This family has been looking for a solution to their family room layout for over a year now, and has reached out to our experienced team of designers for help! Read all about their dilemma and our response on how to create a stylish yet functional room the whole family can enjoy.


My fiancé and I have been trying to pick out new family room furniture for a year now.

We have some requirements for the space. There needs to be areas where the three of us (Him, me, and our daughter) can lay down, veg out, and watch a movie at the same time.

I do not want my windows covered up.

The right side wall has a speaker wire outlet on it with a component that runs my whole house speaker system. I hate the look of the wires, hence why I have a piece of furniture pushed against the wall to hide the wires.

Attached is a picture of the current layout we are thinking of and the furniture pieces we have picked out.

The room is 17 x 19.

Welcome to any suggestions.

Family Room Collage


The great news is that it appears you have a wonderful open space with lots of natural light and plenty of room to create a great floorplan. I believe the floorplan you have proposed is actually the best use of the space, but do have a few suggestions in that regard.

First, have you considered using a large sectional with a chaise at the end of it instead of a sectional with a separate chaise? Sectionals are wonderful in a family setting for comfort and ease of use, and you have the perfect space to do a large L-shaped sectional with a chaise coming off the left end. Just a thought!

If you do decide to do a separate sofa and chaise, and you opt to go all neutral as you have indicated in your pictures, I would make sure the fabrics on the chaise, chair and sofa are harmonious in tone and color with some texture. I would, however, recommend you not doing all three pieces in something neutral and instead consider doing three different fabrics that coordinate in pattern, color, and scale. This will make the space more interesting and ensure that the neutral upholstery on each piece doesn’t compete with the neutral upholstery on the neighboring piece.

I would also consider doing one of the pieces of upholstery with a skirted bottom so all pieces don’t have exposed legs. In the design world, we like to mix it up and have some skirted pieces and some exposed legs so your space isn’t too much of one style of upholstery.

In any space, you do not want the area to become too heavily upholstered. With an upholstered sofa, chair, and chaise (or sectional and chair), I would not do an upholstered coffee table. I believe that is too much upholstery in once space. I would opt for a wooden, metal, or concrete style coffee table. It is ideal to keep an interesting mix of textures in a room, and too much upholstery in one room can unnecessarily weigh down a space.

I would further suggest you consider a swivel chair for the upholstered chair adjacent to the television, as this will allow whomever is sitting in that chair the option of watching television or turning to converse with others on the sofa/sectional.

Unattractive wires are always frustrating in any room. I would suggest contacting your electrician and seeing if he can fish the wires up through the wall to hide them. That is certainly the ideal solution, if possible. Otherwise, hiding them behind a piece of furniture or some greenery is the only other choice, unfortunately!

While I understand your desire to keep your windows open, I would still consider some decorative side panels to soften the wall space and add color and dimension to the room. Decorative side panels that do not cover the window are an excellent way to pull all the colors in a room together and ensure the decor in your home doesn’t stop at the bottom of the room. It keeps the room interesting from top to bottom and draws your eye around the entire room with a nice balance.

Finally, don’t forget that fabulous rug and those colorful throw pillows to help you pull it all together. Those finishing touches can make or break a space and all too often are forgotten.

Happy decorating!Have a design dilemma of your own? Ask our team of experienced designers at no cost to you!

Design Dilemma Graphic