Made-to-measure family rooms
No matter what your family’s style, three rules of décor help ensure a sharp looking family room says interior designer Sheri Krug: comfort for all, durability and conversational seating.
Start by getting the whole family to road-test the sofa. “Actually take your shoes off and sit on it the way you would at home,” she advises. Family room couches invite naps, so choose a fabric that’s soft on faces, too. For durability, opt for microfibre coverings, in neutral or dark colours, with small patterns. Add punch with piping, topstitching or button tufting. Then promote conversation with seats at similar heights, and include alternates like benches and ottomans. With these guides in place, Krug took an identical group of furniture and created three distinct décors, simply by changing colour and accessories.
Morph city shades with the look of a fine-tailored suit for this masculine feel
Look for masculine textures
The sectional is covered in a tweedy fabric, with a neutral colour and pattern that’s forgiving of everyday wear and tear, yet it boasts a topstitching that adds business-like polish. Perfect for either elegant or casual lounging. The chaise is also practical enough to accommodate storage of blankets or magazines. “It has simple lines,” says Krug. “It’s an adaptable piece.”
The lamps’ bases are covered in dark leather and accented by baseball stitching, adding to both the masculine tone and the room’s subtle, non-flashy vibe.
Turn the TV into an objet d’art
Although the TV is prominent in most North American family rooms, Krug says that the understated entertainment unit on which it sits here helps de-emphasize its visual impact. By grouping artwork low and very close to it, she fools the eye into reading it as a piece of art, too.
Construct a city of shapes and monochromatic shades
Urban building materials such as concrete and steel are echoed in the glass, wood and metal detailing of the tables. Soft and highgloss surfaces are purposely avoided in accent pieces, and the use of accessories throughout the room is minimal. “Keep the coffee table uncluttered,” Krug says. “Allow your eye to move across it.” She also maintained the sense of mid-town architecture at all edges of the room, by selecting an area rug with a pattern reminiscent of a street grid. The window’s shades open either from the top-down or bottom-up, and are arranged non-symmetrically to mimic the silhouettes of skyscrapers. The wall paint that frames the furniture is a grey-brown appropriately called Asphalt.
Sneak in a little warmth
To ensure that the space doesn’t feel austere, the accessories Krug did choose are embedded with a cheeky nod to nature: trees represented as graphics on the vases, and photographed as bold shapes in the artwork.
Mix textures, colours and eras to pull off an eclectic look
Start with a base
The comfy, durable furniture pieces brought together here are great building blocks for a decorating scheme that marries unalike elements. To impart a fun confidence, our designer began by painting the walls a dark turquoise with a grey undertone. It establishes a neutral backdrop that’s nonetheless intense.
Source eclectic pieces
The side chairs come into their own in an eclectic space, says Krug. They are made of two materials, and they also mix curvy arms and straight seats and backs. "In their own design they are eclectic." With its woven rattan shade in a bird’s-nest shape, the lamp instantly communicates the overall feel of primitive yet contemporary.
When placing non-conforming accessories together, the trick is to be consistent in your inconsistency, says Krug. Repeat the gesture several times in different places in the room. “Don’t make it look like an accident.”
That principle is echoed in the room’s jolts of red and orange. “If you’re going to go bold, really do it,” says Krug. “If you choose red, don’t do a muted or pastel. Really embrace the colour or texture.”
While the artwork mixes blatantly contemporary paintings with Buddha statuary and masks, the window treatment takes a more subtle tack. The colour palette and grid pattern of the drapes is contemporary, but the pleated silk fabric is cut in a traditional style.
It’s far better, says Krug, to cycle different items through the space at regular intervals than to cram all your treasures in at once. “Once you get too many objects in a room, the eye doesn’t know where to focus attention.”
Go glam with reflective materials, high contrast and a feminine mood
Putting on the glitz
Taking her cue from the glitz of Hollywood in the ’50s, Krug indulged in an abundance of feminine textures and fabrics. “A lot of transparency, gloss, high sheen and ‘bling-bling’,” she says. “I wanted to have a contrast of light and dark creating a little drama.“Think of a beautiful gown that’s accessorized with jewels and sparkle,” says designer Sheri Krug.
Select similar colours
The colour scheme is deliberately monochromatic — dark charred brown walls with white and silver accents. However, Krug relieved the monotony and multiplied the sheen-factor by including a bevy of glass and metal finishes. There’s chrome on picture frames and candelabra, brass coating the accessories atop the entertainment unit and tables, and a rustic, brushed metal on the starburst mirrors. Those mirrors, which are sold in a set of three, each possess an individually ornamented frame, “providing some visual interest without having to add colour,” notes Krug. “They’re acting like artwork.”
Pile on the shapes
Since there’s an absence of colour to play with, Krug piled on a layers of shapes — from the delicate stacks of bubbles holding up the lamps, to the plump vases and angular candlestick holders. She mixed up the scale too, with tall skinny objects nestled against the large TV, and also abutting smaller scale accessories. To enhance the soft, feminine feel of the room, Krug pinched in the draperies to create a dress-like “waist, skirt and bodice.”
Working without colour allowed her to take more chances with textures. “There’s luxury in the shag carpet, in the satin tossed cushions, in the subtle diamond detail in the window treatments,” she says.