by Ikea

Modular furniture:

Modular furniture is great for family rooms. It allows easy re-configuration depending on the event and the crowd. Family rooms are for fun. They are for interaction. They are for time alone but with everyone present. What a neat idea! To be able to concentrate or meditate but when the moment comes along and you want to share something, there is that someone right there! Designing a family room where all of this can happen is wonderful.

Tough Fabric:

Working with fibers that are tough. Indoor/Outdoor fabrics are awesome. They have come along way from stiff and boring. Anything at all can be done with them, and homeowners and designers love Sunbrella.

Our loveable pets play a big part in our lives as well. These tough fabrics can endure the rough and tumble of kids and puppies. Man-made fabrics are tougher than most natural fabrics. Cotton is such a diverse character it’s best to stay away from this when considering upholstery. Unless of course its blended. Leather is a natural fabric and is very durable. The same with wool and mohair. For pattern and color, the indoor/outdoor selection is fabulous.

Calico Fabric by Sunbrella


Storage is a big factor for any room. Family rooms need books, toys, games and media collections. If there are not built-in’s and the closets are too small, think about bookcases and other storage units that are very popular and affordable. Using decorative boxes and baskets make open display possible. Here (below) you can see velvet being used as upholstery for the blue chair. Very adult, and very tough.

There you have three of the most important factors when planning a family room. Durable Fabric, Modular Furniture, and plenty of storage. Depending on your sensibilities, game tables, media storage, having everything remote/automatic need consideration. Other basics are lighting, carpet and wallcovering. Enjoy the results!


by Johnson McLeod Design

Family Room I. Modern Beach

There isn’t much this room is not providing is there? A comfortable sofa, the television, a game or puzzle area. You could play twister on this great floor. I don’t know about hide and seek. Not enough nooks and crannies.  Families grow and change and what we love also changes. You may have to update your family room to conform to what is popular now with your family. Someone can be doing the Sunday Crossword at the Eames Chair sitting area and others working on a puzzle at the coffee table. The floor is a great surface for the kids, marbles, twister, any board game.

This room would work fabulously as a team room. One team on the ottomans – the other team on the sofa. Judges could be on the loungers. I guess I’m ready to move in! We do wonder about the room becoming dark enough for movie night – but all of that might be hidden from our view and at the push of button they are in place!



Family Room Traditional. New England

Now here is another wonderful option! Having a room big enough for a pool table or a ping-pong table! Oh the parties we will have! The difference in style between these two rooms is worth mentioning. Our first room by Johnson McLeod is Contemporary.  Our pool table room by Thompson Homes is Traditional. Do you see how both are doing a wonderful job but in a totally different setting and style? May your home reflect your style and what you love! Have fun.

by Duralee

Fabrics are more beautiful than ever. Duralee is one of my favorites. (Above Photo) But everybody has something wonderful going on. Geometric bold patterns are big in the world of fabric. Remember we said geometrics were big in the way of tile? Everything happens at almost the same time. Technology reigns. No reason for lag time, what’s possible here is possible there.

Color is raging. Adventure is king. Break the rules.

by Laura Gonzalez – Paris

Geometric makes it’s way into furniture as well. (Above) This fantastic console with sharp lines and bold color speaks to the adventurous spirit. Nothing faint-hearted here.

Adventurous orange or bold green, if you haven’t tried color – by all means give it a try. A pillow is a good way to start.
Paint a small room if you are a bigger risk taker.

by Haver Skolnick Architects

Can you see the truth in this photo? In this gorgeous room by Haver Skolnick AIA? The carpet is full of bold colors and boasts a strong geometric pattern. And this is for a bedroom. A place of repose and dreams. If it’s a craze in one discipline, it is or will soon be in the others. Innovation is a wonderful process. And the results are fantastic.

If we don’t take baby steps, or try something new once in a while, we are in a groove that remains safe. The same. Our minds are happier, excited with something new. We are happier when exploring. Get crackin!

Crestron, was new for me. It’s a new addition at DCOTA. Here is a bit about them: “At Crestron, we build the technology that integrates technology. Our automation and control solutions for buildings and homes let people control entire environments with the push of a button, integrating systems such as A/V, lighting, shading, IT, security, BMS, and HVAC to provide greater comfort, convenience, and security. All of our products are designed and built to work together as a complete system, enabling you to monitor, manage, and control everything from one platform.”

They opened their showroom to all designers at about four o’clock. They served yummy desserts! All of these cabinets are by SMALLBONE, of the UK.  All bells, lights and whistles are by Crestron.

The media center is a beauty. Very flush. Very modern. A dark finish which is very popular. All wires and gizzies from Crestron. All cabintry by Smallbone. The Furniture Maker.

Cabinetry & Dessert Display at Crestron

This gorgeous stand alone cabinet (below) is by SMALLBONE  of England.


by Small Bone UK

If you have any questions regarding this beauty, contact Crestron. Or SMALLBONE. The Furniture Maker.

Below is the interior. It looks like a fridge, but it doesn’t look like a fridge.

This was a great way to end our day, but I do have a bit more for you. Stay tuned.


by Small Bone UK

by Eren Design

Santa Fe Modern
This is such a beautiful room and such a great example of Southwestern Style or by it’s new name Santa Fe Style. This is a modern take on the Santa Fe Style. The clean lines of the fireplace, the backdrop of soft whites. You could turn this room into quite something else by changing out the textiles, the carpet and the window seat cushion. The roughed up pieces, the chair and coffee table, only highlight the spanking fresh whites in the room. The reds and the rough textured accessories, like the beautiful beamed ceiling are key to making a room Santa Fe. These are the colors and textures of that world.
Rustic or Wabi-Sabi
Finding beauty, appreciating the beauty of the old and used, is very favored by the Japanese, they call it wabi sabi and it’s remarkably fulfilling as it embraces longevity and wrinkles,  all the treasures that come with time.
Santa Fe Bedroom
Everything in this bedroom below looks remarkably fresh. Until you go around the second or third time and realize the lamp looks like it was just taken from a scrap pile. But the sky blue wall and earth toned headboard are another way to interpret Santa Fe Style. And again the rustic makes the crisps crisper. The pottery is definitely southwestern style, color and pattern. Again so many ways to do any thing. Linger over these differences and see what appeals to you. Is it the flag, the bold blue, the soft browns, the one wall blue, the other white? The causal picture gallery? Hat’s off to Emily Henry!


by Emily Henry

by merwis_irosi

Palm trees are so plentiful, well over a thousand varieties, shop by size – small medium and large. Shop for ‘Container’ size Palms. Decorating with plants has so many benefits. Good for the eye. Good for the soul.  Here is a beginners list of palms that grow well as indoor plants. Decorating with plants doesn’t mean you are a farmer or that you are gardener. It means you know the value of plants as a design option and as a healthy feature. Smart and Sassy.

* Kentia palms (Howea forsteriana)
* Sentry palm (howea belmoreana)
* Fishtail palm (caryota mitis)
* Pygmy date palm (phoenix roebelenii)

This modern living room, has added curve to the straight lines with the selected palm trees. It’s a symmetrical arrangement which makes the room very calm. I’m not a plant expert, a plant lover. So remember this is for ideas only. Places and Ideas to explore. But not all palms need bright sunlight and they don’t all need to be outside so the can be as tall as a tree.


Now this room doesn’t make a Palm statement. It has one potted plant doing a good job of adding shape and form, texture and color to the room. Remember to decorate your way. A lot or a little of this or that. Next blog we will go for rooms that may infer you are a gardener and/or a plant lover.

The light from this picture window is good for this oasis.

A lot of greens:

Just discovered the Urban Jungle, a book by Igor Josefovic and Judith de Grooff, while working on my Newsletter for this week. Wow-eee-Wow! So many wonderful things can be found in a book. Really it’s a demonstration of what’s on people minds and congratulations are in order!

The book is not about interior design and it’s not about plants. It’s about both, with the emphasis on plants, but of course your interiors stand to benefit greatly! If you take care of your plants. Which is why I love them and why I advocate for plants. I know we may not have green thumbs, I know what a difficult science is involved, with the light, water and soil balance. But I know what joy they bring to your home and to you. You may have one African Violet. You may have one spider plant or one bamboo stalk. Or you may have a jungle. Anything in between. I’m working on creative long sentences. Can you tell? My goodness – talk about creative thumbs.

Of course Google figured in there somewhere. I learned about Urban Jungle from Apartment Therapy some time ago, but this book is the extensive how to – why to that we all need. And practice makes perfect. It also is a nice demonstration of how not everything works everywhere. You do have to find what works. What works for you and what works for your home.

Minimal Greens:

by mespy

When working with a modern – minimal interior you may not want the urban jungle look. But see how much is added by the one shapely plant by the window?

by evercoolhomes


The same is true in your office. You do want clear spaces to work, but one or two living plants, placed carefully can make all the difference.

Office Greens:

Whether you have pots and flowers everywhere or one placed strategically, plants make a wonderful difference. On your desk or a shelf in your office. Again a fabulous addition. Do try to keep them healthy. If they seem to struggle, try something – do something different. Go get a new one. Ask for help. Tending. Caring. Loving. Growth. Smiles.