For a cozy atmosphere, pull some furniture away from the wall. / SelectStock/Getty Images
Chances are, your family room has a packed schedule. Between book clubs, game nights and kid sleepovers, not to mention being the comfiest spot for vegging out, this high-traffic room could use some TLC. Interior designer Carla Lane shares her favorite ideas that make a big impact for few dollars:
Create a gallery wall. Where your kids hang out is the perfect place to display their artwork or snapshots, Lane says. Avoid matchy-matchy frames. Mix styles and sizes — think small kid drawings, as well as 11-by-14-inch photos. Before you get out the hammer, arrange six, eight, 12 (or more!) pieces on your floor to get an idea of how they will look together on your wall. For affordable frames, try IKEA. “They come with mattes that you can use or toss,” Lane says.
Rearrange your furniture. For a cozy atmosphere, pull some furniture away from the wall. “People tend to push their couch and other pieces up against a wall like they’re little soldiers,” Lane says. “But if you float your couch so it’s closer to your coffee table, you’ll make your room feel more airy.”
Change the lampshades. Lamps can be pricey, but a lampshade? Not so much! “Lamp stores can help you create a custom lampshade,” Lane says. The extra detail pulls a room together. Want to keep it really simple? Use a glue gun to attach a pretty ribbon around the top of your existing shade.
Add pillows and throws. “You can’t have too many pillows and throws in a family room,” Lane declares. They make the space inviting. On a couch, toss six or more pillows in different sizes. For finds, search etsy.com. Next, look for throws to cuddle with and provide pops of color. Store extras in an oversize rattan basket, a nice look on its own. For ideas, visit restorationhardware.com and westelm.com.
Lay down a colorful cotton dhurrie. These rugs are trendy, colorful and inexpensive. Try a 4-by-6-foot striped or zigzag pattern under your coffee table. “You can lay it right over wall-to-wall carpet,” Lane says. It’s the fastest face lift ever.