Creating a Friend and Family Living Space


I am often tasked with designing a family-living area that is both stylish, functional and friendly and very often those goals will conflict with one another. A purely stylish family-living room can sometimes appear cold and uninviting, where as a truly functional family room can sometimes step outside the boundaries of sleek and stylish. The trick is to create a comfortable family living room that works for everyone.

The family-living room in my opinion is the center piece of the home, second only to the kitchen, where friends and family come together to share experiences, entertainment and generally enjoy each others company. It's essential for a peaceful and loving home. The family room has to work for everyone in that everyone in the family has to find this room an inviting space to relax in.

I start by providing enough seating for the whole family, plus a few guests. If there is not enough space for extra chairs, a comfortable upholstered or leather footstool will do the job and can still be used as a footstool when not needed as a seat. If space is an issue, I often substitute a loveseat in place of an armchair that can seat two people who can than snuggle up together.

Above all, the key element to a great family room is comfort! If the room leaves you and quests feeling cold, than something is missing. I overcome this by simply adding soft and pleasing textures. Plush carpets or area rugs can easily transform the look of a room, instantly making it feel warm and welcoming.

Deep sofas with soft plump seats adorned with a line of squashy cushions will invite your family and friends to settle in and spend the time together, rather than in separate rooms. A good family room also has to be durable which is why I always choose hard-wearing flooring and loose-covered sofas with removable and washable covers that can stand up to a few spills.

Here are a few decorating rules I love by.

Making it yours

I like to personalize the family-living room with an arrangement of favorite family photographs and mementos that helps create a sense of history or tells a family story. It turns an otherwise cold hotel lobby into a warm family space. A bare expanse of wall above the sofa or a sideboard is an ideal spot. I suggest using frames that are identical in size and color, and arrange them in a grid formation to make a clean, modern visual impact.

Technology is our friend


There is no getting away from the fact that technology has crept into every aspect of modern life. You can't fight it, so you may as well make it your friend by making a media-friendly arrangement in a family living room. I like low modern units that are sleek and clean, pieces that won’t overwhelm the room by keeping wall space above it feeling open. Rather than heavy dark wall units, I will often opt for simple floating shelves for mementos, framed photos or simple greenery. As for color schemes I suggest pale colors for walls and furniture to give a unified look.

Clutter be gone

I like a clutter-free living room by keeping shelves orderly and free from lots of objects. Keep small items and techno items stored in small wooden storage boxes or baskets, and store books and magazines in neat box files. For a more contemporary look, use the space above the sofa a for single picture shelf to display black and white family photos.

Long-life durable furniture

I believe its possible to have a stylish and sleek family-living room in a busy family home. Paint walls a fresh off-white and update fussy curtains with clean-lined white shutters. Choose durable leather sofas for an easy-clean option or fabrics that can be removed from the cushions and cleaned. Then add modern glamour with a show-stopping ceiling chandelier or designer ceiling fan.

Socialize space

Modern families are always on the go, so I like to create a living room that encourages people to stop, slow down and enjoy some quality family time together. I often create an intimate space by adding comfortable chairs and sofas in a communal-type group environment. Shades of fresh white wall with gray or pale blue accents will keep the room bright and friendly, while dark or medium-hue wood flooring introduces warmth.

Activity-friendly flooring

I suggest wooden floors for a classic look that is easy to clean. There is an endless selection of laminate flooring on the market today in a myriad of colors, textures and patterns. They are relatively inexpensive compared to real hard-wood flooring, although I suggest staying away from the low-priced products as they will most likely not stand-up to time and traffic very well. Keep the room feeling snug with one large or several area rugs in colors that lightly contrast with the flooring.

Room for everyone

I suggest putting a large high quality sofa at the top of your decorating list. It plays vital role in family life and will need to accommodate everyone and still save space. A neutral scheme allows plenty of scope to add color and pattern, which makes for a fun room.


Have a space plan

When designing a living room and I always incorporate space into the open floor plan to encourage social gatherings and family interaction. Allocated zones for lounging, dining and yes, standing. A good social gathering is one that encourages mobility about the room that in-turn stimulates conversation. Take advantage of large windows or French doors that invite natural light and outdoor scenery into the room.


Lets face it, humans are gatherers and collectors of just about everything. The hard part is learning how to effective store it all to keep a room clean, light and clutter free. I like to use basic free-standing units to create a storage-bank that will fit the space and then fill them with colorful objects of interest. Decorative chests and foot rests that open are perfect places to keep items out of view and yet still in reach when you need them.



Lets get cozy

I can think of nothing more inviting that a large squashy sofa with plump feather-filled cushions to provide all the temptation needed for a relaxing living room. Bring your room to life with a built-in or free-standing fire place that will add warmth and atmosphere. Furniture Market offers several models and designs of the latest digital free-standing holographic fireplace-consoles in a wide variety of colors and temperature setting to suit any room or social setting.

Toss it aside

To add both texture and real creature-comfort to a room, I like woolen or linen throws folded over sofa arms which will visually soften the room as well as providing warmth when needed. Every one loves a blanket so make sure there are plenty to go around.

Stay true to the idea that the family room is for fun, functionality and social interaction of friends and family and regardless what concepts you introduce into the room, it will be a place of warmth and love.

Creating a Bedroom Sanctuary

Considering how much time we spend in our bedrooms, it always made sense to me that it should be a place for peace and reflection. In other words, our own private sanctuary. It's not so much a place for self-indulgence, but rather a place to nurture our sense of well-being. As an interior designer I am aware of how the use of certain colors, the arrangement of furniture, the placement of photos, and even the light of a space can affect how we feel in a room. I take all these factors into account when designing a bedroom sanctuary for a client.


There's nothing like sinking into a plush mattress and getting enveloped in super soft bedding to make you feel comforted and protected at the end of a long day. Depending on the style of the room I will sometimes opt for a thick down comforter or soft man-made animal fur to add a plush feel to the room.


Many people go for bold colors and heavy patterned styles to decorate their bedrooms, especially when it comes to large pieces like their bedspread, wall color or wall paper pattern. Although this trend is popular in many modern-contemporary designs, it does not work well if you're building a bedroom sanctuary. In this case I stick with more neutral and calming colors and instead add small pops of color in smaller items such as pillows or throw blankets.


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Sanctuary therapy starts with the sense of touch, and nothing accomplishes this better than a soft or luxurious carpet or throw rug. After spending all day in uncomfortable work or dress shoes, the very idea of a soft rug under bare feet will increase your 'I'm home feeling'.


Its sounds simple, yet it's true. A large headboard, adorned with soft tufted neutral materials will instantly set the mood the second you walk into the room. This is apparent in many of the bedrooms I design and furnish, as well as the style of beds we stock and display in the showroom. Heavy traditional dark wood headboards always gave me the impression of a medieval castle or being on board a sailing ship, not the image you want to create in a peaceful sanctuary space.


A clean, organized and uncluttered bedroom is absolutely key to a peaceful and restful space, as clutter is a reminder of things undone. Same goes for disorganized closets and drawers, and although it may sound silly, I always felt that clutter under the bed has its own negative energy, especially if it's work-related clutter. Creating a peaceful sanctuary starts with getting rid of unnecessary objects, especially things that reminds you of negative or stressful times in your life.


Get some plants which adds life to a room and generally makes us feel good. Studies have shown that potted plants in our space help with lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety, and generally increase the feeling of satisfaction.



That is where your mini-blinds or Venetian blinds should go if your building a bedroom sanctuary. Window treatments should not only block light and provide privacy, but are an important part of the look and feel of the space. I suggest going with with two-layer curtains that go from window to floor, in light and neutral colors.



Lighting is an extremely important part of creating ambiance in a space. I always avoid bright fluorescent overhead lighting and instead focus on floor and table lamps that feature dimmers or some sort. Think of a dimmer as a volume knob on your sound system, all the way to '10' is not always the way to go. Interesting shapes and materials tend to add a little texture to the room, in addition to other items in the room.

Using Wallpaper for Accent Walls


I often embrace using wallpaper for accent walls as a method of drawing attention to a specific portion of a room or space. Accent walls can be big and bold, or in a subtle way to make a more modern and contemporary statement. There are an enormous variety of wallpaper choices available today that includes more than just traditional wallpaper, but murals and borders which can be used to create the perfect feature wall. Choosing which area to highlight depends on what I hope to achieve in a particular space.

To make a Bold Statement

To add maximum drama and dimension to a room I go with a bold accent wall. This works very well with dens, dining rooms and master bedrooms, or any space that needs some excitement. The modern trend involves solid bold colors to liven up an accent wall. In this I will select a solid paper in a color that compliments the color of adjoining walls but is deeper in tone and richer in feel. If my goal is to make an even greater impact or bolder statement, I'll select a coordinating border pattern or decal and apply either horizontally or vertically. I suggest spacing the patterned courses apart evenly for a more traditional feel, or vary the spacing for a more eclectic, modern feel.

The Subtle Approach

Going bold or subtle naturally depends on my client's taste and/or the style of the furniture we have selected. If bold isn’t their style, I can still capitalize on this modern trend in a more subtle manner. I'll select wallpaper in the same color as wall paint, or just a degree or two darker or lighter. Textured wallpaper works exceptionally well in this theme which will allow the light flowing into the room to create an even more dramatic effect. Small-scale patterned wallpaper will provide an understated look while still drawing the eye to a specific area or feature of the room. One of favorites is the use of subtle grass-cloth or linen papers which provides an additional minimalist option while creating a contemporary feel.


Selecting the Right Wall

The purpose of an accent wall is to draw the eye and interest to a particular area. The perfect wall will most often be solid and uninterrupted by multiple architectural features such as doors, windows or a fireplace. When designing master bedrooms, I like to create an accent wall that will complement the beautiful headboards we offer in our furniture lines, many of which consist of wonderful textures and features.

If the bedroom is small, I'll use the wall opposite the bed as the accent, creating the illusion of more space. If the homes features a dining room that flows into or is open to the living spaces, I often delineate or border one from the other using one or more accent walls.

Areas often overlooked are stairwells, entryways and foyers which are perfect spots for wallpaper accents. Finally, any wall area that is either inset or popped out from the rest creates a natural spot for wallpaper accents.

Finding your furniture style

One of the many questions our clients ask when they shop for furniture at our showroom is what is the difference between the various styles we carry at Furniture Market. I thought an explanation of the differences may help you 'find your style'.

At Furniture Market we carry three principle styles, traditional, transitional and contemporary-modern. All are very popular, but really it all depends on your personal taste.

In general, modern-contemporary pieces tend to be minimalist, with sleek, simple lines. When some people hear the term “modern furniture” they imagine artistic pieces that are not practical for everyday use, but that’s not true. At Furniture Market, we specialize in high-end, well-made, comfortable furniture to suit any taste, and welcome the challenge of creating the most unique custom furniture in Las Vegas.



Traditional furniture usually refers to any piece that resembles the styles of the 19th century or earlier. Furniture from this time period is often large and heavy and tends to be made of dark, heavy wood.

Traditional style is still used often, especially in homes and offices in historic buildings. Many custom homes being built in our area, as well as restaurants and hotels, typically lean towards a modern look. It’s easier to accommodate the traditional style in larger homes, which takes up a lot of visual weight. Caution has to be taken here because in smaller homes or spaces, the big, dark furniture can make the area look cramped and overwhelming.

The secret to using traditional furniture in smaller spaces is to be choosy about the size of the pieces. One strategically placed large item can be a wonderful focal point in smaller rooms. When this occurs, I usually finish off the décor with smaller items and accents to avoid cluttering the space with too many items.

Traditional luxury furniture goes exceptionally well in a room that contains antiques. That’s because the furniture style matches the time period of the other pieces. I sometimes boldly mix traditional and modern styles to add points of interests and focal points. The only rule when it comes to décor is to make the style represent your personality and suit your needs.

Our skilled interior designers specialize in creating the perfect traditional look to suit your taste.



Modern-contemporary furniture refers to furniture styles that came about after the 19th century. These pieces tend to utilize lighter wood tones, brighter fabrics, and newer materials, like metal and clear acrylics. Contemporary furniture embraces the use of free, open space as part of the focal point of the home and is popular as it helps to enhance these spaces by being less visually heavy. Although contemporary furniture tends to be lighter and less ornate, you want to ovoid cramming multiple pieces into a single area. The overall appeal of the modern look is that it doesn’t take up too much space, and it provides functional multitasking, such as additional storage.



This style of furniture of often the style that generates the most excitement and interest in our showroom because in essence its a bit of contemporary and traditional combined. When defining your design style, if you find contemporary too sleek and traditional too stodgy and heavy, than your borderline style may be "transitional."

Transitional style is a marriage of traditional and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials and fabrics. The result is an elegant, enduring design that is both comfortable and classic. At Furniture Market we carry a great many pieces that fit into this style, including living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. Whereas traditional and contemporary design schemes may introduce a few opposing elements in their designs, transitional style strikes the perfect balance between the two styles. By utilizing its simple lines, neutral color schemes and the use of light and warmth, transitional style joins the best of both the traditional and contemporary worlds. A signature light fixture accented with warm woods, off-white walls and a blend of contemporary and traditional accessories suits any transitional room.

When choosing which style to go with, the bottom line is really what appeals to you the most and the spaces you intend on filling. At Furniture Market we'll work with you every step of the way to find what suits your tastes and needs.