A family space by definition is relaxed and informal.  Growing and active families need space to move, play, and express themselves. Avoid highly structured furniture layouts or rigid lines.  Open up floor space so children can play in the same room the adults are sitting in. Remember, the floor often will be used as an active living space so don’t overcrowd it with too much furniture.

Multi-functional pieces were designed for the ever-changing human condition.  The coffee table chest is built to do double duty.  Knitting, games, or toys can be kept inside while the lid acts as a traditional living room table top.  Dough box or accent table cabinets provide a platform for lamps and plants and extra storage space for the TV remote. Futons can be both a sofa and a bed for those sleepovers and family reunions.

Avoid dark somber shades and bring on the primary and pastels.  Don’t be afraid to add color to your room.  A multi-colored rug or slipcover works like Ponce De Leon’s fountain of youth when it comes to family-friendly interior design.  If you are working with natural wood furniture, consider painting the walls a brighter color or changing the drapes. Add a few colorful items to your bookcase or console table.

Don’t forget the importance of play.  Rooms can be transformed by a single piece of whimsical furniture, framed handprints, or other playful items.  Try to reserve some space on the mantle or display cabinet for school projects or homemade art items.

Large handmade Amish toys like rocking horses, a doll house, or wooden trains are often delightful living room décor.  After all rocking horses are often displayed in art museums and classic wooden toys are points of interest in historic homes. So why not enjoy these timeless classics where everyone can see and play with them?