Ask S&C: Wide Open Spaces

When it comes to decorating a wide open space, such as a basement family room, don't let the size intimidate you. Use the furniture to divide the space into functional zones (e.g. TV, lounge, music and storage) and tackle one area at a time.

Zone 1: Lounge/Fireplace Zone
We love the idea of using a fireplace as a secondary focal point in a family room space. Two cushy club chairs and a side table create a cozy corner in which to warm up with a cup of cocoa and relax.


Zone 2: Storage Zone
Closed storage is especially important in a multi-purpose room. Close off an existing alcove to create space to stash toys, pillows or anything else that you would like to hide when entertaining.


Zone 3: TV Zone
A linear sectional offers plenty of seating, but is more space-efficient than its oversized, curvy counterparts. Look for one with built-in storage for added functionality. But the most important consideration in a basement is light; layer table and task lighting to make the room feel brighter. White walls will also help lighten up the space and cause doors, angles and nooks to fade into the background. As for the TV itself, remember: It's not a piece of furniture. Treat your television as you would a piece of art and hang it on the wall, out of the way.


Zone 4: Music Zone
If you're lucky enough to have a piano in your space, find a corner to tuck it in so it's out of the way but still accessible for use.


This Ask S&C was inspired by Mike, who surprised his wife by taking her to the show and asking a question about how to decorate their large, long basement. Sneaky, sneaky Mike!

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