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November 26, 2013
Dens and family rooms don’t need to mean the Bradys and shag carpeting. As the following clever family spaces prove, there are many ways to accommodate everyone in high style.
Living room with colorful textiles and Moser Pendant lamp

In a former fishermen’s cottage outside Copenhagen, a young family has carved out a cozy, light-filled home. Here, father and son catch a moment in the open living-family room. Photo by Jonas Bjerre-Polsen.

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Originally appeared in Light-Filled Family Home Renovation in Copenhagen
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Garcetti and Wakeland enjoy a quiet afternoon, sitting in what used to be two separate bedrooms. By removing a wall, the space now serves as an office and den, divided only by sliding doors.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Amy Wakeland relax in the den of their midcentury house. Photo by Misha Gravenor.

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Originally appeared in Echo Logical
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Griffith and LeBlanc cozy up on the Flexform sectional in the den, where one of the home’s two original wood-burning fireplaces has received a new concrete hearth and mantel. The room, which is located a half flight of stairs down from the main living are

These Vancouver residents cozy up on the Flexform sectional in the den, where one of the home’s two original wood-burning fireplaces has received a new concrete hearth and mantel. The room, which is located a half flight of stairs down from the main living area, feels unusually light and airy because of new, wider sliding doors and and a fresh coat of bright white paint. Photo by João Canziani. 

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Originally appeared in On the Level
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Ray Kappe relaxes in the central living space, which offers views onto other shared family zones. Behind him is a view down into his office. Half a level up, Shelly Kappe stands at the entrance to the upper family room.

Los Angeles architect Ray Kappe built a multilevel house for his family back in 1967, and the results still resonate today. Kappe relaxes in the central living space, which offers views onto other shared family zones. Behind him is a view down into his office. Half a level up, Shelly Kappe stands at the entrance to the upper family room. Photo by João Canziani. 

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Originally appeared in Ray Kappe-Designed Multilevel House in Los Angeles
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brothers on black leather chair and beige sofa in living room

A multi-generational home in San Diego, California, elegantly combines sustainability and luxury. Brothers Nima and Soheil relax in the family room on an Eames lounge chair and a custom sofa they designed. Of making decisions as a family, Soheil says with a laugh, “sometimes it’s about whoever gets to Mom and Dad first.” Photo by Ye Rin Mok. 

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Originally appeared in The First LEED Gold-Certified Family Home in San Diego
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Hidekazu Higashibata wanted to recreate the same sort of feeling he’d experienced on trips to Italy—a long table, leisurely meals, and lengthy conversations. The boys discovered the home’s “second story” on top of the cabinetry and, armed with a ladder, l

When a Japanese couple asked architects Takaharu and Yui Tezuka to design a small home that would evoke the Italian love of food, informal gatherings, and natural settings, the result was la dolce vita in Tokyo. Hidekazu Higashibata wanted to recreate the same sort of feeling he’d experienced on trips to Italy—a long table, leisurely meals, and lengthy conversations. In the open living-dining-family room, the boys discovered the home’s “second story” on top of the cabinetry and, armed with a ladder, like to perch there for better views. Photo by Adam Friedberg. 

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Originally appeared in Family Style
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Modern living room with a Canadian hayfield view

Surrounded on all sides by a sweeping Canadian hayfield, the 23.2 House is an angular ode to rural life. Out of “respect for the beams and their history,” Designer Omer Arbel insisted that not a single reclaimed plank—still marked by nailheads and chipped paint—be cut nor altered during construction. The living room, which is completely open to the elements, is a perfect family space. Photo by Jason Schmidt. 

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Originally appeared in Modern Angular Rural Family Home in Canada
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Modern playroom with tall windows

On a lakeside plot outside Toronto, four friends forge a new kind of vacation house. The architect helps his son Soren construct a TinkerToy tower. The cowhide rug is from Perfect Leather Goods, and the Wassily Chair is by Marcel Breuer for Knoll. Photo by Lorne Bridgman.

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Originally appeared in Four Friends Joined Forces to Realize This Idyllic Forest Retreat Outside Toronto
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Honed granite was selected for the kitchen surfaces because its matte-like finish is easy to maintain and hard to damage. Eight-foot sliding glass doors bathe the kitchen and adjoining living room in ample sunlight.

Designed by Resolution: 4 Architecture as a holiday retreat for a family of six, this Long Island prefab is up to the task of sheltering its owners and all their guests. For two busy moms, the open living room–kitchen becomes the default family room for their brood. Photo by João Canziani. 

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Originally appeared in Kid Tested, Mothers Approved
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Living room with colorful textiles and Moser Pendant lamp

In a former fishermen’s cottage outside Copenhagen, a young family has carved out a cozy, light-filled home. Here, father and son catch a moment in the open living-family room. Photo by Jonas Bjerre-Polsen.

Photo by Jonas Bjerre-Polsen.

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