I love the British television show Escape to the Country. The premise of the show is that home buyers are searching for charming (often cottage-type) homes in the English countryside. From watching this show, I learned the term "snug," which refers to a cozy, comfortable room.
When we purchased our current home, I decided that our family room should truly be called a snug. It is a long, narrow room with a huge fireplace as the centerpiece. A previous owner added built-ins that add to the coziness of the room (and hide away games and toys). French doors on one side of the room lead to our backyard. I recently added screens to these doors so we could let in fresh air when the weather permitted.
One tricky aspect of this room is furniture. A large open doorway leads to our kitchen and another leads to our front hallway. This makes for wonderful traffic flow, but it makes placing a full-size sofa or sectional in the room essentially impossible. Because our children and their friends prefer this room, I have spent much of our time living here trying to figure out how to provide the most seating possible.
Our staples in the room are a love seat, a Lazy Boy recliner and a simple chair and ottoman (unfortunately, the latter does not have a good sight-line to the television). A child-size dish chair and small beanbags have made their way into the room to provide extra seating .
With summer reading upon us, I wanted to maximize the coziness of this room. I started off by putting a couple of shag rugs on the hardwood floor. While my personal taste tends toward more traditional style rugs, I love the feel of a shag rug on my feet.
I then made another decision that went against my traditional design tendencies in favor of comfort. I purchased a giant navy blue beanbag chair. It was an immediate hit with the kids and can easily accommodate two or three kids at a time. We know from experience it can certainly accommodate two kids and a small dog.
I always have baskets of books placed around this room filled with books that I hope will appeal to the kids. Some times the books are seasonal. Other times they are just current favorites. This summer I purchased two additional bins marked "books" for the specific purpose of holding our "Battle of the Books" selections, our required summer reading, and excellent books the girls own but haven't read yet and should read this summer. In other words, they are the go-to bins for when the girls are looking for something new to read. If the girls are looking for any additional inspiration, they can always look to the artwork in this room, which quite purposely features sisters reading.