Decorating Dilemma: Danielle’s Family Room

Danielle'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,

I’m trying to figure out what to do with my living/family room. I have 2 active boys ages 3 and 6. I want it to be cozy and entertaining-friendly.

I had a 8 x 10 rug but feel like it is too small for the room so I ‘borrowed’ this 9 x 12 rug from another room. Do I keep it here or find a new one?

My husband wants to replace the 3-seat couch with a leather one. If we do this, I think we should remove the existing chairs with 2 matching chairs opposite the loveseat. I don’t know what style would be appropriate. Recliner? Club? Wing (non-traditional)? Should I add a couple of ottomans?

big front window

sofa only w/ loveseat on right

sofa on right



What a lovely and airy family room area you have. We had such fun adding a few Ballard Designs touches to your family living space.


To define your seating area, why not lighten your cozy space by introducing a 9’x12’ Suzanne Kasler Sisal Rug edged in camel? Position the rug slightly underneath your chairs and sofas for a softer look. Adding our Spencer Sofa in Whiskey (dark brown) or Latte (light brown) leather, where your existing large sofa is located, will provide comfortable seating with a smaller rolled-arm look. Accessorize with our adorable Kiki Frog Knot Pillows in navy, flax and light blue to add warmth and color interest.

Two Stratford Chairs, upholstered in our cheerful Tybee Blue fabric, will add more comfortable seating when placed side-by-side and facing your windows. A Castered Tufted Storage Bench upholstered in Davidson Herringbone Indigo is great substitute for the ‘traditional’ cocktail table, and it will give you even more additional seating and storage. Place a wooden tray on the bench to accessorize with personal treasures.

We love your existing end tables but would suggest using the Dawson Table Lamp and the Sloan Floor Lamp – both in light natural wood tones – for a touch of organic visual interest.

From your photos, it looks like you have a bit of green in your upholstered dining chairs. Placing one large piece of colorful artwork above the leather sofa, such as our Gemstone Giclee, will tie together all the colors in both your dining room and living area.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team


Danielle'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.