My family room is the place where the family comes together each night to hang-out, watch TV, play video games, etc.. My wife and I have never been happy with the design or layout of the room. It has been in design limbo for 10 years, and we find ourselves spending less time there. The time is now to fix all the issues we have with it, and transform it into something that draws you in, and makes you want to stay there.
The family room is on the main floor, directly off of the kitchen, measuring 14W x 21D x 9H.
In the photographs you'll see the room the way it is today. While it is in good condition, it is not a welcoming room. It is basically a box which holds our stuff, with "temporary" audio/video tables and cabinets.
The first thing we decided to change was the location of the television to allow for more welcoming and comfortable seating. We have made-up our minds on that point, and have already selected and ordered the couch. The provided floor plans show where the couch and TV will go. All other aspects of the room design will revolve around that.
The goal is transform the family room into something that draws you in, and makes you want to stay there. It should be comfortable and functional for the family, and visually interesting.
The basic floor plan has been determined, and is shown in the supplied renderings.
What is needed is:
- Focal wall design
- TV wall design
- Soffit design
- Lighting design
- Color palette / storyboard (with the couch fabric as the anchor)
I have a lot of ideas, which need to be expanded on and pulled together into a cohesive design.
All of the supplied renderings were drawn by me, and are to scale. Each major grid block is 1 foot. I am not a designer, but I’ve been thinking about this space for some time.
Focal Wall Design
With the TV moved, it opens a range of design opportunities for the focal wall (the wall which you would see from the kitchen and as you walk in the room). After much thought, I decided that a modern linear gas fireplace would be a nice focal element. Since such a fireplace would require building-in an interior wall (2 feet), this creates an opportunity for storage.
I have some basic designs that I put together along these lines.
The key aspects are:
- Napoleon LHD50 fireplace
- Storage cabinets along the bottom (board games, videos, etc.)
- Place for subwoofer in lower left corner
I originally wanted a wider firebox, but when considering the BTUs of these units, I had to limit the size. The problem this creates is one of scale. With my renderings it looks like the firebox will be lost. That needs to be addressed. The firebox should seem bigger than it actually is.
I like the field stone look and texture around the fireplace as shown in one of the renderings, especially when the lighting enhances the texture, but I am open to different ideas.
I want the focal wall to have some wow factor, while having function. The display shelving on either side is an idea, which could work if we get the scaling right, but I’m open to new and different ideas. As long as we hit the key aspects listed above.
I also included a couple images that have inspired some of my thinking. They are labeled "inspire1.png" and "inspire2.png". Inspire1 has appealing cabinets and stone, but I don't care for the book shelves on a focal wall, as they seem like a junk collector. Inspire2 has great lighting on the stone, however overall the room seems too cold.
I’ve included a rendering which showed all cherry wood doors around the fireplace, but my wife hated that idea. I’m including the rejected design in my pictures as an example of what not to do.
Our house is a colonial, and primarily has a traditional look throughout. For this room I’m looking for a blend of traditional and modern elements. My wife likes the look of white cabinetry (American style, not Euro style).
I’m assuming I’ll need custom cabinetry for this project.
I’d like a soffit incorporated into the design, which wraps around the room. Something appropriate for the scale of the room. I’m thinking height is 4-8 inches, and width is at least 1.5 feet.
The soffit will hold two ceiling speakers, above the couch for surround sound. It will also have lighting. I’m thinking LED lights, in appropriate locations around the room.
The design should include adequate lighting for the space.
I’m open to removing the existing wall sconces.
With the TV Wall, I envision a bump-out (4 inches) which frames the TV. This bump-out will not only break-up the 21 foot wall space, but it will also be used to hide cables running from the TV to the receiver in the console below.
The console below will house all the other AV equipment. I assume this will be a custom cabinet, which will match the focal wall unit.
I have a couple different ideas for this console. One idea is to have it embedded into the wall, stealing some of the garage space (up to 1.5 feet). This would be a compelling design choice if there isn’t proper space between the couch and console.
The console could also not be embedded into the wall, and be a full furniture unit.
Regarding the television, some designers think televisions and AV equipment should to be hidden. I don't feel that way. The TV is the main attraction in the room, and I embrace that. Today I have a 65" TV, and will upgrade that to something bigger someday. So I would want this design to be able to accommodate a bigger TV down the road. I show a 7 foot long console in the floor plan to allow for that future growth.
The TV is a Panasonic TC-P65ST30 65 inch plasma.
Today the “window wall” is a large 9 foot unit, with a door in the middle and two side windows. Since the couch will be going along that wall, the unit will be changed to a large window.
Design ideas for that window and its dressings are needed.
There is a deck on the other side of that window, so no bay windows. I wouldn't mind a window sill though, where the window is not flush with the wall. This would allow for embedding some blinds.
The door wall has a 5 foot doorway to the kitchen. It has white raised-panel pocket doors.
I have a box labeled “Interesting Thing TBD”. I need an idea for this space. No bar designs please. I’m considering moving the fish tank there (with a bigger cabinet underneath), in which case I’d need an idea for the corner where the tank is currently located.
The fish tank is a standard 20 gallon tank. Not sure if that will be with us in the long run, but it is with us now.
The couch can be found here:
The fabric is “coffee sueded microfiber”.
The height of the couch is 32 inches.
Note that the couch is a sectional, which will run along the Window wall, and the Focal wall.
Note that Napoleon does offer a few different decorativel surrounds for this model fireplace, but they were not appealing to me.
The Focal wall, TV wall and soffit, are the primary elements here. The overall selection criteria are:
- welcoming & comfortable
- wow factor
- completeness of design (addressing all mentioned aspects)
- practical to implement (budget under $30,000)
Of course the overall design would have to resonate with us. I hope there is enough here to determine what it is we’re looking for.
I look forward to your questions to further refine the thinking.
- 3D renderings of the room
- Full wall views
- Plan view
- Itemized list of materials
I should be able to provide the drawings to a contractor and cabinet maker for implementation.
Existing furniture in the pictures will be replaced as necessary. As mentioned, replacement seating has already been ordered.
Existing speakers shown in pictures will most likely be replaced (scaled down).
The floors are white oak hardwood. The flooring will remain as is.
Ambient lighting effects are interesting to me.