5 Family Room Ideas to Create a Cozy Retreat


In this article, you’ll see 5 family room ideas to create a cozy retreat for you and your family. The name “family room” conveys a warm and inviting area, one where you might envision playing card games with the kids, curling up by the fire with a good book or catching the big game on tv.

Family Room Ideas (pixabay)

Yet many times the family room is anything but relaxing, as it’s commonly a spot in the home where toys gather, snacks are spilled on the sofa and pets run to and from. A few simple tricks in design and switches in decor can calm down the chaos.


1. Family Room Design

Are you building or remodeling? Or maybe you’re not looking to make drastic changes, but you need extra storage. The family room design refers to the layout of the space and the design elements you’ll use to make it more efficient and comfortable. If you’re building or remodeling, including a fireplace in your family room design will add instant coziness. A ventless fireplace and stone surround can even be added years later. Lower ceilings in the family room will also give a nesting feeling, as will adding shiplap to the walls. You’ll want to consider how your family lives--do you like to read? Be sure to include reading lights next to seating. Do you have younger children who use the family room as a playroom? Storage to hide toys is key. Built-ins with cabinets, ottomans that open, and attractive bins are great options. Are food and beverages enjoyed in your family room? If so, each seating area needs its own table to hold glasses or plates within reach. Small tables or even low stools that can be easily moved and popped into any space are ideal.  

Family Room Decorating Ideas (Jenna Burger Design)

See post: Jenna Burger Design|A Newly Designed Home Office / Family Room


Using built-ins and a double-level coffee table, this Hometalker took advantage of some extra storage tricks. Propping prints and photos on top of the shelves make use of every available square inch. Both the garden and footstools can be moved around for drinks or snack trays.


2. Family Room Paint Colors

Do you long to simply brighten up your family room? The absolute best and easiest way is to paint. Paint the walls, ceiling, cabinets, furniture, even the floors! Nothing is off limits, and for the most part, these tasks can be inexpensively outsourced or even DIY’ed.


The paint colors you choose can have a big impact. Brightening up the paint to a cream color or white will instantly freshen up the space. Don’t forget the ceiling; it should be treated as a “fourth wall.” You might be surprised that a very light blue ceiling will make the room feel more chic. If you have built-in shelving, painting the backs of the shelves is a wonderful way to add pizzazz and is an easy afternoon project. Perhaps choose a turquoise or emerald green? Don’t be afraid that the color will be too bold. Remember that the accessories on your shelves will be in front of the color and serve to somewhat obscure it. And the color will make your accessories pop!


Dark wood tables or consoles could also be painted. How about an orange chest? The piece would certainly be a conversation starter. 

Family Room Decor (John @ AZ DIY Guy)

See post: John @ AZ DIY Guy|Before & After: Family Room Remodel

Family Room Paint Ideas (John @ AZ DIY Guy)

See post: John @ AZ DIY Guy|Before & After: Family Room Remodel


This Hometalker exacted an amazing transformation, by simply painting everything white and installing a wood ceiling. The family room went from double drab to wow; a place that draws one in automatically.


3. Family Room Decor

A change in family room decor is the most fun way to create a cozy retreat that you will adore. If you have children, the first thing you should do is organize the toys and games into attractive storage bins, boxes, ottomans or cabinets. Next, consider editing your shelves. Accessories take center stage more and look best when there are less. Items can rotate seasonally if you’re finding that you miss some of your favorite things. Remove jackets from books and use larger family photographs on the shelves. If you have the room, include a small table that can be used for family game night or even eating a quick, casual meal or snack. It’s fun when some family members can be playing a game while others watch tv. Set out some family scrapbooks on the coffee table so that kids can peruse them anytime.


Other family room decor ideas include switching out pillows and throws, updating a rug and using slipcovers on your furniture that can not only be washed but can also be changed easily.


Heavy drapes weigh down a space. Consider removing them in favor of roman shades, 3” blinds, non-functioning panels or even no window treatments if you don’t have neighbors peeking in the windows!


Do you have pets running through your home and taking over the family room sofa? Give them their own attractive beds in the room and curate some of their favorite toys that can remain. 

Family Room Decor Ideas (Melody)

See post: Melody|My Passion for Decor's Family Room Tour


Pops of red, achieved through the pillows, can be switched out to other colors with the change of seasons, against a neutral background. This Hometalker brightened up the fireplace with paint and propped a mirror on the mantle to reflect light. Globes, which can be found at antique stores, were used throughout to create a cohesive feel in the family room decor.


4. Small Family Rooms

Most often the family room is either part of the kitchen or just adjacent to it, which translates to a smaller space. Just because a family room is small, that doesn’t mean it can’t accomplish all your goals for the space. It will just need to be harder-working. And actually, the small family room provides a better opportunity for being closer with your family more often during end-of-day activities like cooking.


The smaller family room may have to double as a home office, craft or homework area. You may need to include a sleeper sofa so that you have extra sleeping for overnight guests. And of course, storage will be at a premium.

Small Family Room Ideas (The HoneycombHome)

See post: The HoneycombHome|Garage Converted to a Family Room!


This industrious Hometalker turned a one-car garage into a family room. They even added a window for extra light. The space is also used as a “music” room where some tunes can be played and enjoyed. Again, the bright lights and white paint serve to open up the space.


5. Basement Family Rooms

Sometimes homes have a basement family room. Depending on the size, this can give the homeowner many more options of what can be included in the space. The basement family room (also known as a “recreation room”) could include an area for ping pong or pool tables, a media area for movies, and a bar or small kitchen. A kids’ play area or workroom could also be on the side.


The type of basement you have is key--does it have windows or an outside door? Then you are lucky because you will have natural light. If it doesn’t have a source of outside light, you can create one by using overhead lighting, lamps, and mirrors (either propped or hung). A window effect can even be made by hanging drapery panels on rods, giving the illusion of one.

Basement Family Room Ideas (Joanna)

See post: Joanna|Dark Basement Becomes a Cozy Family Room

Basement Family Room Decor (Joanna)

See post: Joanna|Dark Basement Becomes a Cozy Family Room


This dark basement was lightened drastically by painting not only the walls but also the ceiling. In this Hometalker’s case, heavy shelves were removed and accessories edited to make the space feel larger. Placing the tv over the fireplace makes the fireplace now a part of the space and frees up the wall for photos and accessories.


You should now be well on your way to creating a cozy retreat for your family room. Whether you’re in the building stages or have lived in your home a lifetime, you can employ these family room ideas to make your space warm and inviting. Begin with your family room design, then consider brightening it up with new paint colors and family room decor. Embrace the challenges of small family rooms and basement family rooms. Make your family room a place where everyone feels welcome and can kick off their shoes.


We’d love to see your family room ideas! Don’t forget to add them to Hometalk so that others can see your awesome and inspiring ideas. Enjoy your cozy retreat!


Written for the Hometalk community by: Martha McGlothlin | Martha Jane

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