We live in a fast-paced world. Between breakfast, school, work, and bedtime, families hardly get to spend any time together. But spending more time in the family room may just be the key to creating meaningful family connections in our fast-paced world.
What Is a Family Room?
The keyword in the “family room” is “family.” It can be any space around your house where you and your kids feel comfortable and want to spend time together. For many people, the kitchen functions as that space, since you just need a place where everyone can have conversations and create strong family connections. No matter what it looks like, the family room should be a space for open communication. It’s an area where you can share happy moments or hash through challenging discussions.
The rising popularity of the open concept floor plan in many houses might mean you don’t even have to choose one room as the dedicated family room. The kitchen and den might even connect to each other, so you can spend time in a broader space.
A Place to Make Decisions
Also, a family room gives the opportunity to value each and every member of your family. In weekly or even daily meetings, you and your children can make decisions together. You can decide things like:
- Who takes the garbage out?
- Where do we want to go on vacation?
- What do we want to do on the weekend?
- What can we add to our weekly routine that promotes spending quality time as a family?
But you don’t always have to actively spend time together. You can also use the family room as a space in which everyone can do their own thing, like homework or reading. This makes it similar to a co-working space, where, according to recent studies, people feel more valued and creative. Lastly, of course, it’s a great space for shared activities. Playing board games, watching a movie, or cooking and eating dinner together are just some of the many ways your family can use this versatile room.
Different Families, Different Family Rooms
Every family is different, so no family room is ever the same.
Do you and your family enjoy preparing meals together? In that case, a kitchen with a big table where your kids can do their homework or play games could be the perfect family room. Family dinners may be the way to bond. A Harris Poll survey clearly shows that even though the majority of Americans value the importance of a shared dinner, sitting together around a table for meals is uncommon. If the kitchen serves as your family space, you might be able to enjoy more meals together.
If your family loves board games or relaxing and watching movies together, the living room is your ideal space. The living room’s also great if you like the idea of a family co-working space.
Another, slightly more unusual option for your family room, could be the garden or terrace. Especially if you live in a warmer region, connect with your family in outdoor areas. You can grow and harvest vegetables together, play outside, have barbecues on the terrace and enjoy the fresh air. Of course, there are many other spaces that you can convert into a common area. Let your imagination run free!
Creating a Family Room
Regardless of which room you choose, furnish it in a way that makes every member of the family feel welcome. Especially if you have smaller kids, the furniture in this room should never be so valuable that a scratch or mark results in a crisis. We highly recommend forgiving colors and fabrics.
Depending on your family’s taste, choose warm or cool colors. Warm colors tend to be more playful and inviting, whereas cooler colors create a calming space. Make sure you have enough seating space for everyone, and you should ideally furnish your kitchen, terrace, living room, or any other place you consider your family room with functional and cozy seating options.
You should be able to relax and have active family discussions in your family room. Equally important is a big table for shared meals, game evenings, shared decision-making, meetings, homework, or reading.
Since a family room should strengthen your family bonds, some families choose to incorporate everyone’s opinions in terms of furnishing and decorating it. This way, it can become your whole family’s space.
Of course, even if your kids have no say in the decor at first, you will often find their toys and favorite things sneaking into your room. It will almost always reflect everyone’s personality in one way or another.
What do you think? What’s your family’s style? Traditional den, or contemporary outside patio? Share design ideas and thoughts on the perfect family room on the FamilyApp.
The Family Room – a Safe Place
Sometimes it seems as if we’re always on the run. Getting the children up in the morning, preparing breakfast, dropping everybody off…and all before lunch! After that, parents commute to work or take care of household chores before homework, extra activities, and more. And then it all starts again tomorrow. At this pace, how can families actually spend time together?
In fact, a 2018 study shows that the average American family spends fewer than 40 minutes together each day. Why? Long work hours, school schedules, and extra-curricular activities are the main culprits. And when families get home in the evening, they often scatter to different corners of the house doing their own thing. However, we suggest setting aside a specific time when you can be together as a family. This may even mean setting further boundaries like phones and tablets put away. Sounds crazy, we know. But it may just be what your family needs.
Creating A Space for Family and Fun
Family time happens more easily when you have a place where you can all spend time together. It doesn’t have to be a dedicated “family room,” but it could be the living room, kitchen, or even the garage. Try creating a physical space where every member of the family feels welcome and safe. You may see that your relationships improve! Whether it’s games, sharing meals, or watching TV, Let us know in the comments how your family enjoys spending time together in the family room!