Decorating Dilemmas: Kay’s Great Room

Decorating a great room for a young family

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.


I would love to have some help from Ballard! We have a combined family room and kitchen that needs some flair. We are a family of four with two young girls. We bought this grey sectional and now I’m looking for a natural weave rug (seagrass or jute) for the family room plus an ottoman for the coffee table. My husband is adamant about having an ottoman versus a coffee table so he has somewhere to put his feet up. Can you recommend an ottoman – either covered in fabric – or a leather one?I would also love suggestions for art above the sectional, lamps, fabric, pillow cushions, and throws to add some color and life to this well-used room.

For the kitchen, can you recommend an upgrade to the current dining table that was purchased from Ballard about five years ago. I would also like new chairs, new stools for the island, lighting, and a recommendation for what to do with the space where the chalkboard is. We need more space for storage, so I was thinking of adding some shelves. I would love to hear your ideas and recommendations.

The family room is 11’9″ wide and 16′ long from the TV wall to the back of the sectional. The island is 3′ high, and the eating area is 11’4″ long from the island to the sectional. The area where the chalkboard is, is 5′ from the top of the table to the crown molding and that wall is 6’4″ in length.

Thanks for your help,








Let’s bring on the flair and color, you sectional is a great starting point and with the addition of color and texture we will bring your space to life.

Our foundation for the living space is a Braided Jute Rug. The natural fiber will just be the beginning of the textures that we want to add to the spaces. Above the sectional we selected two abstract prints by one our exclusive artist, Kiki Slaughter, Field Day and Extra Mile. Both prints are the inspiration point for our color story in your room. Consider adding a few of the Signature Velvet Teal and Meyer Sky Pillows, along with the Autumn Throw, to give the sectional a boost of color and texture. Meeting everyone’s needs is important so we have added the Hayes Round Ottoman in Mia Gray will fulfill your husband’s wish of somewhere to prop his feet. For a lighting touch, replace your lamp with the Estelle Table Lamp for a touch of gold, and the Chippendale pattern is repeated in the kitchen.

We selected the Shiloh Chair and Ottoman in Courtney Peacock to create a reading nook to the right of the television and used your existing floor lamp. The Ananda Serving Table is the perfect size for the space under your windows and, if you add two Leather Cubes in teal, it will provide extra seating for unexpected guests. Two Signature Velvet Teal Drapery Panels will frame the windows — plus we love the layering effect with your roman shades. Two of the mercury glass Simone Table Lamps will be the finishing touch for the room.

As we address the kitchen area, we will repeat the colors and patterns from the living room to fuse the two spaces. We begin by replacing your table with the Andrews 60” Pedestal Table in whitewash and then combine it with the Gray Dayna Dining Chairs, repeating the Chippendale theme. Pull two of the Simone Wicker Counter Stools, in driftwood, up to the counter to repeat the texture and color of the Braided Jute Rug. Lastly, our perfect storage solution for your kitchen is a pair of the Paulette Servers. The open shelving is great for displaying china and artwork and the drawers provide ample storage.

We know these ideas will give you the flair and color you are wanting! We always love to see pictures of transformed space!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating a great room for a young family

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

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.