Decorating Dilemma: Heather’s Family Room

Decorating a small family room with lots of doors

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,

Our family room has an awkward layout. It has one wall, two sides have very large cased openings, there is one angle with the fireplace/mantle/tv and the last angle has french doors. The result is there is one wall to place seating (currently we have a sofa) and the other seating floats. When you enter the room you come to the back of these seats. Because of the layout I haven’t figured out how to increase the seating. What would you recommend? This is our main entertaining room and I would like to have as much seating as possible.

Are there any specific products you would recommend from Ballard?

up the stairs
fireplace wall
back of house behind
looking at bookcase

Dear Heather,

What a lovely, cozy room! There are a couple of things we can do to maximize your space and make it entertainment ready.

Your sofa works well in its current location. The current side table and lamp will work well, too.

Two sets of the Garden District Mirrors in Wood, hung horizontally above your sofa, would fill that space and add a little sparkle to your room. The Devlin Tufted Rug is a great add to define the space and bring in a soft, rich color palette. We suggest replacing your current ottoman/coffee table with a Carrington Coffee Table. The round shape works better in tight spaces by opening up the center of the room. Consider tucking two Leather Cube Ottomans in Mineral within your conversation area to provide mobile seating when necessary or a spot to prop your feet while watching the fireplace.

Your existing chair with the wood frame should move to the opposite side of the room, and then angle it into the corner between the fireplace and the French door. Now tuck a William Floor Lamp into the corner to light up that corner of the room. Shifting the furniture opens up the space to add additional seating in the conversation area. Two small Brighton Club Chairs in Queens Velvet Teal are a luxurious solution for the added seating. A small Olivia Mirrored Side Table in Antique Brass between the chairs is ideal for a book or a drink.

An Oval Louis XVI Armchair upholstered in Pallini Sand would fit nicely on the right side of the fireplace. It is a lightweight chair that can be moved around easily for extra seating. Between your two entryways, we suggest a Brookfield Demilune in Dark Mahogony for another great addition. The curve of the front will allow for an easy traffic flow in front of it. To complete this small vignette, a Dawson Table Lamp on top of the demilune will light the space and draw attention to your art.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.