Life has become busier. Due to today’s demands, families are spending less time with each other. People are always in a rush. Both parents have to work long hours just to get a livable income for their household, and today’s standards have redefined what livable means.
Children are glued to their gadgets, but given that the bulk of today’s schoolwork is reliant on technology, who could blame them? Societal pressure is stronger than ever, driving families apart instead of bringing them closer.
Consider the family house structure — roofs and concrete footings in Salt Lake City. The majority of the newest listings in real estate are single-story houses with three to five bedrooms, with just enough space for a family of five to breathe.
It is also easy to ignore each other in such a space. How does architecture impact family bonding? Simple: A family room can bring a room for the family.
Size is Not an Issue
The family room is any room in the house where children can relax or talk to their parents about anything. This means less gadget time for the entire family, except when everyone’s playing the same video game or watching the same movie. It can be as big or small as the family deems fit.
Bigger rooms allow for greater activity. Smaller rooms create proximity. Preferably, the family room should be both large and small enough to be a safe space: where a child can let their imagination run loose, where a teenager can cry in privacy, where their parents can forget all about work and just be.
This room can be filled with toys, or food, or just a simple couch or table. In other words — the family room can simply be your existing kitchen, or dining room, or living room. Notice where each member of the family seems to be more comfortable outside their room. But instead of forcing them out, lure them in.
How to Lure Them In
Personalize your makeshift family room. After considering the size, consider the space. Which things do you have to remove or rearrange in order to create a livable, breathable space? As much as possible, prioritize free space.
This is because the free space can serve multiple purposes — for family sleepovers with sleeping bags and movies, for the toys that children can bring in and out of the room, for any activity your family members can come up with. Remove hoarded items that serve no purpose.
Avoid turning the family room into a storage area. Remember, this is a safe space, a priority, not an afterthought. Next, try to personalize the room. Spice it up by adding something that reminds you of each member of the family. This will lure them in.
For example, if you have a son addicted to video games, move the console to the family room. If your grandkids enjoy your baked goodies, add a cookie jar on the shelf, If your wife won’t stop reading, fix a bookshelf to the wall. Speaking of walls, decorate it with pictures of everyone in the family. Make them feel included.
The whole family can also decide on which room to convert into a family room. It’s also advisable to ask everyone’s opinion on how to make this room a special place that would bring them all closer together. Everyone must pitch in to keep this room as clean, comfortable, and cozy as possible.
Who says that love in the family won’t survive in the twenty-first century? Two decades in and the family room can change everything.