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Designer’s Notebook with Dvira Ovadia

The family room is the cozy heart of any home: a space where people gather to relax, socialize and spend time together. It’s a room that usually marries comforting design and decor elements with simple architectural details, and it’s not unusual for each family member to have their own favourite corner.

When it came to designing this room, the clients told me they wanted a space that was casual, soothing and far from fussy. The fresh air and lakeside views just outside the window provided the inspiration for this breezy, relaxing design. 

Using natural materials and textures for the furnishings - rustic woods, rattans and soft upholstery – helped create a laid-back feel. The pair of matching sand slip covered sofas is comfortable and serene, while the upholstered ottoman introduces pattern and a soft blue tone. Custom pillows and textured throws make a statement and of fer subtle contrast while maintaining the room’s muted tones of blue, rose and silver.

On the walls, soft blue gray tones are the perfect backdrop for beautiful works of original art and a collage of black and white family photos. Together, the contrast of the black and white photos with pops of artful colour creates great visual interest that is alternately stimulating and relaxing.

The focal point in the room is the beautiful fireplace. Simple and elegant with its reverse bevel detail, the over sized design is a big step up from the previous ‘builder basic’ mantle. Keeping the budget in  mind, we kept the original firebox and gave the surround a grand appearance. Remember: making a fireplace your own can be a simple project that doesn’t have to break the bank.

Flat roman shades and casual grommet-hole drapes in a heavy, shimmery material frame the windows and French doors, keeping the room soft and relaxed while controlling the light and maintaining a sense of privacy.

Lighting is crucial to the function and style of any room – especially a relaxing, multi-purpose room like this. Having multiple sources of light means you’ll have just the right light for various activities like reading, socializing and watching TV. Using a dimmer switch is also a great option for setting the mood. In this space we also have a beautiful sculptural floor lamp that decoratively fills the void in the corner of the room and shines a warm ray of light. The centre fixture is minimal and subdued, yet ties into the causal palate. Two natural-wood table lamps on the sofa console help frame the room and shine a textured shadow across their rustic linen shades.

This room makes you want to kick off your shoes and sink in. It’s a very successful design that came from being responsive to the client’s tastes, needs and desires. Whatever your style, remember, the family room is the hub of the house and making it feel welcoming and relaxing is the ultimate goal.