Modern interior design and family? Can the two co-exist? The short answer is yes, yes it can.  

I’m pretty sure you’re not here for the short answer, though. Let’s dive a little deeper into how you can achieve a modern home that is both beautiful, functional and a home that is one-hundred percent family-friendly. Below are three tips on how to create a beautiful functional family home. 

Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs
Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs

TIP 1: When it comes to quality, splurge a little on the “much loved” modern furniture items in your home.

I say this often to my design clients, there are pieces of furniture that will benefit you and your family if you pay a little more for it. These are the furniture pieces that are used often in your home, and which will be well-loved well. 

Which piece of furniture you should invest in varies by room type. Typically, in a Living Room, you’ll want to invest in a nice sofa. Something that is durable and that will perform for you as your family grows. In the bedroom, the most obvious choice would be your mattress and bed. In a home office, your desk and desk chair. These are all pieces that get utilized the most in their respective space and will, therefore, get the most use and abuse. 

Since living rooms and family rooms are two of the most widely used rooms of the home, I’d like to share some of the things I look for when choosing a beautiful, functional sofa. One that will last through the years:  

  • I look for manufacturers that offer durable fabric options. This is first because this is key to having a quality sofa that will LOOK good, not just last over time. This feature is especially important for families with kids and pets. A few furniture stores you can check out that offer fabric options on their upholstered pieces are West ElmApt2BBurrow,  BludotArticle
  • Cushions that are made with foam- not down or down alternative. This may be controversial, but when it comes to modern furniture for a family home, I do NOT recommend your cushions have any down (or alternative) in the construction. Why? Because if you want your furniture to stay beautiful for a long time, you’re going to want good quality foam cushions that can retain their shape. All parents know too well that kid’s like to climb sofas and other furniture. Over time, your down cushions will look bent out of shape. 
  • The last tip I will provide (though there are so many things to consider, I could go on for hours) is to think about the shape of your sofa. Do you want wide arms? Do you want a high back or low back? One long seat cushion verse two or three? Since your home wants to stay in the more modern vein, you should opt for a sofa with clean lines and not too many details. Another thing to think about if you have kids is the height of your sofa legs. You don’t want something too low because your kid’s toys will get stuck under the sofa, lost seemingly forever inside the black hole until you move the sofa to clean. Also, it makes cleaning under the sofa very difficult. I recommend at least five-inch-high legs. OR you can choose a sofa with a plinth base.  

With all that said, below are a few of my favorite Sofa’s that are beautiful, durable and functional for the modern family:  

West Elm Andes 3-Piece Sectional | Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs
Photo courtesy of West Elm Andes 3-Piece Sectional | eDesign Tribe Blogs

The West Elm Andes 3-Piece sectional is just beautiful. Its clean lines mean it can meld well with any room décor, and the cast metal legs give it a little somethin’-somethin’ (along with longevity). I would suggest using either the twill fabric or for even more durability you can choose any of the performance fabrics. 

Harper Sofa from Apt2B | Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs
Photo courtesy of Harper Sofa from Apt2B | eDesign Tribe Blogs

The Harper Sofa from Apt2B is one of those sofa’s that simply coordinates with anything. The plinth base means that you don’t need to worry about cleaning underneath it. Pair it with a fun leggy chair to balance out the heavy base of the sofa. There is also a sleeper version of this sofa. All Apt2B fabrics are pet and kid-friendly, just go to their fabrics page and read the description of the ones that look good to you. You can also order up to 10 free fabric swatches. 

Nomad Sofa from Burrow | Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs
Photo courtesy of Nomad Sofa from Burrow | eDesign Tribe Blogs

The Nomad Sofa from Burrow is a great modern family sofa. It has a nice shape, reversible cushions, stain-resistant fabric, and a built-in USB charger. What more could you ask for?! You really can’t beat the price for so many sought after qualities.  

Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs
Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs

TIP 2: If you want a beautiful, functional modern home, you’ll need to purge and organize. 

I’m sure you hear that a lot, but when it comes to having a modern family home it’s even more important to have things organized. Modern homes tend to have less furniture, which means fewer places to hide things. Some ways to organize your home include: 

  • Install shelving systems in your closets. These are great because most of the metal and wireframe systems are adjustable, so you can change them as you go. Even if you rent, you can take down the system and install it at your next home. These systems work for more than just your clothes and shoes. You can create linen and storage closets in your home to utilize the space you already have. 
  • Have a carpenter build and install wall to wall built-in cabinetry. If you have a space in your home that can accommodate some built-ins, go for it. I love this because you can make it whatever you want. You can design something with your carpenter that is exactly for your needs. One of my client’s had her carpenter create a tall narrow cabinet on one end of her built-in cabinet so that she could store all her kid’s snowboards and ski’s. You can create a built-in with cabinet doors, drawers, bookcase area, open cubbies, or a mix of everything. The possibilities are endless. Since its custom made, it will look exactly how you would like, and it can become a piece of art for your room as well.  
  • Baskets, bins, and storage furniture, oh my! Okay, maybe that doesn’t exactly rhyme by it is catchy. I LOVE shopping at the Container Store when I need storage solutions. They have a huge variety of baskets, bins, and even storage ottomans. This is a good solution for any room because you usually have a small space you can stick a basket or two. Also, consider buying Modern furniture that has storage as a feature. Coffee tables, ottomans, poufs, some sectional sofas, beds, etc. are all good options for some extra storage.  

Finally, purging your stuff. This just requires that you sit down and go through your things room by room. My husband and I do this every year. If some of your stuff is still in good shape, but you know you’re not going to use it anymore, then consider donating it to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You can sell your furniture that is in good shape either online or a garage sale. If you really want to keep some of your items but don’t use them on a regular basis then consider storing them in your garage, basement, a friend’s garage, or storage facility. If it’s a box of stuff, I recommend getting a clear bin and labeling it. If you want to get organized, you can create a color-coded list by category, and create color-coded labels for your boxes. 

Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs

Tip 3: Choose furniture that is modern, beautiful and promotes togetherness in your home.

Open floor plans are a big trend right now. I personally love it. I live in a tiny-teeny home with one toddler, and sometimes I wish we had no walls. I like to know where my daughter is and what she is doing all the time. However, some homes just don’t have an open floor plan. If that’s you, what can you do? 

Purchase furniture that is flexible. When I think of flexible furniture, the first idea that comes to mind is a good coffee table. One that is nice and large or smaller pieces that can be joined together when you need more surface space. I think about game nights, casual dining on movie night, etc. Here is one of my favorite multi-functional coffee tables. 

  • Poufs everywhere! I like having a pouf or two in almost every room. Even the bathroom. Because if you’re not sitting on it, it can become an extra little table. The more poufs, the more people can squeeze together in a room and feel like they are near each other. This allows the entire family to be in one space, even if each person is doing something different. Here are a few of my favorite modern poufs: 
Terri Square Pouf Patterned Denim Melange Cotton – Wyndenhall | Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs

This square pouf is from Target. It has a casual modern feel, perfect for families. It’s only 10-inches high, making it perfect for kids. 

Mastic Burro Solid Pouf design by Jaipur | Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs

This pouf has some textured, but it’s more refined and less chunky. The neutrality of this pouf makes it a great piece to mix and match into any modern décor. 

Cowhide Chevron Pouf | Photo Courtesy of Sara Ho Design | eDesign Tribe Blogs

Gotta love a cowhide chevron pouf. This pouf will surely add some fun to your modern room. This one is a little shorter than the typical seat height, so it’s perfect for sitting at a coffee table.  

And, if you DO have an open floor plan in your home, look for larger furniture like sectionals and large dining tables. This ensures that the family can sit together in one place. The other option is to have smaller groupings of furniture in your large room to create more intimate spaces.

I hope the three tips provided in this blog post helped you in creating a more beautiful, functional modern home for you and your family. I know it’s a lot of information, so to make it simpler I’ve provided a short re-cap of my three tips below: 

TIP 1: When it comes to quality, splurge a little on the much loved modern furniture items in your homeThink about the needs of your family, and the functionality of your room and don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on the important pieces in your room that you’ll want to keep for a long time. You can manipulate your budget by choosing to be less expensive furniture and lighting for everything else in your room, leavening more money to spend on that splurge piece. 

TIP 2: If you want a beautiful yet functional Modern home, you’ll need to purge and organize. Having a home that is more modern means less furniture and places to hide your stuff. Which means its time to purge! Once you go through your stuff, you can create storage solutions in your home so that you can easily find things and neatly store them away. Closest, built-ins, baskets, bins, and furniture are all great places to appropriately store and organize your things.  

Tip 3: Choose furniture that is modern, beautiful and promotes togetherness in your home. If you don’t have an open floor plan, there are still ways you can use furniture to create togetherness in your home. If you DO have an open floor plan, you can also use furniture arrangements to make your room a little more intimate and allow for different tasks to be done at the same time in the same room. 

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Sara Ho | Interior Designer, Owner, Sara Ho Design

Sara Ho is an interior designer who works with clients who appreciate Modern Design, and who want to improve their lifestyle and elevate their decor style. Sara believes that having a beautiful, functional home is extremely important. Sara tailors her design approach to specifically identify her clients’ needs while creating a home that reflects who they are. Sara started her career working for Wilson Associates, a world-renowned hospitality design firm. She spent many years learning from seasoned designers, working with different types of clients, collaborating with other professionals in the construction field, and honing her software and presentation skills. Sara transitioned to owning her own business after she had her first child. Now she is passionate about helping other families with the re-design of their home.

Learn more about working with Sara of Sara Ho Design through her eDesign Tribe member profile!

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