Design duo Robert and Cortney Novogratz have seven kids (!), so they know exactly how to create a fun, functional family room.
“There are no rules when it comes to home decor,” says Cortney. “Two lamps don't have to be the same, and the end tables needn't match either.” Never limit yourself to doing what everyone else traditionally does.
“We used a lightbox installation that spells out the word ‘family’ as the centerpiece of our family room,” says Cortney. “But you can say whatever you want. Use stencils to spell out your last name or write song lyrics that are important to you on the walls.” If you're really ambitious, steal this idea from a project the Novogratzes are currently working on: “We're blowing up family photos and turning them into wallpaper. It's a graphic personal touch that also eliminates the clutter of having tons of little picture frames.”
Cut the crap.
“The biggest mistake I see parents make is relying too heavily on plastic storage,” says Cortney, which can easily make the family room feel like an extension of your kid's bedroom. So use attractive containers. “For my sons' action figures, we use an antique wicker basket, which then has a dual purpose—to both tidy up the room and serve as an elegant design piece.”
Grow it up.
“I'll admit that when I redecorate a room, I consider what my friends will say when they see it,” says Cortney. “That's why I hang nice pieces of art in the family room.” Mix your kid's drawings with the legit artwork to announce that this is a playful, unprecious room—not a museum—for actually living. “The family room should be a place where you can host an adult party or a kid's party, so it's important to strike a balance between style and function.”