Decorating and furnishing a house normally allows for a certain degree of freedom of expression; designs can be exuberant and furniture contemporary, but going through the same process in a family focussed home has to be a little more restrained and practical.
Moving into such a home offers many challenges along the way, but strategically planning each room in terms of furniture and décor is by far the biggest and hardest.
A family home is a functional home and items around the house need to serve a useful purpose, as opposed to being there for the sake of style. Not to say design should be sacrificed completely; feel free to add your own personal touch to the décor and throw in a couple of attractive pieces of furniture.
However, when there’s more than your usual number of rooms to complete, there’s a fair deal of planning to be accomplished before single swipe of a paint brush.
Plan each room
The first step to any large family home should be get a floor plan of every room and decide where everything will go. This doesn’t have to done to professional standards; the plan is for your peace of mind if anything and will be a place of reference as you go along with furnishing and decorating.
If buying new furniture, ensure that each room has been measured and that any new item will definitely fit into that space; a definitive floor plan will make this so much easier to achieve. Current furniture also needs to be considered in the plan and should treated the same; using the space in a large house needs to be harnessed much more efficiently and effectively than a smaller equivalent.
Deciding on a style
A functional home needs to have substance over style, but as mentioned before, don’t feel that you are restricted and there is room for a bit of freedom. The children’s bedrooms will allow for a bit of expression, as bright, vibrant colours are usually enjoyed by the younger ones and a bit of wallpaper of their favourite characters from the telly usually goes down well.
It’s downstairs where a bit more consideration has to be made, with surfaces likely to need a clean every five minutes with little ones about and if painting, make sure you get a type that is able to be wiped down easily. The same goes for furniture; solid oak coffee tables might not stand up to the test of time when the kids think it’s a great idea to climb all over them, so perhaps the best place for such quality furniture might be in the master bedroom for the adults to enjoy properly.
In terms of an overall style, a nice traditional feel is very much advised over say a contemporary environment, as modern furniture tends to follow the direction of straight lines and angles – not the safest place for children. Plus, a soft, welcoming environment is ideal for a family to enjoy, as it brings warmth and comfort, just what a family needs.
Sam Bisby is a blogger writing for The Furniture Market who offers a great range of quality wooden furniture, including tables, chairs and beds available in traditional oak and French styles.