Decorating Dilemmas: Miranda’s Large Family Room

Decorating a large family room with leather sofas

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 have a large living room that opens to the breakfast area and kitchen. I love our paper sack brown wall color, and I recently purchased the 9×12 Catherine Rug! I love it!

Now I have to get rid of all the red accents that I have in this space, but I’d like to keep my brown leather sofas. I’m now stuck on where to place our large furniture.

We also need accent furniture, wall art, drapes, and pillows for the sofas, and I’m not sure how to decorate the side tables.

Please help me design a calm, comfortable space that is functional for our family (children 5 & 1) and also a place we can entertain.








Dear Miranda,

Thanks for writing to us inquiring about how to turn your “blah brown living room” into a beautiful and comfortable space for you and your young family to live in and entertain friends. We have some great ideas on how to enliven your space with what you already have.

Your existing leather sofas look nice with our Catherine Rug. Even though this is a good starting point from which to create an amazing room, we feel your leather ottoman is too small and dark for the space. To brighten and soften the heaviness of the sofas, consider the idea of using our Weston Square Ottoman in a walnut finish and upholstered in our kid-friendly herringbone spa fabric by Sunbrella. To lighten things up even further, you can add some of our throw pillows like the Tassel Pillow in spa, the Buffalo Check Pillow in taupe, and the Trellis Pillow River.

Placing a Durham Console behind each sofa gives you some rustic and metallic elements and adds casual style. You can accessorize the consoles with our Potted Olive Topiary, our European Dough Bowls, and our Hand-Carved Horse Statue. What a great threesome of organic elements! Next to your sofa, partner our 30” Olivia Side Table in black, with an olive topiary and our 11” Brass Architectural Pyramid. The Moulins de Arles Trug could sit on the other side of the sofa and be fun storage magazines and children’s books.

Where you currently have your red console, why not think about our Rossi Huntboard in black lacquer? It would be amazing with the gilded Nest Mirror highlighted above it. On top of the huntboard, you could display the Bunny Williams Greek Hurricane along with a Sienne Urn and a Single Gilded Leaf Ball. This display would certainly make a statement!

Every fireplace should have a couple of tools to help build roaring fires. Our Rita Fireplace Tools in brass will continue the metallic theme. They are a nice touch.

As a finishing touch, hang our Rosselli Panels in Mineral and the Delicate Heron Art for an additional echo of the soothing spa colors. Remember the spa palette in the Catherine Rug? That is where our color inspiration is found!

We know your room will be beautiful with the addition of our suggestions!!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating a large family room with leather sofas

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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.