Friday nights were always a big deal when I was a youngin’!  I’d rush home from school, my Mom would whip up a buffet of endless hors d’oeuvres, my Dad would set-up the TV dinner trays in the family room, and the three of us would huddle on the couch together to watch the naïve hilarity of sitcoms like Full House, Family Matters, and Perfect Strangers.

Gawd, how I miss the TGIF antics of Urkel and Balki!

Back then, the family room was exactly that… the room where our family gathered!  And what brought us together was that little glowing box filled with a familiar cast of characters that we hung out with at the same time, and on the same channel every week like clockwork.

Fast forward a few decades, and now that I have two little lads of my own, I’ve tried to implement similar Friday night traditions.  I make the hors d’oeuvres, we snuggle up on the couch together, BUT… while the hubs fires up the TV with an on-demand movie, the boys are each on their iPads watching overzealous teen YouTubers while simultaneously doing crafts at the coffee table, and I keep one scrolling thumb on Instagram while flipping through a recent décor magazine with the other.

Gone are the days when the family room used to revolve solely around the TV set!  We now expect the space to be versatile, practical, and multi-task the way we do.

The family room has become the everything room!

And if designed with the entire family’s needs in mind, you can squeeze loads of smart and style savvy function into the space, regardless of the size!

I’ve put together a mock design and layout as well as 5 tips to transform your family room into an EVERYTHING ROOM

IKEA AUG 2017 set pic Aug 28 2017 FLOOR PLAN

Stay in-CHARGE

One thing that I know for sure is that wherever a device charger is, my boys are always a cord length away!  So, if you want to keep your kidlets in plain sight while they’re surfing the web, create a communal charging station in the family room.  I love IKEA’s collection of wireless chargers that have been seamlessly integrated into the NORDLI table surface and the RIGGAD lamp bases, and I especially love that you can now buy the JYSSEN component separately to create a charging station anywhere.

RIGGAD LED work lamp w/wireless charging IKEARIGGAD LED work lamp w/wireless charging IKEA

NORDLI Nightstand with hole for charger IKEA On the hidden shelf is room for an outlet strip for your chargers.JYSSEN Wireless charger IKEA

Check out today’s episode of Cityline to see how I transformed a trio of figure maple logs into a chic DIY project using a hole saw and the JYSSEN wireless charger complete with hidden USB port.

WORK It

If you don’t have a dedicated office or homework station in your home, consider pulling your sofa away from the wall and adding a narrow console table behind to double as a work surface.  By sliding a couple of storage cubes underneath, you can store paperwork and office supplies inside, while also having a spot to sit.   I also love the idea of adding a simple pull-up side tables that can be used as a laptop stand or spot to have a snack during a TV binge-watching break.

ConsoleBOSNÄS Footstool with storage IKEA The cover is easy to keep clean as it is removable and can be machine washed. Works as an extra seat or footstool.

VITTSJÖ Laptop stand IKEA Made of tempered glass and steel, durable materials that give an open, airy feel.

PLAY Hide and Seek

If your family room also doubles as a play room… and subsequently looks like a toy store exploded all over the floor, then consider introducing some stylish dual-purpose storage solutions to help you hide the clutter.  A coffee table with a removable lid that doubles as a fast stash bin, and decorative baskets tucked under side tables will make for quick clean-up if the doorbell rings.

SANDHAUG Tray table IKEA Practical storage space underneath the table top. There's room under the tray for storage and a power strip.FLÅDIS Basket IKEA You can choose how you want to use this basket – turned up with handles or turned down to display the contents.

Get CRAFTY

We are a very crafty family, but I have yet to reach official Martha Stewart status by having a dedicated “craft room” in our house!  Instead, we have bins, and bins, and BINS of colouring books, crayons, glitter, and glue, and the coffee table often ends up being the craft centre of choice.  To keep all of the supplies close by, consider ditching a traditional media unit, and instead, place your TV on a dresser with drawers to categorize all of your craft and hobby materials.  You can even assign a separate drawer to each family member, so they can stash away their own personal past-time goodies.

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Be Our GUEST

Whether you have out-of-town guests staying the week, or an unexpected guest staying the night, you can easily transform your family room into a comfortable luxe bedroom.  IKEA’s new Vallentuna modular sofa collection not only let’s you design the configuration that you want, but it also offers a genius pull-out bed and storage option perfect for guest linens.  This isn’t the lumpy, squeaky spring pull-out sofa from back in the day!  The Vallentuna is a sleek, modern, and COMFORTABLE way to welcome your guests.  Your only concern will be getting them to leave!

vallentuna VALLENTUNA Sleeper sectional, 4-seat IKEA Add, remove or change functions to suit your needs, and choose covers to fit your style.

That’s my 5-in-1 EVERYTHING ROOM, and to see the product picks in action, visit www.cityline.ca to watch my latest segment.  Let me know how you use your family room by leaving a comment below or connecting with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

I’m off to go binge watch the Full House reboot!

XO

L-A

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