by April Sanders
Family rooms are usually the entertainment center of the house. Family rooms use living room furniture but are typically arranged in a more family-functional way than a formal living room. Family rooms are so named because they are usually where the family gathers to enjoy each other's company, whether for conversation, watching movies or playing board games. Arrange the furniture in your family room to accommodate these family activities.
Determine the focal point. If the room has a fireplace, this is probably the focal point. Televisions, however, are often the focal points of family rooms. If your fireplace and television are on different walls, set up most of the furniture facing the television and create a reading area near the fireplace by placing one chair, along with a side table and lamp, on one side of the fireplace. Many people with fireplaces will solve the problem of two focal points by installing a flat panel television above the fireplace.
Place the largest piece of furniture opposite the focal point. This is usually a sofa. Position it about ten feet from the focal point.
Create a conversation area. Set up two chairs or a love seat near the sofa, creating a "U" shape with the furniture. Do not put them up against the wall unless the room is very small; leave space behind the furniture for traffic flow.
Add a table. Place a coffee table in front of the sofa. You may want to choose one that can be used for playing board games and has storage area.
Add lighting and smaller furniture. Place some end tables on either side of the sofa or place just one end table between the two chairs to save space in a smaller room. Set lamps on the end tables to provide better lighting for reading or game playing.
Install bookshelves along one wall. This gives a family room a cozy feel and is great for storing DVDs, books and board games as well as for displaying family photos or collectibles. Bookshelves work best in a large room, although it can be done in small family rooms as long as the shelves are not too cluttered.