the adjacent rooms and how they’ll impact the space as a whole.
3. Layout and Zone Configuration
In many homes, the family room has multiple functions. That will, in turn, affect the layout especially if you want to create some kind of division between the spaces. For example, if your children use the room for doing their homework, you may want to consider adding a desk perhaps out of the viewing area of the TV.
Likewise, you may opt to create a separate space for gaming so as not to disturb others in the same room. Don’t forget to consider the impacts of comfort such as ottomans for putting up your feet or a coffee table for easy access to beverages or the TV remote.
E. Family Room Colors
Brown, by far, is the most popular choice of family room color at over 53 percent of survey respondents. It makes sense, given the common associations with this hue. Meanings include:
Undoubtedly, these are just the kinds of moods that you want to bring to this space. Other colors lag far behind brown. They include gray, beige, black, and wood tones, to round out the top five. The common theme is neutral colors which are conducive to relaxation. We see the same pattern with wall color choices.
Beige, white, and gray are the favorites among respondents. In addition to providing a relaxing atmosphere, they also offer an excellent backdrop for other features you can add to the space. Think of the effect that a red accent chair would have against a white-colored wall. Interestingly, garish colors like pink and purple are among the least popular choices which suggest that the primary function of this room is to relax.
F. Family Room Styles
Similar trends are evident when it comes to the favorite styles of a family room. The top five choices include:
These pics speak to the mood that a family room often has. Whether it’s the reliability of the traditional look or the individuality of the eclectic, there’s a sense of creating a welcoming space that embraces the family life. It’s easy to see why the popularity of the favorite colors plays out as it does when considering it with style. But there certainly aren’t any hard-and-fast rules.
G. Family Room Furniture and Features
The furniture and features provide a plethora of family room design ideas. Again, these elements will relate back to the room’s functionality. This space averages about 11.5 percent of the total square footage of a new home. And unlike many other places in your house, it’s is a shared space.
H. Family Room Flooring
Probably the biggest consideration for flooring is the room’s proximity to the kitchen/dining room and whether you’ll allow a family member to enjoy food and beverages in it. Remember, when it comes to spills, it’s not if but when it will happen.
Hardwood leads the pack when it comes to the most popular flooring types for family rooms with variations on the darkness of the material. Carpeting comes in at a distant fourth perhaps because of the spill factor. Other kinds such as tile and slate are uncommon. That suggests that comfort ranks highest in the design especially with the associations with nature.
Brown, beige, and gray are the overwhelming favorites in color choices. Again, we see this same theme echoed throughout the room.
I. Family Room Lighting
Again, the options are open here with the main goal to complement the rooms uses. Ceiling lights offer an excellent way to ensure adequate light for the entire room. You can go with unobtrusive styles like recessed fixtures that don’t detract from the overall character of the room. The advantage of these styles is that it eliminates dark corners so that the entire space has an inviting atmosphere.
If your family room leans more toward a formal or traditional style, a chandelier offers an opportunity to create an attractive focal point. You can go with something bold if your room has modern decor. And don’t forget floor lamps to put near reading nooks or by an armchair perfect for curling up with a good book.
Warm-colored lighting will give the room a pleasing glow that will add to the inviting mood of your family room. It lends itself well to a casual atmosphere rather than the formal look of cool-colored lighting. It encourages stretching out on the sofa to catch your favorite movie.
J. Window Treatments
Window treatments can tie the style of your room all together while serving the practical purposes of darkening a room with a western exposure or warming a space with extra insulation. Take into account the amount of natural light the room receives along with other features that that window treatment brings to the table. Things to consider include:
- Attachment style
Each aspect can give your family room a different mood. Long curtains, for example, create a more formal look. You can get the same effect with other features such as window scarf or valances. Opacity can provide some extra privacy if your home is located near to another house. You can combine window treatments such as blinds and panels for a layered look.
K. Shelving and Storage
A family room offers a great opportunity for showcasing your book selection. If you’re remodeling or adding an addition, you can include it with your room layout that won’t infringe on the floor space. But they needn’t just contain books. You can add knick-knacks or some small art pieces to vary its look and add interest to a room.
It’s also a good way to add a splash of color with a smaller piece such as framed picture in a bright hue. You can place parts of a collection to lend an intimate touch to a room. The possibilities are endless. Don’t ignore the opportunities it gives you to make the space more personal and welcoming.
A fireplace brings a cozy feeling to a family room that is unmistakable. If you’re putting in an addition, it’s the ideal time to add one which will definitely be a game-changer for the space. Plenty of people agree. According to our survey, less than 27 percent don’t have a fireplace in this room. The standard type is most popular, preferred by nearly 60 percent of respondents.
Be sure to check local regulations regarding the installation of a fireplace. Some areas may prohibit wood-burning models. However, gas fireplaces provide a realistic look with the advantage of minimal maintenance.
M. Accent Pieces
Sometimes the best family room design ideas aren’t found on the pages of interior design magazines but rather from a family’s own experience. Think of a collage of photographs of your children which invoke favorite memories. They will add to the relaxing atmosphere and bring that a sense of home to the room.
You can use an accent chair as a statement piece. Think of the heartwarming feeling you’ll bring to a room with a grandparent’s favorite recliner. It’s also an excellent chance to add a piece of character such as an antique trunk which you can use as a makeshift coffee table. Such pieces can bring such life to a room more than any designer piece could ever hope to have.
However, avoid filling a space too much to give it an uncluttered look. That will detract from the calming atmosphere a room where the family gathers should have. A family room often becomes something of a retreat or haven which gives it its best purpose.