You know that room at the front of your house that no one ever uses? Some people call it a “family room” even though families mostly hang out in the kitchen. That’s valuable square footage and if it looks like a roped off museum display then you’re likely not taking advantage of it.
Valentine’s Day has us thinking about spending time with loved ones, so here are four creative ideas for the family room that no one uses:
1) Games room
If you have kids, screens probably dominate downtime. Everyone’s always staring into a phone or other screens of various sizes. You should transform your family room into a games room where screens are not welcome.
Setting everything up will be easy. Put a table in the centre of the room, put up shelves for all your boardgames, then put up a sign that says, “No Phones Allowed.” With a room designated to board games, it’s easier to play longer games like Risk, Catan, or Monopoly because you won’t have to move everything when you take breaks.
2) Yoga studio
Your family room likely has a large window overlooking your front yard. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your skills for the neighbours and get your family in shape!
Take everything out of the room, hang a large mirror (or series of frameless mirrors) on the wall that makes the most sense, then add storage so you can keep all your equipment and workout accessories in the room. Once you have the studio, you have less excuses to skip yoga time. And joking aside, the amount of natural light you get in your family room would actually make for a relaxing session.
3) Wine tasting
What’s more sophisticated and romantic than a wine tasting room? This may be a more expensive remodel, but if you’re a connoisseur then it’s worth it.
You need proper shelving and storage. The wine needs to stay a certain temperature (cool but not too cool) so you need good insulation in this room. More importantly, you need to avoid temperature fluctuations. Light can also damage wine over time, so since this isn’t a basement cellar, your storage should be designed to block sunlight.
Add some comfy lounge chairs and a coffee table with some fancy coasters and you have a wine tasting room. Better yet, start a club that meets weekly to chat and try new wines.
Keeping a book on your nightstand just isn’t cutting it? Maybe you’ll be inspired to read if you have an entire library. Spend some time with your kids by starting a family book club!
Obviously, this suggestion is only for book lovers because, well, you need books for a library. If you don’t like to read, you probably don’t have enough books to build a library, and it would be silly to buy enough books all at once just to have a beautiful room.
It’s interesting how no matter what we suggest, the use of the room is basically determined by what you put on the shelves. Books? Library. Wine? Wine club. Boardgames? Games room.
You probably made fun of your parents for covering their furniture with plastic, but now yours might as well be covered in plastic if you’re not using your family room. People put so much thought into the amount they’re paying per square foot; take advantage of all the space you have! And if you’re buying a new home, maybe plan something different for this “family room” space.