A Texas couple wanted a family room that would actually work for their family. This meant it needed to accommodate three boys under the age of 10 while still being a sophisticated space where the parents could welcome guests. Interior designer Chase Dowell took on the challenge of finding that balance.
Child-Proof the Family Room With Cushioned Ottomans Instead of Sharp-Edged Tables
“After” photo by Attractive Listing
Family Room at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple and their three young boys
Location: Richmond, Texas
Size: 483 square feet (44.9 square meters)
Designer: Chase Dowell Interior Design
The clients had a clear idea of the style they wanted but needed Dowell’s help to pull the room together. “This initial conversation is important,” Dowell says. “You need to know how people envision using the space.”
The size and height of the room provided the biggest challenge, the designer says. He wanted to ensure that the final design left the room balanced, not overcrowded. This sent him on the hunt for just the right pieces.
He recommends measuring the space and then cutting out a “game board” version of the room and potential pieces of furniture. This will give you a model of how you could use the space.
Rug: Oriental Rug Bazaar
BEFORE: The high-ceilinged room features a fireplace and mantel. The family had a large leather sectional for seating and had the TV above the fireplace.
AFTER: Dowell used a gray sofa that the family already owned instead of the leather sectional. The parents opted to not have a coffee table, because they didn’t want to worry about the kids breaking it.
Dowell offered them custom ottomans as a versatile, worry-free and functional seating option. With a yes from the homeowners, he had the ottomans created and upholstered. Because the rest of the lines in the room were clean and straight, he gave the ottomans a curved edge to balance out the style of the room.
At first, the clients thought about using purple or green fabric, but as soon as Dowell showed them a royal blue option, they were sold. Unfortunately, Dowell got a call that the fabric was on back order, and he wouldn’t be able to get it in time.
His hunt for a backup fabric led him to High Fashion Home in Houston. The company had a good selection, and he found an option that would work in place of the couple’s first pick.
Ottoman upholstery: Paul Ta of Sheer Perfection Fabrics & Upholstery
To match the flooring and mantel, Dowell had the cabinets on each side of the fireplace stained an ebony color. He added similarly colored shelves above the cabinets to highlight the fireplace and draw the eye up toward the ceiling.
When designing the cabinetry and shelving, Dowell kept height in mind. He wanted to fill the space with art and decor but also keep items out of the children’s reach.
To fill the shelves, the designer shopped around to find pieces that matched the transitional style of the room and brought in more blue. He also added lights to the bottoms of the shelves to highlight the decor underneath.
To finish the room, Dowell added smaller pieces of funiture and decor to accent the sofa and fireplace wall.
Side table: HomeGoods
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