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How to choose family room furniture

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Invest in family room furniture that?s comfortable, sturdy, and stylish

Invest in family room furniture that?s comfortable, sturdy, and stylish

By definition, a family room is a room for the whole family ? parents, kids, and pets. Many of today?s homes don?t have a designated family room. Instead, the living room or great room is the place where the family and guests gather to talk, watch TV, read, play computer and other games, surf the web on their laptops, maybe even do homework.

So it?s important to know how to choose family room furniture.

Whatever you call your family room, the furniture needs to be comfortable, sturdy, well-made, easy to clean (including stain-resistant fabrics), and of course stylish. You want it to be beautiful to look at as well as comfortable to sit and lounge on.

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Sofas, Loveseats, and Chairs

Sofas come in four standard lengths: 84, 72, 60, and 48 inches, the shorter one usually called a loveseat. Sofas and chairs should be comfortable, with firm seats and soft backs. They also need to support your back, especially your lumbar region. This is called ergonomic design and seat height, seat depth, and back height are crucial elements. The seat should be high enough for you to sit with your feet flat on the floor and deep enough so that it doesn?t press against the back of your knees. High-back sofas and chairs support your entire body, including your shoulders, neck, and head. Medium-back styles support tall people?s shoulders and shorter people?s head and neck as well. Low-back styles support your lumbar region only.


Most people prefer a modern or contemporary style of sofa and chairs. The clean, sleek lines not only are beautiful, but also go well with virtually any architectural style and interior design plan. In addition, such pieces are easy to move, easy to clean under, and don?t overpower smaller rooms.

Leather is a favorite choice for upholstery, and ultra-suede combines the look and feel of luxury with amazing durability and easy cleaning. Sturdy, stain-resistant, solid-color fabrics are popular in neutral colors. However, they don?t have to be boring. Tone-on-tone designs, textures, and subtle patterns are elegant without being overwhelming. If you want to add vibrancy and bold color to your room, mix a solid-color sofa with chairs upholstered in fabrics that have vivacious patterns in coordinating colors.

For a more casual or country look, many people choose wicker furniture for their family room. No longer relegated to the porch or patio, today?s indoor styles provide graceful, breezy living, especially in homes located in warmer climates.

Recliners and Rockers

Everyone knows how men love their recliners, so be sure to consider Dad when choosing family room furniture. Recliners don?t have to be huge or bulky. Ones with ergonomic seats in an open-design solid wood base are just as sleek as contemporary or modern sofas and chairs. Most have two positions, upright and reclined, but some have twist locks so you can place and keep them in any position.

Gone are the days of your grandma?s uncomfortable creaky wood rocking chair. Today?s rockers retain the wood base and rockers, but are comfortably upholstered to follow the contours of your body and provide soft support under your knees. Rocking is active, healthy fun for both you and your kids. If you’re a nursing mom, rocking is wonderfully soothing for you and your baby, especially when you use a nursing kit with ergonomically contoured cushions.

Entertainment Centers, Tables, etc.

Your family room isn?t complete without an entertainment center for your flatscreen TV and other electronics. You also need end tables and/or occasional tables for lamps and a coffee table for remotes, cell phones, and snacks. Many families enjoy playing board or card games while sitting on the floor around the coffee table. Choosing tables with drawers or underneath shelves increases your storage space and gives you handy places to put your books, magazines, and nicknacks.

If your family room is large enough, consider adding bookcases, curio cabinets, or a grandfather or grandmother clock. There?s something about a chiming clock that makes grownups smile and young kids squeal with delight. If you?re using your sofa as a room divider, think about placing a long, sleek sofa table behind it.

Handcrafted hardwood Amish furniture goes well with modern and contemporary sofas and chairs. This high-quality furniture is as beautiful as it is durable. The timeless straight, simple lines please your eye and woods such as maple or hickory give it a lighter appearance and feel than traditional oak, cherry, or walnut.


Ottomans are great for putting your feet up while reading or using your laptop, and they provide extra seating for guests. Or you might prefer leg supports that are cushioned and adjust to the angle of your legs. You also may enjoy adding zip-on arm pads to your open-style sofa and chair arms to make them extra comfortable.

Throw pillows are a wonderful way to add color, comfort, and coziness to your family room. They come in three standard sizes: 14, 16, and 18 inches square. Look for ones that are hypoallergenic, mildew-resistant, and non-absorbent.

Choosing family room furniture is fun and exciting for your whole family. Everyone?s input should be welcome. After all, it?s your family room!


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