A quick illustration I made using Google Sketchup to show you how my family room is looking so far.
How many times have you found yourself thinking how to give a new twist to you family room. I’m one of those persons who can spend the entire morning moving around all the furniture only to end up with the same old configuration. I have come to the conclusion that this might be because:
- I’m afraid of changes
- I just got used to my space (old habit)
On all spaces there are two major factors I take into consideration: light and traffic. By light I’m referring to natural (which for me is the best light because it brings true color to all things) and/or artificial (which sometimes if not well chosen (lamps) can give an odd look to the space). When faced with an organizational dilemma, keep in mind first of all not to block your entrance or source of light. If you have a large window or door from which the sun comes in; try not to cover it completely. If the illumination on that area comes entirely from a lamp, try to move it around (whenever possible) so you’ll still have clarity in the room.
Traffic on the other hand, is the way people interact with the area (in this case the family room) and how the area is access. If by any chance the circulation of the area is engaged, the room’s main purpose can be put into jeopardy or may result into accidents.
For my family room (which is approximately 13’ x 16’) I have design 4 different arrangements. Now I’m going to discuss each one individually to see why some might work better than others.
This was how I originally placed my furniture when I first got here. It was like this for almost 8 month, but I got tired. For me this placement worked very well because it outline the tv area from the rest of the family room. By separating the sofa from the back wall, it created a small hallway which helped transit from the baby room and back without interfering with people watching television.
The room’s main entrance of light is that from the sliding doors which is at the top of the diagram. I placed there my desk just because it did not had any drawers (only 4 legs) allowing the sun to come through.
As you can see, this arrangement of furniture worked very well because it made good use of natural light and circulation was permitted without interruption on any of the mini areas.
This is how my room looks at the moment. Since I have little one who’s starting to walk (or so she thinks) I needed more space. So I inverted the sofa and placed it against the left wall. I took the desk and placed it on the right wall making a big centered play area for the baby. As for the tv, I placed it against the sliding doors so everybody (even from the kitchen which is located on the bottom of the diagram) could see it.
Circulation on the area was not disturbed; on the contrary, it was extended. Since I have my tv placed on a very low table, the sunlight from the sliding doors still came in nicely.
I have yet to try this option in real live, but as you can see, the tv is still placed in front of the sliding doors so the light can still come in. To make a division and to cover the sofa’s back; I put my desk against it. The problem I’m starting to notice is that there might not be a lot of room left between the sofa and the tv and as a golden rule, there should be a space of 3 times the size of the screen. But, I can live with this arrangement. Maybe if I borrow 1’ or 1.5’ from the kitchen area, this placement might just work.
I’m really loving how the left wall can now be use completely for an art display or maybe some floor mirrors. Still I have a good traffic area on the right to come and go to the baby’s room.
On this last option I opted for a little privacy on the desk area/office. I placed the sofa almost on the center of the family room and the tv, where it originally was. There are some concerns for this arrangement. The first one is that the area of the sofa and desk are taking much of the space. This is because for a person to easily get in and out of the chair (on the desk area); there should be a space of 24” to 32” from the sliding door. If not, the area won’t be accessible.
The other major concern is that there is a point of caution between the sofa an tv table. The space needed between a tv and a sofa is around 10” but this might be to closed together and, having a baby around, it could be dangerous.
This arrangement, although creates a big open area and gives privacy to the desk/office space, it is not recommended because circulation issues as we just discuss. Other than that, illumination is still very good since the sliding doors are not blocked.
As you have seen there is always a way to twist things around. Just remember to be very careful on how the room is going to be used and take note of the circulation and illumination issues the area might have.