Decorating Dilemma: Laura’s Family Room

Ideas for redecorating a family room

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I recently moved from NYC to live with my boyfriend at his home in NJ. As you can imagine our styles both clashed and as you can see in the pictures attached, our furniture just doesn’t blend well together. Making the move from the city to the country suburban life has been quite an adjustment, and I’m really trying to make this house my home!

Unfortunately my living and dining room great room has been the hardest for me. I’m desperately seeking some style for my new home and lifestyle, and I couldn’t think of a better and talented team than the Design Solutions team! I absolutely love Ballard Designs and am looking for some help pulling this room together. Can you please help this city girl?! I’m in desperate need of style back in my life.

“Desperately seeking style”
Aka Laura

Laura's family room
Laura's family room

Laura's family room

Laura's family room

Dear “Desperately Seeking Style”,

Combining design styles can be a challenge, but the good news is that you can create an amazing eclectic look by including several bridge pieces.

Every good room starts with an amazing rug. The Allegro Hand Hooked rug should be your amazing start. This cozy and modern rug creates an attitude for your room and compliments the existing colors. We suggest topping your rug with one of two options:  a large storage ottoman in Trellis Taupe or 2 Durham Cocktail Tables.  Either choice would give you great storage combined with a stunning style!!

Your media wall currently has a look that is safe and simple, but we suggest ‘ramping it up’ with a media center that communicates its’ own great style. The Vetrino Media Cabinet and Hutch, in a walnut finish, will give you a beautiful and functional piece for all your media needs. Flank each side of the media cabinet with a Suzanne Kasler Sunburst Mirror, a fabulous sparkle pieces.

The current sofa and loveseat placement is perfect for your viewing needs, but we suggest removing the over sized chair in the corner. Replace this piece with a Griffin Chair enveloped in our Kenya Gray. You should consider snuggling your quilt rack behind the Griffin Chair, then you can add a Bornova Side table in black.

The dining area looks nice but we suggest bringing in a touch of Ballard Design ‘bling’ by hanging our incredible Orb Chandelier in Aged Silver over the table. Soften the entire space by framing all of the windows in Suzanne Kasler Linen Drapery Panels in Parchment.

Based on these suggestions, we know that style will be finding the city girl again and giving her a place to feel at home!

We always enjoy seeing pictures of updated spaces, so remember to send a few when you complete your look!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Solutions Team

Ideas for redecorating a family room

Do you have a decorating dilemma? Send us your own questions here.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Carol Bissell

    August 29, 2014

    I love every suggestion your team gave Laura for her living spaces. But I thought her family room needed better bolder lighting. It seemed too dark, even with a large picture window. Your thoughts?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      September 2, 2014

      Hi Carol,

      That’s a great idea. Lighting is so important to the feel of the space, and we love your idea of picking something bold! We’ll have to send your idea along to Laura and our Design Solutions team.

      Thanks for the suggestion,
      The How to Decorate Team

  2. Reply

    Mary Wood

    August 27, 2014

    I would like to hang two pendant chandeliers over a 6 foot table. Do you have any suggestions on how to pick the the correct size and how they should be spaced?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 28, 2014

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your comment. We actually have an entire team dedicated to helping you solve those kind of problems in your home. It’s a free service which you can take advantage of by either visiting one of our stores, or submit your questions online by completing this form. Just let us know what kind of help you need, send us some pictures of your space, and our Design Solutions team will create a plan for you!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team