The family room space traditionally translates into the idea of a gathering place for all members of the family to relax and enjoy together. Unlike the living room concept, traditionally designed with a more formal presentation, the family room’s design and mood is typically geared towards comfort and casual living. Technology, screen time and social media habits have arguably altered the typical family interaction over the past decade, often to the detriment of quality togetherness. Having a designated family gathering space clearly doesn’t eliminate technology habits, yet creating a casual and comfortable gathering space that appeals to the entire family helps to promote relaxation, and interaction encourages togetherness.

Families remodeling or building a luxury custom home should consider a few important elements when creating the perfect family room: location, comfort, durability, activities to be enjoyed, storage, lighting, ambiance.


First and foremost, consider which part of the home would be a more natural destination for the family to gather. The popularity of open concept with custom built homes today often results in family rooms being an extension of a modern kitchen, a natural gathering place for mealtime preparation and after school interactions. Some prefer separation from kitchen activities, creating more of a quiet sanctuary. Another option is to have the room adjacent to an exterior gathering space or patio for easy indoor/outdoor flow and entertaining.


A main priority when decorating a room for the entire family to hang out in: comfort, beginning with plenty of seating for everyone, with cozy couches and overstuffed chairs, impossible not to relax in. It should be welcoming and casual, a feet-up affair, not formal and stuffy. And, along those lines, think durability. Even the most luxurious homes should offer those family/pet/kid–friendly rooms where you can have a pillow fight, spill your juice and track in mud without causing stress. Just avoid the silks and the antiques and consider stain-resistant fabrics and rugs and reclaimed or heavy rustic wood tables instead.

Large seating area in a lake country home.

The purpose of the family room, as stated, is to have a specific haven for the family to regularly gather in. To encourage that, make it the spot for the activities the family most enjoys together. Whether it is playing games, cards, reading, video games or watching movies, it should be able to accommodate all these things. Think separate game table or large coffee table that can either hold books or be used for games. Seating should accommodate the activities, and attractive, ample shelving and storage should keep activities accessible and organized.

Many luxury homeowners choose to have their family room with a dual purpose, whether it be a game room, library, movie room or home office, and this is where storage really becomes important. When everything has a place to be put away and out of sight, a room can be whatever you want for the evening: a quiet reading room, family game central, an afternoon Lego city, a movie theater. Book shelves lined with books, alternated with drawers and cabinets to store games, toys and cozy blankets, hidden media shelves for DVDs, video consoles and a retractable TV or movie screen are all elements that contribute to easy transitions and painless organization.


Ambiance is created with lights and color, setting the tone; building the room around a fireplace with its natural warmth and light is ideal. Make this room personal: every dream home deserves a personal “family space”, a reflection and celebration of the occupants, with their unique style, tastes, hobbies, etc. Decorate with personal pictures, treasures from travels and fun accents that reflect the family’s personality. Make it fun and welcoming for all with interesting art and cozy blankets and pillows. Most importantly, keep everyone in mind and make it a destination for being together.