by on 01/06/10 at 10:05 am
Ah, the family room, a scene of togetherness and communal living. It is a room of heavy traffic, of much activity and, unfortunately, with the potential for massive amounts of clutter. The family room is, also, frequently a place where storage is at a premium. You need storage and more storage, but how to find it and locate it in this functional room.
If you are in the planning stage of your house, consider built-in units: entertainment centers, book cases and similar helpful items. This will make storage of various related items easy. Consult your planner and see if there is enough storage space to accommodate you and your family’s needs in this area.
This does not, however, help you out if you already have a house and your growing family and their increasing accumulation of articles and discarding of others, requires you to find more storage space.
One suggestion is floor-to-ceiling storage built-in storage. Build or buy cabinets with flush doors and touch catches that stand flush against the walls. Paint them the same color as the walls to help them blend in.
If a unit already exists, consider using the areas atop. Reach up high and store, there, out-of-favor or seasonal items. If using the very top, avoid frequently needed items. Store only those least requested or used.
Another possibility is to combine two furniture selections in to one multi-functional piece. Instead of a table, consider one that doubles as storage space. Some coffee tables have an extra shelf beneath them, some are able to have one added, but a better choice is a trunk or chest. It can do triple duty as a table, work space and storage facility. If company arrives, you simply whisk everything into the trunk, close the lid and cover it with a decorative cloth or piece of fabric.
The same principle can be applied elsewhere in the room – and throughout the house. At the end of a sofa or chair, place something more functional than a mere end table. Select something practical – one that has a closed base with drawers or shelves.
A small chest of drawers can conceal phone books, toys and games without interfering with its function as a lamp or book holder.
If there is a desk in the family room make sure it is fully utilized it. Is there room at the top to place a shelving unit? Can a small storage unit be slid beneath it without interfering with its set function? Better yet, purchase one with space to locate such items.
If you have a game table, select on that folds or replace it with the chest or trunk model. A folding table can be stored quickly out of the way behind a couch. A chest, as noted above, is a perfect way to put all games and puzzles except for the one in current use, out of the way.
There are a few other possibilities within the choice of furniture. Consider benches instead of sofas. Padded, pew-like benches can provide a unique look to a family room. They also act as storage units, swinging open to provide ample space to stow away any number of items.
These are but a few suggestions on storage solutions for a family room. With a little bit of ingénue, perhaps abetted by various design programs and periodicals, you are sure to come up with a few of your own.
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