As I mentioned earlier this week, we have been settling into our new home in Chicago this summer. Over the years, I have noticed that it is very difficult to move furniture from one house to another. It doesn’t matter if your new home is bigger or smaller than the last, there are always pieces that just don’t work in the new space. In this case, we moved from a home that had one living room/family room space into a home that has a living room, a family room, and a basement/recreation room. While we have sufficient furniture to fill the living room and basement, we only have a couple chairs (previously in our bedroom) for our new family room. Thankfully, I love a challenge.
Here is the current (relatively empty) space.
As you can see, the space is a good size and opens to our kitchen area. Right now, we have a couple of chairs and a rug that we plan to keep. In addition to a sofa, occasional tables, and accessories, we would like the space to accommodate an upright piano. I don’t want this to feel like a formal space; it needs to transition well from a room where the kids can sit at the kitchen island and do their homework to a room where we can entertain guests while cooking or having a BBQ on the back patio. Here are some images that are inspiring me right now.
Image courtesy of Studio McGee
In the image above, I love that the piano integrates so well into the room. A piano is a large piece but when the design is right it can fit seamlessly into what appears to be a relatively small space.
Image courtesy of Amber Interiors
The image above has that “California cool” vibe that reminds me of my roots. The neutral graphics keep a mostly monochromatic room interesting. And, I find it impossible to resist a well-curated “shelfie.”
Image courtesy of Studio McGee
I also love a good statement light fixture. As you can see from the image of our current space, I chose a statement pendant. I heard somewhere that lighting is the jewelry of the room and I couldn’t agree more.
I chose neutral basics for our family room with the hope that they would stand the test of time. Because I have a feeling that this room will take a beating, the chairs, sofa, rug and occasional tables are all pieces that are readily available and not terribly expensive.
Some people would say that the devil is in the details, but I think that really great design is in the details. Every room needs good, solid basics but those basics can be absolutely boring without some interesting accent pieces. In this case, I am using a little bit of this and a little bit of that to create a casual, eclectic setting. I always try to make sure that most of the accessories in any room have some functional purpose and the same is true here. Brass coasters will save the wood finishes, a tray or two will turn a leather ottoman into a coffee table, and the baskets will help keep things tidy. Of course, there are a few items that are just interesting. After all, who doesn’t love agate book ends or a gilded buffalo skull?