Decorating Dilemma: Marcia’ Family Room

Decorating a large, open 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,

We just moved to a new home, and it has a large open living, dining and Kitchen area. So far, we have purchased a reclining sofa and loveseat, and your Morroccan Trellis rug.

I’m trying to figure out the best way to arrange the furniture for TV viewing, as well as what additional furniture I should add. Do I need accent chairs? The side tables shown in the picture are only temporary.

And I think I’ll need some accent colors and decor! Would love some advice before making anymore purchases.


sectional view
looking at tv & fireplace
dooway into room
view of kitchen island

Dear Marcia,

This looks like a very inviting and warm family space that you will be enjoying for years to come. We love our Moroccan Trellis rug in your room. Now let’s see what we can do to bring in some finishing touches.

First, we would suggest moving the couch that is under the bank of windows to “float” in the room, directly across from the windows. Moving the couch will define the conversation space in the room. This will also open up a place for some window treatments to shine. Our new Courtney Curtain Panels will look stunning en masse in your large bank of windows. Use one large curtain rod, hung just below the transom windows so that you can hang the 108” panels and just have them touch the floor. The panels will also soften the hard lines within the space.

As some extra seating, we think two of our X benches in the Courtney Spa would look terrific under the windows. These could also do ‘double duty’ when pulled forward to the sofa. All you need is a tray on top and you have an instant cocktail table.

You mentioned wanting to replace your end tables. Have you seen our Durham collection? We love all of the pieces but think that the Durham End tables would be stunning on either side of your new reclining sofa. To bring a softer light to the grand space, add the Suzanne Kasler Chappelle Urn table lamps for a beautiful statement. Try these in the camel color, which will work beautifully with the colors in the rug and drapery panels. You could place one lamp on each end table for symmetry and function.

While we are on the subject of lighting, we see a fabulous place for some pendant lights above your spacious kitchen island. With a cathedral ceiling you can handle the scale of our Large Eldridge Pendant Light in the antique bronze finish. We think your space would accommodate three of these beauties. The bronze color will ground your space, and the clear glass will still allow for an unobstructed view of the kitchen from the great room.

For some finishing touches, we love our Paris Mist Art for above your fireplace mantle. It looks like you have the space for the 50×40 size. Use our Suzanne Kasler Round Market Baskets for firewood on the floor by the hearth for added organic texture and use a collection of our found Demijohn glass bottles above the kitchen cabinets. Layering these key pieces will support to the overall aesthetic of the room.

Happy Decorating,

The Design Team


Decorating a large, open family room

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

    Lori Griffin

    June 3, 2015

    I recently purchased the Courtney draperies and now would like wool rug recommendations my husband like a plusher variety and I am not sure how to mix patterns our home is a 1929 bungalow?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 31, 2015

      Hi Lori,
      We can definitely help you choose some rug options to match your Courtney panels! Simply complete this form (don’t forget to include photos and measurements!), and our design team will contact you with a plan and next steps!
      The How to Decorate Team