The Family Home: Living Rooms You Can Live In

Designing a home with children in your mind is a balancing act. How can you make a space that inspires you while making sure the smallest of family members is comfortable? Within this series, The Family Home, I’ll be exploring tips and techniques to satisfy your desire for design while still keeping your children comfortable, too.

Enviable Designs Inc..

Most parents will agree that storage is essential. It is important to keep things your children enjoy playing in convenient places throughout the home, especially when they are extremely young. I adore the notion of putting these soft woven baskets strategically throughout the living room. Bonus: The baskets can add colour and texture to your space.

Michelle Hinckley

It is not necessary to only buy dark upholstery things while raising children. You can have white furniture if that is exactly what you desire. Just think slipcovers for the couch and easily washable fabrics like vinyl for heavily used things like ottomans.

Jan Skacelik

Go adventuresome! Living in a home with children provides you a perfect excuse to select colour. In studies, yellow has been shown to make both children and adults feel happier.

Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Open-concept floor programs are popular with families but this isn’t the sole reason I chose to include this picture. Can you find that beautiful silver light arcing over the couch? What a genius way to bring a little sparkle to a really kid friendly space! Parents get their glitz without the risk of small fingerprints smudging this up.

Adding floor cushions to your living room won’t only give little ones a soft spot to land, but they could pack a punch. Choose cushions in bright colors and graphic designs and instantly inject fun into an otherwise neutral space.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Those with a modern aesthetic frequently complain about the visual appeal of the modern toys. The drawers which flank the fireplace in this picture are a terrific solution. They are just the right height for children and are heavy enough for even the bulkiest of plastic toys.


Including some of your kids’ artwork with some of your favourite art pieces with give your home lifestyle and character. Plus, it is going to bring a bright smile to the face of anybody who visits.

An easy tip: Choose similar frames to give the arrangement cohesion.

Kim Woods

Choose occasional furniture attentively. The curved corners on the coffee table tend to be more child friendly than a sharp border would be. Or perhaps nix the conventional coffee table and pick a set of cushioned ottomans to tie your space together.

More: 20 Great Ways to Display Family Photos

Inspiring Ideas for Kids’ Spaces

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12 Ways to Turn a Bedroom Into Your Sanctuary

Our bedrooms are sanctuaries: a place of escape, relaxation and rest. So should not its décor reflect exactly what you desire? Start 2012 off by giving your bedroom a fantastic hard look to see if it is the ideal space for you. Perhaps your bed would gain from a dramatic headboard. Or maybe you could update the whole space in calming neutrals. See if any of these ideas would make your bedroom feel much more comfy. Here is to a comfy, comfy bedroom this year.

Read thousands of bedroom layouts

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Produce a gallery wall. Remember that each and every wall in your house is worthy of fantastic art, not only the living area. Group a collection of your favorite framed prints or photos on the wall. You will love waking up to a favorite pieces daily.

Gallery Walls for Every Personality

J. Hirsch Interior Design, LLC

Invest at a headboard. You won’t believe the difference it makes for the bed. Go dramatic with an oversized contemporary option, such as this one, or choose something more traditional.

The Decor Fix

Swap out your linens. If you would like to change your look without spending a lot, contemplate new linens. It’s simple to find great options on a budget at locations like T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, and fresh linens may make a dramatic difference.

Coverlet, Duvet, Quilt, Comforter: What is the Difference?

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Produce a seating area. If you have the space, consider adding a seating area for your own bedroom. This is very beneficial if you have a large family and need a place for solitude. You will love having a spot to curl up with a fantastic book.

Nichole Loiacono Design

Add a bed bench. You might not believe you want one, but as soon as you have it, you will wonder what you did with this. Functionally, these handy benches provide you with a spot to tie your shoes and may even offer extra storage depending on the style. Aesthetically, they help to ground the bed.

10 Ways With Benches at the Foot of the Bed

Michael Abrams Limited

Go for the oversized full-length mirror. We’re all familiar with the need for a full-length mirror to catch a glimpse of ourselves before we begin the day. But instead of tacking one on the back of the doorway, choose one that is going to make a statement. You will have a mirror that is ideal for checking outfits while doubling as a stunning bit creatively.

Brian Dittmar Design, Inc..

Contain a vanity. Adding a dressing table to your own bedroom frees up space from the bathroom by giving you an alternate place to prepare for the day.

Tiffany Eastman Interiors, LLC

Swap out the dresser for an armoire. Have you got a mid-level dresser topped with a tv series which you would like desperately to hide? An armoire might be only your answer, as it will hide your TV without compromising storage.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Contemplate a duplex . Produce a cozy escape using a canopy. You will feel like royalty.

Tracery Interiors

Light up using a chandelier. Who says the dining area is the only spot for a beautiful chandelier? Bring a hint of glamour to your bedroom by simply replacing your light fixture with this beautiful alternative.

Brian Dittmar Design, Inc..

Think about a colour scheme in all neutrals. If you are looking to change up your bedroom onto a larger scale, consider choosing a colour scheme in soft neutrals. The bedroom is a place of rest, and neutrals offer a feeling of calm and respite.

See How to Make Neutral Colors Shine

Beth Dotolo, ASID, RID, NCIDQ

Eliminate the carpeting. So frequently, bedrooms get stuck with carpeting, regardless of the remainder of the home’s flooring. If you’d like a glossy, clean, chic new look, pull it up and install hardwood flooring. If you are worried about cold toes, add a rug under the bed. The appearance will truly be transformative.

10 Quick and Easy Ways to Dress Your Bed
12 Ideas for Your Foot of the Bed
Want a Great Bedroom Design? Begin with a Gorgeous Headboard!

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Mossy Accents for Indoors and Out

A mossy stone pathway always reminds me of an English garden. Moss accents have an unfinished, lived-in texture that give a house a cozy style. From glass hurricanes full of pieces of moss to planters covered in mossy green, there is a lovely cabin design with moss accents that attracts me.

Lauren Liess Interiors

An urn-shaped planter full of moss and one (very real looking) ball of moss complements this botanical tablescape.

Diane Bennett Bedford

This traditional state cabinet comprises a display of old and plates ceramic boats topped with a trailing, moss-like plant. The green accents add a homey design to the room.


This white chamber would feel stark without the addition of ceramic vessels topped with moss on the dining table. The fuzzy green moss warms up the room.

Hint: In case your room lacks light (by way of example, a bathroom with no windows), then you are still able to add in some moss accents. In fact, lots of places sell dry moss that is perfect for decorating a dining table. Jamali Garden sells preserved moss online.

AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc..

Even if you just added a stone pathway into your backyard, you want the steps to feel as though they’ve been there a long time. Patches of moss peeking through the stones is an easy way to make this lived-in appearance.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

There is something totally imperfect about moss filling in the cracks round a stone pathway. The moss adds some personality to the walkway.

Liz Williams Interiors

Unlike a lot of houseplants, a ground-cover plant like moss is low-maintenance, making it perfect for a rustic urn from the entryway you don’t want to worry about.

Tracery Interiors

The centerpiece of the table: 2 glass shots full of faux moss. And this mossy centerpiece is one that will last long after supper.

John Maniscalco Architecture

The traces of green ribbon at the floor balances all the slick concrete and gray stone of the modern patio.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

This mossy centerpiece, with a trio of faux moss balls, plays on height and provides the 1 punch of colour in this darkened area, too.

Liz Williams Interiors

On top of the coffee table, a rustic log full of moss adds an eclectic charm to the distance.

Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies

Moss Hanging Basket & Square Moss Pots | JamaliGarden – $12.99

I adore these moss-covered planters. Imagine a few colorful blossoms glancing from those mossy container gardens.

Hint: For a woodland-themed tablescape, line the middle of the dining table with moss-covered planters full of flowering blooms. The flowers will look as they’re sprouting from a grassy area.

Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies

Jamali Garden – $8.99

These flocked moss pebbles make it easy to bring a small green in any room. I would pile a few mossy pebbles to a favorite glass hurricane.

More: Plants for Your Pathway
Dirt Optional: Air Plants for Wall or Tree

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5 Particular Homes Throw the Landscape a Curve

Perhaps the very uncommon shape for floor plans is the curve. Many elements make this an unusual means to construct a house — namely investment, sophistication, and having sufficient soil to execute such a shape. However, regardless of the problem in creating something with curves instead of all straight lines, a number of these houses can be located on Houzz. Unlike plans, these examples illustrate a wide variety of reasons for their contours. I’m guessing that the citizens are as idiosyncratic as the houses they occupy.

This residence on a prominent site overlooking the Pacific Ocean is horseshoe-shape in strategy. Curving about outside faces and the inside, the house looks in the two directions: into a courtyard and out to the sea. Next, have a glance inside.

In the entry, the inside of the house is open to the forecourt, but it closes off a view of the courtyard. One has to follow the curve to have this fundamental cradled space shown to them.

Still at the horseshoe house, we can observe the way the circulation gently follows the curve. I enjoy how different materials are used for both sides: Rough stone delineates the inside curve, while rings of timber sit reverse. The clerestory windows tip in the courtyard into the left and another rooms borrowing mild into the right.

At the end of the horseshoe is a room open on either side. This space overlooks the courtyard and the sea.

Mark English Architects, AIA

A more compact curving house is located here, where the focus is clearly about the pool. A generous patio overlooks the pool, which is curved in design. Next, see another perspective.

Mark English Architects, AIA

Even though lots of the materials are composed of directly or planar pieces — timber planks, glass panes, mullions, railings, etc. — the built radius of the roof makes it possible for this side of the house to be read curving. This line is prominent outside and indoors, as we’ll see next.

Mark English Architects

The line of this curving roof outside extends indoors and is capped by clerestory windows, a good means of connecting interior and exterior. Note the barbell shine in the space…

Mark English Architects, AIA

That shine comes from a circular oculus within the round kitchen sink. So even in a orthogonal corner of the house, the curving motif is picked up, a reminder of this curve by the pool.

Becker Architects Limited

Similar to the previous example, this house has rails following a curve. But in this case they’re found on a second-floor roof patio. Receive a closer perspective, next.

Becker Architects Limited

Here we see the curving portion from the foreground, but it’s apparent the house is an L-shaped strategy together with the curve filling at the corner of the”L.” This generates that roof patio and brings the rooms towards the lake the house overlooks.

CAST architecture

No, this isn’t a curve, but note the way the kink of the plan is related to the curves of their previous two houses. By bending a house, it produces a sense of enclosure and attention; in several cases it helps relate to the website, both immediate and distant.


This last example, the aptly named Radius House, dates back to 1960 and is directly affected by Frank Lloyd Wright’s curvilinear houses. The curve is used to provide maximum exposure to the trees round the house. Next, let’s have a peek inside.


While the exterior looks out through glass walls into the trees, the interior is centered on a structural column. The wood beams radiating from the place make the shape of the house apparent, and one’s position within the strategy.

More: The L-Shaped House Plan
The U-Shaped House Plan
Living La Vida Linear

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New Classics: The Onda Stool

A sexy import from Spain is causing a feeling with architects and designers. It’s a partial-back stool available in three peaks known as the Onda Stool. Onda was designed by Jesús Gasca for Stua in 2006. Functionally, its gentle curves were designed to feel comfortable on your soft curves. In terms of form, said gentle curves have a contemporary flourish that contrasts well with contemporary architectural lines.

Hufft Projects

This chamber has so much good energy. The Onda stools seem like contemporary chess pieces atop this vibrant checkerboard area rug.

Recognize those pendant lights? Read.

Design Within Reach

Onda Barstool | DWR – $368

This is actually the Onda in its own barstool form; it’s also available in counter tops and table heights.

Design Within Reach

Here’s the stool in its own table-height edition. Note that the legs do not have the ring the counter and bar stool models have, keeping things from being too matchy-matchy.

Just one Onda is a discreet and sleek option in this white kitchen. Its curves play off the round pendant lighting, which are a comparison to the straight modern lines of their cabinets and architecture.


The Onda also keeps a low profile one that doesn’t clear the countertop or bar. This retains a nice clean appearance from 1 room to another, which can be particularly helpful in a open floor plan.

Eleven Interiors

This chamber also has fun contrasts between curved and straight lines. Onda stools operate nicely in this spacious floor plan, which includes classic Anziano chairs at the table.

Make Architecture

The contrast between the white exterior as well as the chair colors works well in modern and modern rooms.

Make Architecture

From this perspective you do not see the chair shade, and the stools tend to blend in with the white kitchen island.

Belzberg Architects

The stools sit at the outer border of the kitchen, with their white springs and colored chairs navigating between the white floor and the wood cabinets.

More: Browse contemporary bar and counter stools
Bar Stools: What Style, What Finish, What Size?
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New Classic: The LEM Piston Bar Stool

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Embellish Your Stairway, Beautify Your Property

Stairways are a notable architectural feature in any house, but are usually ignored when decorating. Since people don’t think about them, many stairways stay plain when adding only a little something helps produce a motif in the house.

The great thing about staircases is that they offer a transition from one distance to another. When this transition occurs, it is important to continue the decorating motif in the stairway; otherwise the absence of décor can cause a disturbance. Emphasize the passageway into your house and make it that the ambassador of your theme. Listed below are a couple suggestions about how best to decorate your stairway and make excellent use of it.

More: What’s Hiding Under the Stairs?


Staircase walls are great spots for displaying a gallery of art or family photos. Here, colorful artwork is put so that it can be observed from different angles, and two candles frame the principal way which leads upstairs.

All too frequently the space beneath the staircase is wasted or turned into a messy storage area. Get creative and use it by painting a wall at a vibrant shade and adding furniture pieces that are practical.

DiGuiseppe Architect

This is a great way to not only save wine bottles but also to show them off.

Studio One-Off Architecture & Design

A rustic stone wall adds warmth and texture to the sleek staircase. Additionally, it serves as a focal point from the main floor.

Roger Hirsch Architect

Just a little color goes a long way in this fashionable house. Together with the vivid red colour of this vase and matching painted pillar, the area gains character and glamour.

For an ocean theme, place a couple eye-popping starfish and produce the hike upstairs a fun trip.

Vanessa De Vargas

For a fun twist, get stencils you like and turn your stairway wall into a work of art. Here, decal frames in various contours add interest to the area.

House + House Architects

Deep hues and a few objets d’art add dimension and style. We can love each curve and every detail of this beautiful staircase because of how colors frame and exalt its features.

Chelsea Atelier Architect, PC

Paint the stairway wall at a color that helps both the upstairs and the downstairs. 1 solid shade should make a strong enough statement. This pop of lemon leaves all the difference in the stairway area and on the remainder of the house.

Hirsch Associates LLC

Elegant vases welcome you while you achieve a new flooring through this spacious stairs. Create your stairway a point and display accessories or collections.

More: What’s Hiding Under the Stairs?

Read photos of stairways in house design

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An Ode to Owls Around the Home

Although my love for owls knows no season, it’s usually around the onset of fall that I really start to see them. When it’s because of their autumn-gold eyes, their cozy ruffled feathers, or the fact that Halloween is coming, in this time of year I can’t help but respect them in all their different forms, especially in regards to home décor.

These night wanderers were all the rage a few years ago, but the attention appeared to lean in the direction of cutesy and childlike rather than showcasing the rustic, sophisticated charm the real creatures strut so perfectly. So in an effort to disperse the love for these animals of the night, I bring you an ode into owls in inspiring spaces and fun products for your home.


It’s said that the owl represents wisdom and the capacity to know what others don’t, which makes this graphic image the perfect addition to your home office. To me, it looks like the perfect inspiration for overcoming writer’s block and creative ruts.

Erin Lang Norris

I made this one day once I was snowed in and wanted something fresh for my walls. With a chunk of barn wood, a drill and a jigsaw, I cranked out this man and called him Herbert Whoover. He currently resides in my newly painted kitchen.

Nina Jizhar

Within this gentle, feminine room, a white owl lamp base looks right at home.

Bravehart Design Build

Perched atop a wooden stool, this handsome owl is a good design solution with this little window nook.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

Although I am not normally a fan of the vintage kitschy owls our grandparents or parents appeared to be so fond of, this particular bit seems to hit a chord with me personally. Maybe it’s the white walls or the mimicking woodwork, or perhaps it’s just the piece’s large scale, however I find this wooden owl to be so very cool.

West Elm

Owl Organic Dessert Plate – $32

I can envision serving pieces of wealthy, cherry-filled black forest cake after a hearty autumn meal on this collection of four dessert dishes from West Elm.

Erin Lang Norris

Cast Iron Owl Lantern – $25

Light up the night with a glow of an autumn candle. The distressed cast iron lantern will shine for a long time to come, and the best part is that it won’t ever break. Take that, mercury glass votive holders.


Owl Garden Stool – $59.99

When I saw this bit, I thought it was just another shelf accessory. As it turns out, it’s really a garden feces! One of these would be perfect for your Halloween-themed porch.


Owl Eyes Runner – $159

This abstract owl-eye runner is the perfect backdrop for an array of decadent fall treats. I believe it would be interesting to take it one step further by adding a beak decal into the ground, even though that might be caused by my love for providing costumes to inanimate objects.

Erin Lang Norris

Cast Iron Owl Doorstop – $9.99

Call me odd, but this candy owl doorstop almost makes me wish I had a problematic door someplace in my house. But because I don’t, I will just imagine admiring it fondly in my kitchen windowsill. Home accessories using a double purpose are the top finds.

Erin Lang Norris

Hoot Hoot Switchplate – $18

Whooo ever understood that switch plates could be so pretty? This gorgeous outlet cover would look great in any room, but I’d be especially tempted to set it into a library or nursery.

West Elm

Owl Table Lamp – $99

The best part about this gorgeous lamp base is that it’s offered in both black and white. The black base is fine and stately, perfect for a masculine den or any room that’s in need of some added warmth. The white foundation has a more delicate texture.


Grey Owl Printing – $15

I don’t know what it’s about the opinion of an owl, but it seems that they are what I’m most attracted to. The creator of this digital print obviously feels the exact same way. Insert a print like this to some group of artwork in the exact same color range.

Owl Bookends – $125

Here’s another great addition to your home library. All these owl bookends are perfect for their intended usage, but the set would look just as good within an autumn-inspired shelf display.

Pictures: More owls in home interiors

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