Re-Inventing The Living Room

Living room design moves towards the wide open floor plan concept

By Lana Bingham

Those days of secluded “formal” style living areas (complete with vinyl seat covers and delicate antique accessories) are long gone. While some homeowners still consider having a sophisticated living room separate from their family room, new home builders Tampa Florida have noticed some changes. More new homes in Tampa are being built with the family room connected to the kitchen and dining area, creating one great room with an open floor concept. Let’s be honest, nobody really misses the detached formality, except maybe Grandma and your Christmas tree. This new style of family room is perfect for hosting a get-together or simply staying in and having a quiet family movie night.

To design the perfect family room, follow these 5 tips:

Comfort Comes First – You want your living room to be inviting, encouraging conversation, yet also providing a cozy atmosphere to relax in. Finding the right balance between classy and casual is the key. A room that says, “Have a few guests over for appetizers and cocktails, but once they leave, put your feet up and pass the popcorn.”

Don’t Sacrifice Size – The new family room offers both a central location and wide-open floor plan, providing convenient access to the kitchen, bathroom and outdoor patio. Using an island or raised bar seating to separate your kitchen is a great design scheme, as it still allows the host to interact with family and guests. The “L” shape design is also popular, effectively dividing a living room from the kitchen, without having to use full walls. Arched openings, half-walls and large wrap around couches are another option for defining your open living area.

Maximize Wall Space – Wide open floor plans may leave you with limited wall space, so it is important to utilize what space you do have available. Hanging the television above your fireplace, or pushing it into an unused corner is another space saving technique. A wall of windows may let in natural light and provide picturesque views, but keep in mind they will leave you with even less wall space. In this case, you may also want to opt for floor mounted electrical outlets.

Maintain Organization – Since the family room is a high-traffic area in the home it can be tough to keep it clean. Built-ins can cut down on clutter, providing a place for movies, books, candles and picture frames. Electronic wiring and gadgets can become an eye sore, so make sure your television stand can accommodate all of this. A Tampa home builder can increase organization by incorporating a technology closet to keep wires and electronics hidden.

Pick the Right Furniture – Whatever purpose your living room holds, the furniture you use will say a lot about the style of your home. Seating is often the main focus point of the room, so make sure there is enough to go around! A large sectional sofa is perfect for the whole family to curl up on. However, additional seating from armchairs and loveseats may be required for guests. An ottoman can act as a foot rest, coffee table and an extra spot for storing games and toys. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box by using a bold colored furniture piece to make a statement. For a crafty, DIY yourself look, you can use an old trunk or refurbish an antique for your coffee table.

This new style of living room reflects current changes in our lifestyle, as our culture desires convenience, connectivity and innovation. Designing a family room that fits both your home’s style and your family’s needs is just one of the many benefits of building a custom home. If interested in learning more about the custom home process, contact us.

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