The Family Room - Tips from Renovation Expert Lori Gilder

What?  Did you just say you're mad at me because there weren't real cookies involved in yesterday's post?

Fine.  I'm not going to talk to you.  Instead I'll let my dear friend Lori Gilder or the uber-popular Diary of a Renovation talk to you.  Better listen up.

I heard the grumble. There might be wine at the end.

Just kidding.  I already drank it.

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Hi everyone! I’m Lori Gilder from Diary of a Renovation and this week’s guest blogger on the D.Coop Bloggie.  Just to give you a little background – I’m an architectural interior designer specializing in the re-design, renovation and decoration of high-end homes in LA and beyond.  I’ve been writing my own blog for almost two years now, and this is my very first “guest post”. Thank you Brandon for the invitation to join the D.Coop Alumni (edit: You're welcome Lori!) .

Last week I met with a potential new client who is interested in gutting their kitchen and family room to create a more open floor plan – which they feel is more conducive to entertaining their family and friends.

The kitchen and family room rank #1 and#2 as the most popular spaces in the home.   Today I wanted to talk about the Family Room.  It serves as a multi-functional place for entertaining family and friends, gathering for movie night or just curling up with your favorite novel.  Ultimately it is a space where quality time is spent together as a family. It is about creating a mood and style that speaks to your family’s lifestyle. So it is time to get your design vision down on paper, call a contractor and make it happen in time for summer!

Here are some great design tips and guidelines to help get you started.

Open your family room to adjoining spaces so the room is visible from the kitchen and dining room, ultimately inviting everyone in.

Define these open spaces by introducing some architectural elements such as arches, columns, ceiling beams and other details.

If possible add floor-to-ceiling windows along the entire length of the exterior wall to introduce more natural light while maximizing your view.

The furniture layout should be oriented toward the focal point of the space.  Don’t be inclined to line up your furniture pieces up against the wall thinking it creates more space.  It doesn’t.

Create good conversation groupings and layout your furniture to focus inward where people actually face each other.  Also be aware of traffic patterns when planning a furniture layout.  The ability to walk through the room without navigating through a maze of furniture is key.

Custom design or purchase comfortable seating and have them upholstered in durable and forgiving fabrics. This informal and relaxing gathering space should function exactly the way you really need it to.

Plan for your family room to have multiple light sources. The combination of general, task, and accent lighting (all on dimmers) creates drama and produces an amazing effect over the entire space.

So why not implement any or all of these design tips and tricks and  spruce up your family room just in time for summer.

Thanks Brandon. 

Stay Inspired!

Check out Lori's blog!  She's always dishing on important remodel stuff.  Seriously.  Go look.  Now. I told you to do it.

Images via: Houzz (WA Design), Elle Decor (Billy Blanco Designs), Crate & Barrel, Houzz (Ellen Grasso), and Veranda (Windsor Smith)