Decorating Dilemma: Kendra’s Family Room

Kendra's 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,

My husband and I are redecorating our house, and we have one room in which we are completely lost on how to arrange furniture! We have been here for six years, and I cannot figure out how to make this room visually appealing or functional.

It is a large room (20 ft. x 20 ft.) with 10 ft. ceilings, a wood stove, a massive sliding door, and two sets of stairs leading into it. Any help you could offer on how to arrange the furniture in the room would be greatly appreciated!

The photos were taken pre-reno. The floor is now hardwood to match the wainscoting, the hideous stone around the wood stove has been changed, the popcorn ceiling is gone, and the walls have been painted! Now I need help to finish the room off and make it a place where friends and family can gather!

Thanks for your help,


Entrance with steps
large with flat screen
View of door access
wall with three windows
view of wood stove


Dear Kendra,

What a wonderful, light-filled room! Let’s move some things around and add in a few new pieces to make the room gorgeous and functional for your family.

K Miniely Floorplan

Your existing console will work beautifully between your two entryways. Move it into place and then top it off with a Jill Mirror. Flank the mirror with two Suzanne Kasler Chapelle Urn Lamps in Camel to create statement wall.

Pull your two sofas together in the center of the room and ground them on an Inwood Indoor/Outdoor Rug. This establishes the central focus of the room and sets the stage for a great conversation spot. The Fletcher Coffee Table nestled between the sofas will add nice texture and a great blend of sleek and casual. Now center a Distressed Black Belgard Media Cabinet on the large wall to provide a spot for all your entertainment equipment. Two Butler Trays flanking the media cabinet will be ideal for books, plants and family treasures. Above the Butler Trays consider hanging a pair of Suzanne Kasler Antique Egg Art prints to repeat the balance of the space. Tuck a William Floor Lamp beside the sofa, nearest the outside door, to light that side of the room. Behind the floor lamp, hang the Parisian Wall Art canvas capturing all the colors of the room in grand way. Let’s finish off this seating area with two Upholstered Cubes in the unexpected Dodie print for moveable seating.

The space around the wood stove feels so cozy … especially after you add a pair of Helmes Wing Chairs in Buffalo Check Taupe. Connect the chairs together with a Newport Demilune Table in Black and a Suzanne Kasler Round Storage Ottoman in Trilby Basketweave Bark. A Julian Apothacary Floor Lamp turns this corner into a perfect reading spot.

Every family space can use a game table. Yours would fit nicely in the corner to the right of the outside door. A 42” Sidney Table in Hickory Brown give you a spot for games, a snack or to work at the computer. We also suggest adding Parsons Chair with a washable Off White Quilted Slipcover for easy seating. Lighting is an important element to this corner. The Remington Pendent Chandelier is an ideal candidate to fill the need.

Enjoy your new space.

Happy Decorating!

Kendra's family room

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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


    December 14, 2014

    I have been trying to find the fabric used on the chaise (fainting chair – see link below) in the design by Bunny Williams, Brian J. McCarthy, and David Kleinberg Design. Any ideas?
    Thank you.
    Laurie Haan

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      December 19, 2014

      Hi Laurie,
      That’s a gorgeous space you’re using as inspiration. We love it! We actually do have a fabric with a very similar look, our Zebra Woven in Natural. Best of luck with your space!
      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team