Betsy Burnham's Tips for A Family-Friendly Living Room

(All photos courtesy of Betsy Burnham)
Good news: you don't have to resort to plastic slipcovers—or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, descend into overflowing-playroom madness.

Los Angeles interior designer Betsy Burnham of Burnham Design cut a stylish middle path for the common areas of her client's Bronson Canyon home, pairing hardy and spacious seating options in forgiving neutral tones with functional furniture and quirky personal touches—including an artsy portrait of the homeowner's little one.

"Family-friendly means, above all, making this home livable," says Burnham. "All of the upholstered pieces are generously scaled and super comfortable. And we mixed in a lot of vintage to keep the room feeling homey and not precious or untouchable."

Now, we realize the low-lying Hermès tray filled with curios and the pair of electric guitars stashed in the corner may be a recipe for disaster, depending on your child's age. But even if your kids happen to be in the let-me-get-that-in-my-mouth stage, you can still take a page from this stylish space and mount collections of curios at higher altitudes (in the manner of the antler installation pictured below left). 

The Takeaways:
Do create art from personal photos.
Don't hide your collections in the closet; instead display them high out of reach.
Do decorate with furniture that's neutral, classic, and comfortable.
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