Prop up your feet — these comfy dens are tailor-made for rela. Up your living room's game too with even more designer decorating ideas.
In the family room of a pre-war New York City apartment, Sara Story lacquered the walls in an ocean blue color. The shiny walls help bounce light across the space, giving a bright and open feel.
The family room in a Connecticut ranch by Summer Thornton is considered to be the "most comfortable in the house." The mix of patterns gives the space a more informal look.
Light, bright and varied textures make this family room by Nestor Santa-Cruz the ultimate place to sit back and relax, while taking in a great collection of art.
Mi a geometric chandelier, plaster sconces, and 1940s French lamps, the tiered illumination in this Florida living room by Jeff Lincoln creates an inviting glow.
With bright green lacquered walls — matched to a Pantone chip by Fine Paints of Europe — and a custom Langham & Fine rug patterned like formal garden hedges, a Texas family room takes on the freshness of an outdoor space. Back-to-back sofas in an ivory Cowtan & Tout fabric create two zones within the expansive room.
A Moroccan-inspired lounge, which homeowner Justina Blakeney has dubbed Bluhemia, is wallpapered with Aja in Teal, one of her designs for Hygge & West. The sectional is from Jonathan Louis, and the faux sheepskin is from Target.
"The den is where the family lives, so it had to be cozy yet remain elegant," says Meg Braff of this Long Island Colonial. "I wanted the seating to beg you to sit down." Lee Industries club chairs are covered in Cowtan & Tout's Rapallo; the velvet sofa is trimmed in Elysee by Samuel & Sons.The trim is in Benjamin Moore's Herb Garden.
"I always like a tiny bit of red in a room," says Kathryn M. Ireland. "It could be on a lampshade or even in a painting." Here, in a Cape Cod family room, it appears on the tablecloth, in Ireland's Keltic Stripe linen in Aubergine. It's also on the seat cushions, in her Wildflowers linen, of the Lloyd Loom chairs. The wallcovering is Ireland's Duden Lodge in Blue and the floors are painted in Snow Sky by Barry Dixon for C2 Paint.
Miles Redd rehung art throughout his mother's home in Atlanta. In the family room, he added brackets and clustered all blue and white (which he bought at auction) china for impact.
An upstairs sitting room offers expansive water views. Designer Frank Roop upholstered the frame of the sectional in a Manuel Canovas fabric and its cushions in Osborne & Little's Peregrina. Old-fashioned roll-up curtains in C&C Milano's Laveno Mille hide modern solar shades by Lutron that lower with the press of a button to darken the room for TV watching. The vintage carved wood stool contrasts with a graphic rug from Steven King Decorative Carpets.
Designer Celerie Kemble wanted this den to have an inviting "feet-up" sensibility. The floor is covered in 10 different vintage Moroccan rugs that create an enveloping vibe. She chose all the fabrics in the room to be comfy and durable, so the family can relax together.
A Verellen sectional in linen velour anchors a Maryland home's family room. The walls are faux-finished, with trim in Benjamin Moore's Soot. The cocktail table is by Kerry Joyce. The curtains are in a Ralph Lauren Home linen.
A modern Hamptons retreat's custom Vladimir Kagan ottoman is covered in an iridescent leather resembling fish skin. Designer Amy Lau had the walls painted Benjamin Moore's Spring Mint.
In a historic New England home designed by Nina Farmer, Holland & Sherry grass cloth covers the family room's walls; the trim, painted in Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue, complements a vintage sofa upholstered in an indigo Lee Jofa fabric.
"The family room is sports central," designer Nathan Turner says of client Eric Stonestreet's Los Angeles house. A custom sectional in Calvin Fabrics' Antiquity faces an enormous flat-screen television. The Candemir ottoman from Nathan Turner, covered in Elite leather, is tough enough to handle football fans with their feet up, and an original Gustav Stickley armchair strikes a masculine note.
All the blues in this Atlanta house designed by Kristin Kong started with the vivid fabric on the family room sofa, Kravet's Venetian. A bookshelf conceals a door to the back stairs. Walls are painted in Kestrel White to contrast with the Mega Greige trim, both by Sherwin-Williams.
Lily, the French bulldog, sits in one of her favorite spots in the family room of designer Mark D. Sikes's West Hollywood house.
A big family room demands a big sectional, one with enough space for basset hounds Okie and Maggie to sack out. It's covered in plush Glant Island chenille, in one of dozens of shades of gray designer Marshall Watson used throughout the Naples, Florida, house. The cool palette counterbalances the bright light that pours through 12-foot-high windows.
"I think there's peace in balance," says designer Kay Douglass, who furnished the family room of an Atlanta house with two Charlotte chairs and ottomans, two vintage iron coffee tables found at a fair in France, two table lamps and two vintage side tables that belonged to the owners — lacquered in Orange Spice to give them new life.
In a Rhode Island house designed by Tom Scheerer, the family room's sofa pairs Clarence House blue corduroy with seat covers in Peter Dunham's Samarkand. A bold-patterned Indian rug echoes azure tiles in the kitchen, framed by faux-bois–painted walls and trim in Benjamin Moore's Linen White.
In the adjoining family room of a Greenwich, Connecticut, house, designer Lee Ann Thornton covered the walls and sectional in the same fabric, Quadrille's Persepolis: "I wanted the space to feel more hip and fun," she says. The ottoman is covered in Martyn Lawrence Bullard's Kabba Kabba.
Family room walls in a Naples, Florida, house designed by Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller are glazed yellow to make "every day feel sunny." Curtains in Alan Campbell's Potalla linen-cotton and sofas in Rogers & Goffigon's Violetta cotton velvet.
"The earthy tone of the kitchen is continued through the breakfast room into the family room — uniting them as one large space," designer Barbara Barry says of this space in a Corona del Mar, California, house. "It's more embracing, and you just don't want to leave. This core of the house works like a shadow box that opens onto a vast horizontal green garden." An enormous custom leather ottoman doubles as seating or a table for informal meals.
In a Los Angeles house decorated by Schuyler Samperton, the family room's sofas and a wing chair, all from Rooms & Gardens, are upholstered in Jasper's Melaya and Kathryn M. Ireland's Woven, respectively. Ballard Designs ottoman in a Bolivian textile from L'Aviva Home.
Little jolts of orange punctuate the beiges and pale blues in the family room of a Greenwich, Connecticut, house designed by Ashley Whittaker.
Mac Fabrics' Hip print on the family room sofas "hides a multitude of sins," Liza Pulitzer Calhoun says of her Palm Beach house. The coffee table is vintage, and the lamps are repurposed baskets.
Two banquettes run the length of a 20-foot wall in the family room. "I like the ease of going from dining to lounging," Benjamin Dhong says of this San Francisco row house. "And the room has an expansive feel because it's not cut in half by a sofa." A William Curtis Rolf photograph "gives the space a garden-room vibe."
In a Lake Forest, Illinois, house designed by Ruthie Sommers, both sofas and the curtains in the family room are covered in Chenonceaux, an ikat by Brunschwig & Fils. Another bold ikat covers the ottoman. Custom dining chairs by Chapman Radcliff are upholstered in Pierre Frey's Le Grand Corail. An end table from John Rosselli Antiques is topped with a blue-and-white ginger jar lamp from Hollywood at Home. Sommers designed the large grass cloth–covered coffee table to accommodate everything from stacks of books to cocktails.
In the family room of a Manhattan apartment designed by Miles Redd, a sectional purchased at Christie's is covered in a blue cotton velvet by Schumacher. The Nobilis Chene faux-bois paper on the walls is hung horizontally for a modern look.
The furniture in the family room of a Nashville house can be moved easily. Markham Roberts designed the tufted chaise, covered in Pierre Frey's Shabby linen, and the Bridgewater chairs, in Quadrille's Arbre de Matisse.
In a Los Angeles house designed by James Radin, the family room is a natural extension of the kitchen, incorporating contrasting and complementary colors.
A Verellen sectional in linen velour anchors the family room in a Maryland living room by Mona Hajj.
In a Brooklyn townhouse, designer Jonathan Berger gave this family room's elaborate Georgian-style woodwork a limed-oak finish and painted the ceiling a pale blue.
Designer Lynn Morgan created a simple family room in blue and white for a Connecticut farmhouse. "It's orderly, but that doesn't mean it isn't kid- and dog-friendly. The fabrics and furniture are indestructible. The room says, 'Come on in, everybody's welcome,'" she says.
Designer Michael S. Smith used a mix of patterns in this family room to keep it cozy. "I think you can be comfortable in a room that has no pattern, but it requires more effort," he says. "I think pattern is a shortcut to emotion. It has all these memories, of a place or a period or a particular dress your mother wore."
Robert Stilin created a serene setting with comfortable seating and cashmere pillows, while sheer curtains keep it light and easy.
For this family room, Suzanne Kasler designed a built-in cabinet for the client's collection of pond yachts and nautical artifacts, which stand out against a red slatted-wood wall.
Designer Andrew Flesher transformed a traditional Tudor structure into a versatile, modern space with an eclectic decor that is both warm and luxurious.
Designer Mary McDonald used youthful colors and traditional furniture to complete this Los Angeles family room.
A light-filled Beverly Hills family room with spectacular views is filled with restrained modern furniture and an aluminum, Plexiglas and walnut coffee table designed by Chantal Dussouchaud.
The geometric cement fireplace was custom-built to fit in this small space designed by Chantal Dussouchaud. Cream walls open up the room and reflect light.
Designers Patricia Healing and Daniel Barsanti demonstrate their technique for grounding a high-ceilinged space: scale and symmetry. The tall armoire is one of a pair flanking the sofa, lending balance and architectural heft. A striped rug, graphic bases on the table and ottoman and patterned pillows break up the expanses of solid-colored upholstery.
A custom sofa and ottoman bring a cozy feel to a family room designed by Chantal Dussouchaud.
Collections of old globes and scientific instruments bring classical design to this "natural history" family room designed by Jill Morris.
Architect Ken Pursley converted an exterior porch in this North Carolina home into a blended kitchen and family room. "The original kitchen was off in a cul-de-sac, but kitchens should not be dead-end spaces," he says. "They should have at least two doorways, so they're part of the circular flow of the house."
Designers William Diamond and Anthony Baratta conceptualized this family room in the style of a grand Manhattan apartment seen through a modern lens.
Designer William Hodgins played with shape and color in this grand family room. "I think odd forms and unusual shapes of furniture are always charming, like that table in the family room next to the leather-tufted sofa," he says. "I like its strong carved legs, and I think its awkward-looking feet make it even better."
Designer Jacqueline Derrey Segura used soft colors and earthier furniture in this family room, since that's where the homeowners spend the most time.
A combination of white, taupe and cream — with a touch of blue and green — brings a sense of calm and relaxation to this family room designed by Christopher Maya.
This beach house family room was inspired by the colors of sand and sea. Designer Annie Selke used a surfboard as an informal coffee table.
True to Belgian style, this family room designed by Kay Douglass is comfortable and inviting but without a lot of furniture. Ancient French doors open into a custom media cabinet and provide the room's startling focus. A high-backed sofa is upholstered in linen, and walls are paneled in wide horizontal planking.
Designer Eldon Wong seamlessly blended the kitchen and family room in this Bridgehampton, New York, home. "I wanted an all-purpose room rather than a traditional kitchen," Wong says. "As soon as you walk into my house, you see the kitchen from the entryway. So I wanted it to look more like a family room. The idea was, let's make this a multifunctional space that we can use 24/7. It's all about being with friends, cooking, gabbing, watching TV."
Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber relied on symmetry to make this family room feel balanced and settled.
Designer Betsy Burnham chose a limited palette of colors to modernize this traditional space. Faux-bois wallpaper represents her tongue-in-cheek take on '70s rec room wood paneling.
Old waxed ceiling beams, pale honey wall plaster and a mix of French and Italian antiques helped designer Fern Santini create a family room that radiates warmth and tradition.
Designers Barbara Westbrook and Kim Winkler opened the kitchen of an Atlanta house to the family room. "The space had to accommodate a family of five, as well as a lovable golden retriever," says Westbrook. "The openness makes it easy for everyone to mingle and not feel separated. But it was important that the two rooms look coordinated." They worked with a neutral and white palette, a mix of rustic antiques and unfussy contemporary pieces.
In this Moroccan-style family room designed by Christopher Maya, a small office is neatly tucked behind carved lattice doors, and the sofa pulls out for guests.
David Kleinberg designed this kitchen and family hangout room in a pool house on Long Island. "I love it," he says. "We built it from scratch, a big, continuous sitting room with a kitchen at one end. The floor is bluestone, and it continues out onto the terrace on the poolside. It's meant for wet feet and grass in your toes, and the kitchen is very help-yourself."
Mallory Marshall designed this modern kitchen that opens up to a mostly white family room in Maine. There's no clutter visible from the sitting area, however. "Appliances are put away," she says. "I don't even like to see outlets on a wall — they look like eyes to me — so they're recessed into the wood of the bottom shelf."
Designer Jason Bell chose functional pieces for a Connecticut family room. "We do ottomans a lot, and they're always on casters," he says. "You can put your feet up on them, put a tray on them, make a table or pull them into a group for extra seating."
A stout wooden coffee table and a pair of Chesterfield sofas in leather and raw silk anchor a seating area designed by Hattie Wolfe and Abby Rizor. The Indonesian bowl echoes the patina of the shelves Abby Rizor made from scaffolding boards to display some of her favorite art and objects.
To separate this family room from an open kitchen, designer Alex Papachristidis used bold, patterned fabrics and painted the walls dark brown.
Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber chose strong, confident colors for an old Pennsylvania farmhouse. "My starting point was the owners' collection of 19th-century American landscapes. It was such a clear-headed, concise collection, so I needed to make the surroundings live up to it," he says. On the one side of the family room, the low backs of klismos chairs allow those on the sofa a view of the cozy fire.
Strong reds and blues visually anchor this family room, a busy crossroads between kitchen, dining room, veranda and stairs to the boys' wing upstairs. "The genesis of the family room was the fabric," says designer Tom Scheerer. "It's a French print with a kind of American aspect."
Stone walls and large ceiling beams add a romantic atmosphere to this vacation home designed by Cathy Kincaid.