(ARA) – Since families first moved out of caves and into houses, people have been looking to create the ideal room to bring family members together for quality time.
In the beginning, there was the living room, and families – unaware of the coming joys of television – gathered there in the evening to spend time together. Then, the rec room evolved, but it was often in the basement or away from the home’s main living area, and inhabitants felt isolated. And so the family room arose, to satisfy the need for a place where families could gather, play and enjoy one another while still being in the main part of the house.
Sadly, it’s easy for your family room’s purpose to get lost in the hectic pace and clutter of everyday life. If it’s time for your family to rise up and reclaim this room, here are some tips for putting the “family” back into “family room.”
1. Really think about how you and your family will use the room. Will it just be a place where you all gather to watch TV? Or will you be playing games there, holding family meetings, hosting kids’ play dates, etc.? Make a list of all the activities you expect will take place in your family room on a regular basis. Knowing how the room is really used will help in the steps ahead.
2. Cut the clutter. If your family room has become a storage space for furniture that doesn’t fit anywhere else in the house, or the treadmill that you’d like to forget you bought, you’ll need to get the junk out before you can reclaim the room for your family. Likewise, if the room is crammed with souvenirs and memorabilia from family trips, it will be visually overwhelming – and not feel welcoming to family members.
3. Be sure the room includes something for every age group represented in your core family. Small children won’t feel at home in a room with sophisticated grown-up decor and furniture that they can’t sit (or play) on. Likewise, parents will feel left out in a family room filled to bursting with kids toys and not much else. To make a room truly functional for the entire family, you’ll need to choose furniture and décor that can be useful and comfortable for every member of the family.
4. It’s your family room, so don’t be afraid to show off your beautiful family in the room’s decor. This is the spot where it’s appropriate to display the latest family portrait, pictures from your favorite vacation, even your oldest’s bronzed baby shoes. If you really want to make a family-oriented statement, consider converting a favorite family photo into a wallpaper mural and making it a central piece in the room’s décor. At www.muralsyourway.com, you can have an easy-to-install wallpaper mural made from your personal photos, and you can customize the size to fit in your room.
5. Families that dine together regularly are closer than those who don’t, studies show. Many of us use our family rooms for informal meals or just to share a fun snack time together. If the kitchen isn’t close to your family room, you might want to find a spot in the room for a microwave, small refrigerator or even a bar sink.
6. For all the colloquial wisdom that says technology depersonalizes interactions, families have always used it to draw closer together – from the days when families sat around the radio listening to news reports or comedy shows, to modern times when we watch DVDs together on our large-screen, high-definition plasma TVs. Be sure the presence of technology in your family room matches the level of its importance in your lives. If you enjoy watching a lot of movies, you’ll want to invest in a good TV and DVD player. If music is your family’s passion, a surround-sound stereo system might be in order. It’s also a good idea to locate the family desktop computer in this room, where parents will find it easier to monitor kids’ computer and Internet time.
Courtesy of ARAcontent