Tips for Family Room Seating

It has dawned on me MANY times since we recently gave our family room a complete makeover, just how much smarter we got this time around when it comes to seating. You see, we bought our ginormous sectional when we bought this house, 7 years ago, thinking how perfect it would be for entertaining. We love having family and friends over, and we thought, what better couch for them to lounge on when they’re here?




Couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, about 3 people would sit on this- one on the left, one in the center, maybe one on the chaise. The rest of our company? Standing around in the hallway. It was like everyone was always afraid of invading one another’s space – oh, and that prime corner spot? Forget it. It was my favorite, but only if you weren’t movin’ for a while. Tough to pull somebody outta that one.



So I wanted to share with you the smarter choices we made the second time around, for anyone who might be shopping for new furniture, or just wondering how to set up a liveable and functional room, and especially if you love to entertain as well. I have learned how essential seating is. Lots of it, and different forms. Not just one monstrous couch. Seating here…there…and everywhere. Ottomans as seats. Little benches. Chairs. You get my point, I’m sure;)



First, we decided on a slipcovered couch and loveseat from IKEA. Can’t say enough about slipcovered couches, people. People have asked me if we’re crazy choosing beige, but you know what? It’s WAY easier to keep clean than our dark navy sectional. Just have to throw the cover in the wash. We live in this room – we eat, drink, track mud in, you name it, it’s been done. I have 3 young kids remember;). And it still looks as new as it did when we bought it last summer. So are we crazy? Only if crazy means brilliant!



And for some reason, people aren’t as scared to have a seat – maybe since the fear of being swallowed up alive in the corners is gone, I don’t know…but they come right in, have a seat, and fill those puppies up! (For the record, I freaking LOVE sectionals – have one in my basement. I still think they’re fantastic, ours just took over our small family room and didn’t leave room for well, anything else).


Then, I discovered a KEY to our family room by pure accident: the ottomans. Oh my, if I had one piece of advice for decorating a family room, it’s to have a couple ottomans floating around. I happened to discover how easy it would be to cover our ugly pleather ottomans with new fabric, so I gave them a makeover. They have been awesome. Guests sit on them, we move them around, use them to plop our feet up, stick a tray down and make it a table to put our snacks and drinks on – they are SO versatile and just plain perfect for any room really. They are never in the same spot and that’s fine by me. I even use my yard sale bench as a place to sit if we need to – it’s half “accent table,” half “ottoman”….

By placing a tray down, it’s perfect for drinks, etc, but just take off the tray and BAM! More seating:)

And finally, the chairs…

My new chairs have been a great addition. I love how it completes the conversation area, yet if a game’s on, guests can still see the tv;). And I love that instead of the large chair I had there initially, there’s now place for two people to sit.

We’ve had people over a lot since the makeover, and every time, I’m amazed at how much more we use this room. How much smarter this layout is. It feels like we use every inch of this space, and use it well. Funny how getting rid of our huge-seats-a-ton-sectional resulted in seating more people in our family room than ever before. Live and learn, I suppose!

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