When your kids are teenagers, your family room might finally look the way you imagined when you decided to buy a new house. But if they're very young when you move in, you'll be happier if you start out on the spare side and let the family room "grow" with your children, advised Skip Sroka, a Bethesda, Md., interior designer and one of nine children himself. When kids are small, they need space to crawl, play and run around, Sroka said. If you put a lot of furniture in there, it will just be in the way. A sofa, a side table and possibly an arm chair will be plenty, especially since only the adults will be using them – your kids will spend most of their time on the floor. Since you'll be down there at least half the time as well, you'll want a flooring that you can sit on comfortably. Your best option comfort-wise and cost-wise is wall-to-wall carpet with a good pad. That way, no matter where your children take a fall, they'll have some cushioning. To keep your sanity, your ...
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