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The Family Room {a.k.a. The Playground}

by | Nov 5, 2010 | Decorating Inspiration

The Family Room {a.k.a. The Playground}

The Family Room {a.k.a. The Playground}

It is loud.


Things get rumbled.




My ears hurt.

My eyes wince.

My teeth grit.

My shoulders tense.

My hands cover my mouth so I won’t ruin the moment.

I smile behind my hand and nod my head.

This is what family rooms are for.

That kind of momentary spontaneous chaos makes my heart happy.

photos, my son and a friend after a sleepover


  1. Christin

    Oh gosh, I would be cringing, too!! You are stronger than I girl!! But, it does look fun ;-)

  2. sue

    A house is for living. Some day, your house will be clean and tidy and you will be wondering whether your son will be calling you, taking time from his busy life, to say hello. Enjoy the chaos, all too soon children grow up. I used to get exasperated when my children used all the furniture to make tents and clubhouses. Now, I miss those days. I am happy that they have gone on to live their lives as adults, but enjoy these times. They will be sweet memories.

    • Melissa

      Agreed. My kids have manners, they respect us and our home and belongings, but when 10 year old boys at a slumber party have 10 minutes of craziness, I just smile and remember how fleeting it all is! I’d rather they remember those 10 minutes of fun than me yelling at them to get off my precious slipcovers. :-)

  3. Sarah

    They look like they are having a blast! You’re such a great mom!

  4. Emily

    Life is for living. Homes are for living in. I love it, Melissa!


  5. LaurieatTurnerFarm

    Glorious! Enjoy these moments! You are giving them a HUGE gift and wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. What a blessing for them to one day look back and remember the love, laughter and fun they had in that happy room!

  6. SimplyLKJ

    Boy, they are having a ball!! Have to admit, I’d cringe too. We were fortunate to have a HUGE bonus room above our garage for ours to romp in. No worries there!!

  7. Puna

    Oh Melissa, too funny! Poor you! If you have a basement, I’d put them there.

  8. Jess

    So I am giggling because FINALLY there is a blog post that makes me go – eh, yeah kids, perhaps not so cute and adorable – just loud and messy! Normally blog posts about kids all just make me wanna have 10 of em and snuggle babies! :)

    But you are right … family rooms are for living. And kids above the age of 3 and under the age of 18 are for jumping on furniture! At least I am not going into into this whole motherhood thing naive!

  9. Vicki

    The only thing about this scene that gave me pause was them standing on those white rattan (?) chairs. I would have been afraid they would break them. Otherwise, let the games…continue!

    • Melissa

      Those rattan chairs were bought second hand (I believe) by my parents when I was in high school…25 years ago? They were in my sister’s house for 8 years with two kids plus many small friends who overturned them to make tents regularly in her basement. They are the sturdiest chairs ever! Not to worry, they’ve survived worse!

  10. Mary Joy

    Wow! LOL We have to watch ours with doing that…our seven year old son is known for falling and getting injured…ah well…looks like your little buddies are having a ball! Thanks for sharing real life in real rooms, Melissa! ;D


    Mary Joy

  11. Micah

    Oh yes, THAT is what living rooms are for. Lots and lots of fun.
    I love when my LR is all neat and put together but honestly the only time it looks that way is when my little fort builder is fast asleep.

  12. Thirkellgirl

    I don’t know… my kids have had a pretty darned great childhood without trashing our living room and jumping on our furniture with their friends. Whatever works for you, I guess. We just use the floor for that sort of thing.

    • Melissa

      10 minutes of glee from those boys and it was over. They were back to sitting on the floor. All is well with the world again.

  13. Karen


    I love seeing children having fun—there will be plenty of time once they’re grown to have order. :-)


  14. Tiffany

    This made me smile. :) I so much prefer photos like this of beautiful spaces then the staged ones. Have an awesome day!

  15. Tammy Garbarino

    I have only being reading you for a little while but thank you, thank you, thank you, for this post, this is exactly how our great room get used. On many ocassions the cushions are off the couch more than they are on, especially in our snowy winter climate.

  16. Theresa

    Awesome! This post is perfect timing and a reminder for me to stay calm this weekend. I have 8 girls (9yr olds) coming over for a sleepover B-Day party glame style!!! They live here too right ;-) Thanks for keeping it real as always!

  17. teresa

    I miss those days…. that’s why I always look forward to when the grandchildren come….keeps me real. =)
    Thanks for sharing your happy moment.

  18. Vee

    I recognize the wince…I’m wearing one, too. No family room here for such games so the living room fills in. My grandson just whacked the stuffing out of my budding Christmas cactus calling it the “jungle.” Ackkkk…

  19. sarah howe

    ‘TAKE IT OUTSIDE’! Is what I was always told- we didn’t have a “family room” and the furniture we had, was to last a lifetime!

    I love the slip covers! Esp. The otoman, made me think of making one myself!

  20. Kelly

    I love the attitude you have towards your home. It’s not about STUFF, it’s about LIFE! Sometimes I need to be reminded of that. God Bless!

    • Melissa

      Thanks Kelly, I wouldn’t trade those 10 minutes of unrestrained joy from my son for all the chairs in the world.

  21. Jamie

    Thank you! I needed that today. With four kiddos, our family room ALWAYS looks like a family lives there. It’s frustrating and exhilirating at the same time. I’m told someday I will miss this…

  22. Jenn

    THRILLED to know we are normal! :) I’m so glad you shared these!

  23. Carolyn

    Fun! I grew up with three brothers so I by the time I had my own kids I was used to the noise and chaos. We used to play a game where the floor was “hot lava”. This meant you had to jump from chair to couch to table, never touching the carpet!

  24. Roberta

    Bless you is all’s I can say…lol I don’t know if I could have remained quiet or even thought to take a picture…but then again my boys were young when blogland didn’t exist…lol Oh my achin’ furniture is all’s I can think of. Have a great day, fondly, Roberta

  25. llwheeler

    Keepin it real!!!!! Gotta keep things in perspective. No, this probably wouldn’t have been most of our first pick of activities for our boys but sometimes you just gotta let em go for it. I so love that you don’t live that don’t touch kind of life. Life is messy, live it, love it, (make em) clean it up. Warms my heart!!!

  26. Jeannie

    ha ha ha :) This is what I always have to remind myself when I look at our ever-messy famiy room.

  27. Arlene

    Well, my boys are grown, so oh how I would love to see that sight again!
    And come to think of it, if I remember correctly, my mother used to call our family room the Rumpus room, or something like that. Maybe they were on to something!

    • Melissa

      I love that thought, I get to see their joy right now! I want to keep small stresses small and savor these moments. Thank you for reminding us that we will miss this someday.

  28. Christa

    Looks like a normal day in my house :) Boys, boys, boys! Thanks for making me think that I could relax and enjoy these days because I’m sure I will miss them when their gone.

  29. Shari

    Your pics made me think, “oh goodness, they’ll still being this when they are that big?”. Mine are 2 & 5, so this is my life currently, but I guess I had delusions that things would calm down. Thanks for the reality check & the chuckle. More reason to learn to let it go.

  30. Jody

    Now your house has that “lived in look”! Looks like a fun slumber party.


  31. Gina

    What a great minder that our homes are for living! I can either squelch the fun or let it roll and create good memories-I’m gonna choose to let it roll!

  32. Sarah

    I can’t like this enough. You have captured the essence and the tension of motherhood and interior design. Kudos to you for letting the love win. This is exactly what our living room will be like as well – two boys, age 3 and 4. Sigh.

  33. Deena

    I want to thank you for bringing back happy memories:)

  34. Polly

    I love the pictures, looks like a scene from our house! right now we have fort pillows all over and this post made me pause to revel in the beauty of it, thank you!

  35. Kimberlee J.

    Thanks for keeping it real. I appreciate this as I look at what used to be my family room and is now a pet store, a grocery store and a birthday party all rolled into one.

  36. kay ellen

    Got to love those boys!
    You are right Melissa~~~time goes by to fast.
    My familyroom is always in a bit of a mess…pillows everywhere. Furniture re-postioned for movies or video games.

    I would love to slip cover my sofa in familyroom light colored but for now it’s dark family, no matter how many time I ask them not to~~~they takes PB&J’s in familyroom! Oh well that’s real living in my home.

    I did just get a vintage/white french sofa for my livingroom~~~early birthday present!! So excitied!!
    and it is far away from any Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches! lol

    Have a blessed week:)
    Kay Ellen

  37. Shannon

    Lol. My living room/family room looks like that on occassion too. It totally makes me cringe. But you’re right…they’ll be all grown up before we know it and while I’m sure we’ll enjoy a tidy house, I bet we’ll miss the kids immensely!

  38. Darlene

    now that is TRUE decorating. The kind I hope never leaves my home!

  39. Barbara (WA)

    I miss the SEVEN little boys that used to be in the neighborhood, two of which were mine. Noisy, messy, but oh so creative. Sleep overs were a challenge in our tiny house. Now they are all grown up, some are dads. Hubby and I are baby-boomer-empty-nesters and have as much quiet and order as anyone could need…

    BTW, I did keep my bathroom off limits after finding too much evidence on the wallpaper that these boys had terrible aim, haha!


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