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Kara+Ian’s Sophisticated Family Rooms

Since the advent of the Era of the Open Floorplan, we’ve been wrestling what to do with these spaces. For all the many benefits, the spaciousness, the breeziness, the flow, these floorplans also present a lot of challenges: how to decorate long walls, how to furnish each space so that they flow together, how to incorporate family life without feeling like the children’s spaces are taking over.

Like we discussed last time, Kara and Ian’s front rooms are gorgeous. The space is totally open, with an entryway that flows into two separate areas, all featuring beautiful wainscoting. But they still struggled with those same open floorplan challenges. The entryway wall is very long, and they were unsure what to do with it, or how to section off an entry space from a living room. The play room needed to feel sophisticated enough to sit next to the family room, but still feel like a fun, child-centered place to play. And the family room needed to be centered around TV time, while still working well for entertaining guests.

Here’s where we started:

Because the space is so open, they wanted to make it feel more cozy. We decided that a darker paint color on the walls would help the space feel intimate, while being well balanced by the white wainscoting. Here’s where we ended up!

It isn’t often that I get to work with color schemes in pinks and purples like in this space, so I was thrilled to get to experiment with these new tones! We chose a deep eggplant for the walls, which helps draw the space together, adding a touch of drama and creating cohesion. We maxed out the seating in the living area with a velvet sofa, a pair of leather chairs, and a few ottoman stools that can be moved around as needed.

In the entry space, we brought in a beautiful vintage floor runner, taking advantage of the long entry space, and finished it off with a few pieces for storage and functionality.

The Montessori-style playroom is kept spare, with toys easily accessible and a cozy rug under foot. By leaving this space a bit under-decorated, we ensure it stays versatile over the years, but still incorporated artwork that feels whimsical yet sophisticated.

I just love how this all turned out for them. Next up are the back rooms, which I think might be even more gorgeous, if that’s possible!


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