Creating a family snug
Open plan is very much the modern way of living, with our offices and homes becoming much less formal. We like the airiness and informality of a kitchen-diner-family space; however, sometimes we may find ourselves yearning for a little privacy or cosiness. It may be that we want a room with doors so that we can shut out the kids’ toys or the teenagers’ TVs or the dishwasher noise, or we may yearn for a space to which we can retreat. Big airy spaces are great for many aspects of life, but plenty of people don’t actually feel that relaxed in them - feeling a little exposed is not conducive to relaxation!
You don’t want to end up with a formal space that no one uses, rather like the formal sitting rooms that our parents or grandparents had in their homes; therefore, you need a room that works for your family and does not render other rooms redundant. Plenty of dining rooms have been converted into playrooms or TV rooms in recent years and you probably won’t need a second sitting room if you have a decent-sized seating area in your kitchen space.
We have spoken about creating a reading corner - a one-person snug - but if you have a family, you might want to create a family snug, home cinema or even a ‘no TV’ space. The Americans use the term ‘den’, which is evocative and conjures up images of being safe and snug.
Probably the most important factor is the seating. This is the time and place for a sofa or big armchair in which you can really get comfy. Armchairs are very versatile and you can shift them around as needed; however, big sofas are great for families. Most big furniture retailers sell modular systems and you can choose the combination that suits your room, such as a four-seater with a chaise or a two-seater with reclining seats. Armchairs, especially paired with a footrest, look great, especially if you go for a coordinating pattern or colour to contrast with your sofa.
You will also need somewhere to put your drinks, or perhaps your popcorn. Side and coffee tables come in every shape, colour and material, including wood, glass, marble and mirrored. The choice is yours.
Finally, don’t forget about lighting. You want to be able to create a relaxed mood, so consider dimmers, floor lamps, table lamps and even candles to provide versatile lighting. Your requirements may include low lighting for watching a film, warm and soft for chatting with friends, or brighter lights for reading or doing the crossword.
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