Family Friendly FurnitureThere are millions of them and they're out to make a mess…scribble on your walls…track mud across your floor…and put their feet all over your furniture. Who are they? Kids!

So, how can you create a chic, stylish and comfortable living environment without sending the kids off to live with your parents? The solution is simple. Create "family-friendly" rooms where kids can play, parents can relax and families can spend quality time together in stylish, appealing settings.

"Today, families are spending more time than ever at home - relaxing, eating, entertaining and working," said Paula Hoyas, product manager for major upholstery at La-Z-Boy. "That's why it is more important than ever for rooms to be comfortable and livable, as well as attractive."

How do you create a family-friendly room? According to Hoyas, its easy as knowing your ABCs.


A Is For "Activities"

Any parent knows that kids create chaos at home. Toys, crafts, games and other activities result in an ongoing battle with mess. The battle can be won, however, with the help of clever storage ideas and some creatively designed furnishings.

Hoyas recommends integrating storage for toys and games into every room in the house, or at least anywhere kids play. And, instead of disrupting the look of a room by adding big unattractive storage bins, work with what you have. For example, who says entertainment centers can hold only electronic equipment and accessories? The lower shelves of an entertainment unit are ideal for storing toys when not in use and keeping games within easy reach of their users. 

 

B Is For "Bonding"

Spending quality time together with family and friends is what "family-friendly" rooms are all about. So, whilst decorating, create settings that encourage communication, fun and interaction.

Arrange furniture in a comfortable grouping that nurtures conversation while accommodating the activity needs of everyone in the family. To achieve this easily with just one piece of furniture, Hoyas recommends a modular grouping as the seating choice for a family-friendly room.

"The ideal family-friendly room is one where the entire family can spend time together while doing things they enjoy," explained Hoyas. "With a modular sofa grouping, there's plenty of room for adults to recline in comfort, while kids watch TV or play video games.

Another "family-friendly" piece of furniture is a recliner. Offering the ultimate in comfort for any individual in the family, it's also a great place to curl up with a child, a good book - or both.

 

C Is For "Caution"

An integral part of any family-friendly room is safety, especially if there are small children in your home. Be sure furniture pieces are strong so they will not move or topple over easily. It's probably best to stay away from anything made of glass, such as a tabletop, lamps or fragile accessory items. Also, avoid sharp or pointed edges and corners. According to Hoyas, the best choices are fully upholstered seating pieces with soft, rounded arms and sturdy tables with curved edges.

"The tops of tables and the arms of many sofas and chairs are positioned at a child's eye-level, so avoid sharp corners at all costs," warned Hoyas. "Pointed edges are merely accidents waiting to happen."

In addition to averting harm to your family, you also should take "caution" against the many other "C" words that can threaten the lives of your furnishings, such as cookies, chips, crumbs, chocolates and colas that can end up in cracks and crevices, and on cushions.

"There's no question that families mean wear and tear on furniture," said Hoyas. "So, look for high-quality products that offer both durability and good looks."