Anatomy of a J. Latter Designs Room

School will be out for my kids in a few weeks, so I have started making summer plans.  We have several trips planned, but will also be spending a lot of time just hanging out at home.  As much as I am looking forward to a lot of downtime together, which means more fun, but a lot more toys and games, more dirt, and a lot more messes.   I have been looking for activities to fill our days, but also I am having been thinking a lot about how I can improve our family room for maximum fun with less mess.

I found this great family room designed by Julie Goldman.  It has some really great ideas that I’ll be talking about all week, but here’s a breakdown of the elements that make it good design:

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SYMMETRY – This room isn’t symmetrical, but there are several symmetrical moments throughout the space.  A pair of curtains and lamps that flank the window create symmetry on one side of the room, and the pair of bookshelves create symmetry on the opposite side of the room.  Even the doorways on either side of the TV create symmetry.  These moments of symmetry create a very streamlined room.

COLOR – Complimentary colors ( colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel) always give the room the right amount of tension and interest, while still being very pleasing to the eye.  The bold blue and the bright orange are a fun combination perfect for a fun family space.

HARMONY & PATTERN – This family room is connected to an adjacent room.  The patterned curtains hanging in both rooms connect the rooms visually and create harmony within both spaces.

UNITY & VARIETY – The stripes in the textile on the chair tie all the various colors in the room together, and even adds a little variety of its own ( bright pink!).

TEXTURE –  Touch is one of the most important (but probably overlooked) senses to consider when you’re purchasing new furniture and accessories.  This family friendly room needs textures appropriate for kids and teens, but don’t seem too childish.  Velvet, sisal, wood…are all family friendly textures.  They hide stains well, are easy to maintain, and have a long life-span.

PATTERN – I love all the small patterned pillows on the sofa.  They don’t compete with the larger pattern on the curtains, and because the patterns are small and stay within the color palette they don’t seem to busy.

SCALE –  The pair of matching bookshelves are the right scale for both the wall they sit on and the nearby doorways. They are the same height and similar widths.  And the molding on the bookshelf is the same style and size of the molding around the doorways.  Keeping everything in the same scale brings continuity to the space, and also gives the appearance of being built-in, instead of free-standing pieces of furniture.

Do you have a separate family room?

Do you have any special tricks you use to make it family friendly for your kids?

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