Decorating Dilemma: Katie’s Family Room

Decorating a room with paneling and moulding

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 am struggling with the layout of this room. We recently bought our home, and I have had the room laid out two different ways. We like the couch along the wall because it opens the room up as you enter the space from the kitchen.

The upholstered chair in this is just there for how, but we don’t want it there! We also want to replace the chairs in front of the window.

The judges paneling also throws me for a loop! I am not sure how to arrange art on it, and I’m not sure if I need a large piece of art on the long wall or a collage. The paneling makes it difficult!

Please help! 🙂


Decorating a living room with paneling

Decorating a living room with paneling

Decorating a living room with paneling

Decorating a living room with paneling

Dear Katie,

It seems that the current layout of your room works best for the space and the architectural details. Building on how it is currently arranged will create a room that feels complete and finished!

Our Larkin Chairs are gracefully proportioned to make anyone comfortable that sits in them. Upholster both chairs in our Ryder Stripe fabric so that they complement the fabrics already in your room. When lounging, you always need a spot to rest a good book or a drink so we recommend starting with the Andrews Side Table, in whitewash, between the Larkin Chairs. Add a Morgan End Table to the left side of the sofa finished with our Dawson Table Lamp.

Now let’s discuss your question about the paneling. You can handle it in two different ways. First, you can bring attention to the paneling by working within its parameters. Or alternatively, you can disregard the trimwork altogether and use the wall as a whole, helping the trim to blend. The one thing to keep in mind is that this type paneling calls for symmetrical wall placement. We suggest centering your sofa on the center panel first, and then hang the Bellesol Mirror inside that center panel. Flank the mirror with our Botanical Impression Art. Hang the framed art on the raised panels to mimic the visual dimensional depth of the paneling.

To finish off you space, hang The Inconsolable Print above your console table to bring a touch of whimsy attached to your paneling and some fun throw pillows to your sofa.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating a room with paneling and moulding

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

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.


  1. Reply


    January 21, 2015

    I am a first time home builder. I am feeling overwhelmed. Where do I start with wall colors? Iwould like an all white kitchen and family room area. What about about bedrooms and bathrooms??????????Can I go all white there too? Too many decisions.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      January 23, 2015

      Hi Julie,
      We actually have a design team that can help you with your space! It’s a free service where our designers will examine your home or room, and give you suggestions for pulling together a look. Simply complete this form, and we’ll reach out to you! And be sure to upload photos and include as much detail (measurements, colors, etc.) as you can so we can offer you a thorough plan and solution!
      We look forward to hearing from you!
      The How to Decorate Team