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Functional Family Room

How to Create a Fun and Functional Basement Family Room


If you're like many people, your basement is one of the most underutilized rooms in your home. At most, you use it to store items you aren't sure what else to do with. At least, it sits dark and empty. But if you find yourself wishing you had more space in your home or looking for something to do with your basement, why not turn it into the ultimate family room? No matter the size or shape, these tips can help you plan a space that is both fun and functional — and the ultimate hangout for your family and friends.

family gathered on a couch

Pros of an Open Layout

If you have younger children, an open layout is the best design for a basement family room. It allows you to relax and watch TV or even work if you're working from home, all while keeping an eye on the little ones as they play. And, it may not seem like it, but an open layout is perfect for a multifunctional family room. Even though you don't have walls, it doesn't mean that the room shouldn't have space designated for different activities.

Start with a central seating area that everyone in the family can enjoy. You can relax after a long day of work or gather with the kids for family movie night. A comfortable sectional sofa is a great piece to use to set the layout. You can then fill in around it.

If you have young children, pick a corner of the space for toys, books and stuffed animals. Place shelving and a toy box along the walls. Use a small carpet and child-size furniture items, like a table and chairs, to make it clear that this is the space for playtime. That will help minimize kids' clutter throughout the rest of the room.

Perhaps you're working from home. Choose another corner to create a home office with a comfortable desk and chair and any shelving or storage you might need. Your home office space can double for a homeschooling area or virtual learning spot for older kids as well.

You can even turn other parts of the room into space to do what you love, whether you've alway wanted a craft room or your very own home gym. The open layout allows your family to spend time together without crowding each other.

Use Furniture as a Room Divider

The key to making the open layout work is to make sure each member of the family has a space in the family room that makes them feel comfortable. If you feel like you need more division, you can always use furniture to set a clear divide.

That's another bonus for using a sectional sofa. It almost creates a room around your entertainment center and sets clear boundaries. If your space is large enough, consider setting up sofas back to back. Perhaps one faces the media center for teens and adults in your home, while the other faces the play area for the younger kids. Console tables, bars, game tables and shelving can also help you create the illusion of individual spaces for the family in an open basement.

Plenty of Seating Is a Must

Your family room should be the most comfortable spot in the house. When you set it up, make sure you add enough seating so that everyone in your family has a place to sit. And then add some more.

There will come a time when your brother and sister-in-law are in town to visit, or your daughter wants to have her first sleepover. If you have teens, there will be other kids in and out constantly, or you may just enjoy having friends over for game night.

Again, focus the majority of your seating around your TV and media center. Place accent chairs in other parts of the room so that guests can pull one up when necessary.

Make Room for Entertaining

Speaking of having guests over, if you or your children like to entertain friends, your basement family room is the perfect spot to do so. As a matter of fact, if you're going to make any major renovations, adding a kitchenette is your best bet if you plan to use the room for entertaining.

Make sure you have a dining area, whether it's a full formal dining room table or a large coffee table at your sofa. You'll also want to make sure there's a flat surface within reach of all of your seating so guests have a place to put their drinks and plates.

Take Advantage of Unused Space With Storage Options

If you're afraid that you'll lose storage space when you turn your basement into a family room, don't worry. It can still serve that purpose. Shelving and cabinets placed against unused walls can hold those seasonal clothes and holiday decorations. So can ottomans and coffee tables that double as storage space. While your basement ceiling may be low, take advantage of as much vertical space as you can with mounted shelving.

Use Neutral Items

If you have children, you know they don't stay the same age forever. As your family grows and changes, so will your family room needs. That little play corner with the blocks and dolls will eventually become a desk for studying or spot for playing video games. The teen game room will eventually become the place where you entertain your own friends when the kids leave the nest.

For this reason, you should choose neutral items that will grow with your family. And if you're at a transitional stage of life — say your teens are a year or two from heading off to college — you may want to consider renting furniture instead of making a big investment.

When you choose CORT Furniture Outlet, you have the option to bring high-quality furniture into your home without breaking the bank. Our showrooms have pieces for every room and can be in your house the same day you buy.

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