Here's Heather's Living Room, soon to be Family room, while her Family room becomes the living room, but really the toy room. Follow?
Well, buckle up. She is 9+ months preggo with #4, and in no mood to be trifled with. I didn't have the heart to tell her, but here we go.....
Meet the Living Room, aka 3 boys toy room. This looks fun if you're 5, but for a husband and wife who'd like to relax after a long day, entertain some friends, or just have peace when they walk in the front door, this is not ideal.
Here's the more peaceful "adult" family room, that Heather is going to flip with the living room. I think this is a great idea. As you can see, in the distance, on either side of the mantel are some great builtins.
You might also notice that there are a lot of shelves in the builtins. One suggestion is to take out a few of those, to allow for some taller toys, books, etc. The shelves are fairly shallow, but I'm sure one of those great organizing stores would have some bins that would fit nicely.
Heather has a few "extraneous" pieces of furniture. You can see the bookcase to the left of the leather chair is kind of bigger and not really needed. By editing (nice word for decluttering) a few things and pieces of furniture, I think this furniture would fit well into the living room.
When you have 4 kids, all under the age of 8, in a semi-small house, its inevitable that the niceties (ie candles, extra family phots, dried roses, etc) will have to go. Only the essentials...only what's "Mission
Also, when I had kids this age, I used to take away at least half the toys, store in the garage, then magically bring them back in in about 3-6 months, and take away the "old"/boring toys.
Obviously, Heather's family (extended) has given them lots of toys. One idea is to ask (at birthdays and Christmas) for "experiential" gifts, ie zoo, Children's Museum, or tickets to a Children's theatre. This could help cut down on the extra toys, and still have something the kids would enjoy that's somewhat different than the norm.
As you can see, she already has a cute red accent wall, great khaki paint, and some nice curtains off there in the distant. Once all these toys are cleared out, put away/orgainzed down in the family room, this living room will sing with its former glory.
Its so hard when you're in the final stages of (any) pregnancy, but especially when its your fourth! Ugh!
Heather, put your feet up, have a cup of coffee, and deal with this, this summer when all the kids can go outside to play and the baby's napping! xo xo