Decorating Dilemma: Serena’s “Forever” Home

Decorating a large family room off of the kitchen

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 moved into our “forever” home last August, and we love it! The one thing — I am not in love with the family room. It’s full of odd pieces of furniture from our previous homes and nothing goes together. We spend most of our time at home in this room, as it’s also open to the kitchen. Primary uses are: TV-watching, visiting with family and friends, and hanging out. Comfort is important!

I’ve been a Ballard fan for many, many years (since sometime in the 90s), and have several pieces scattered around my home. You’ll see the slipcovered Davenport chair and Grand Tour Etagere in these pictures.

Here are the issues I want to sort out: 

  1. Nothing goes together and everything is too dark. I want an off-white slipcovered sofa that can stand up to my 6’1″ 250 lb husband, as well as our kids and dog. I want a lighter and larger rug. Our room is 16×24. The rug you see is 8×11. Color scheme I want is: off-white, cream, taupe, & pale turquoise.
  2. The TV wall is tricky. I want the TV to remain where it is so I can see it while working in kitchen, but we need a larger TV stand or entertainment unit to fill up the 16 f wide wall. The ceilings are 9 ft.
  3. We’ve sold the tall armoire to left of TV, so it’s no longer in the space.  The desk to right of the TV is a family heirloom, but doesn’t have to stay in this room.
  4. We’ve tried the sofa facing the fireplace, but no one liked it. It made for awkward TV-watching, plus we had wasted space behind sofa & between it & wall. We tried the sofa on wall opposite the fireplace but that just looked like grandma’s house.

Looking forward to your suggestions!!!








Congrats on finding you’re “Forever” home. We know there can be challenges along the way when the scale of your existing furniture seems off in your new space.

Our Baldwin Sofa sounds like it fits your family’s needs in both dimension and comfort. This frame has several slipcover options that can provide easy care for your family. You could consider the Off-White Twill for its washable attribute, but we also have an extensive fabric library from which you could select a fabric with attitude. Hat’s off to on your current sofa placement! This furniture arrangement allows you to maximize your TV viewing along with creating multiple focal points in your family room. The Harrison Hand Tufted rug sounds like it could be the perfect choice with its mineral, taupe and cream palette of colors. Center our Ananda Serving Table in Rustic Black, behind the sofa and then pair it with Edison Table lamps on both ends for the perfect balance.

You can easily bring fun and functional seating by placing a few Upholstered Cubes in the new Suzanne Kasler’s Santa Monica Taupe and Spa Sunbrella Stripe. This fabric is has a soft hand even though it is an outdoor textile. Consider relocating your beautiful family heirloom desk to a guest bedroom allowing your visitors the perfect amount of drawer space to tuck away personal items. Now that the room’s largest wall is available for use, you can make your room feel less “awkward” and more manageable. Our Toulouse Tall and Low Bookcase Collection placed in a functional configuration will give you ample versatility. Its adjustable shelves can accommodate your media components as well as the give you the perfect place to arrange a group of Piper Woven Stackable baskets to collect and organize your family’s treasures. Finish your family room transformation by layering the Belize Fringe, Tahiti Peacock and the Leopard Smokey Gray pillows on your Davenport Club chair and your new Baldwin Sofa.

We hope the ideas and selections we’ve provided give you the inspiration to create the family room of your dreams.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating a large family room off of the kitchen

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.