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Decorating & Furniture/furniture placement and decorating in family room


Hi Jenny,
I have a family room that should be a beautiful space, but I have lived here 10 years and just don't have a clue how to make that happen.The room is connected to the kitchen and when you are standing in the kitchen looking into the family room, the far wall contains a fireplace in the middle and tall windows on each side. This wall goes up on a steep angle to the right. The wall to the left from this view contains glass french doors with about 4 feet of wall space on either side of the doors. This wall is all one height. The wall to the right of the fireplace wall is a very tall wall, my guess would be about 18 feet high and about 20 feet long. There are also two skylights. Right now, our big screen tv is centered in the middle of the tall wall. The couch is centered in front of the french doors with the love seat angled on one side of the couch(closest to the kitchen# and a chair angled on the other #near the fireplace). Ideally, I would love to be able to keep the french doors unobstructed but for now, I have to go with the tv being on that wall. There is nothing else placed against the tall wall, only the tv which sits on a matching stand and is about 5 feet high. The walls are currently painted a neutral white/beige and the carpet is a neutral white/being berber. The furniture is beige leather.The fireplace mantle is a light oak color. The neutral tones have worked pretty well, but I am ready for a change. We are ready to paint and redecorate and my main question is what can I do with the tall wall. Should I paint it a different color than the rest? Should I buy bookcases or shelving to put around the tv? The tv and stand are black which kinda goes with the black insert for the fireplace. I feel like the wall in question should be adding character to the room and right now all it is is a tall long wall with a black tv centered in the middle. I would appreciate any advice you can give me and would be happy to provide further clarification of my description. Thank you.


I have to start with the wall color and suggest that you use a taupe, a creamy mocha or a grey for the walls.  Paint them all the same rather than trying to accent your "tall" wall since it's already the focal point.

One way to accommodate a TV is to place it on the wall over the fireplace.  This "connects" the natural focus and makes arranging furniture less complex.  If that is impossible in your situation then incorporate the television into the same wall.  Adding shelving to the wall will help as will painting the walls.  If you build shelving, coordinate them with the fireplace mantle and stain them in the same oak shade.  If you're unhappy with the mantle in oak, sand it and paint it bright white and use white shelving around the TV.

The furniture placement should be centered around the fireplace (and if I understand correctly the "tall" wall).  This can be done by using your furniture in an "L" configuration with the longest piece (I assume your couch) facing the fireplace wall.  Add the love seat at a right angle on the end where the TV is placed on the wall and add your chair on the opposite end.    What you've done is left your doors unobstructed, created a conversation "pit" facing the room's natural focal point, and allowed your guests to view either the fireplace or the TV.

Hope this helps you.  Thanks for your questions!

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

"From Day One" and "Day After Day" available nationwide via bookstores and HTTP:// (HomeStyle articles beginning in 1998) Visit me at

BA, Psychology

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