Social areas are places in the home where family and friends can gather for entertainment, discussion or other social activities. Most often, social areas are located on the ground level of the home, but are not limited to one room. Having a few social areas that differ in size and feel can create the opportunity for family members to experience different activities while remaining in close proximity. This can help foster family bonding.

It is common for interior social areas to be directly linked to exterior social areas, like a porch or balcony. This allows for natural circulation in nice weather and also creates two social spaces that are in dialogue with one another, yet have separate environments. For example, one family member can read outside on the porch while other family members play a board game inside. In nice weather the windows and doors can remain open breaking the physical barrier between the different family members. By incorporating linked social spaces, children and teenagers may be less likely to shut themselves away in their rooms.

Whether you have one or many social spaces it is important to recognize the significance of social spaces within the family. Social areas should be the heart of the home and therefore the heart of the family. Avoid decorating and arranging social space to suite only your needs. Let all family members have a place in the space. If all family members feel represented they will be more likely to utilize it.

Lastly, if you entertain guests frequently, you can create a social space that exists independently from the family space. This space can be a subset within the larger space, or an entirely different room depending on available floor area in your home. If space is not available for two social areas, don’t be afraid to show off the eclectic nature of your family room. Your guests will probably enjoy the uniqueness and hopefully liveliness apparent in the space. Social space should be lively, not stale.

1/15/2007 5:49:21 AM
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