Fam­ily Con­nec­tion ........................ 44

Modern Farmhouse Style - - Table Of Contents -

this photo: A round ta­ble in the eat­ing nook keeps ev­ery­one in the con­ver­sa­tion for this fam­ily of six. Turquoise high chairs con­vert to reg­u­lar chairs—home­owner Erin Furt­ney likes the mod look as much as the throughthe-years func­tion­al­ity. op­po­site: Kids don’t cramp Erin’s style; they just tweak it. A big ot­toman won out over a hard-edge cof­fee ta­ble, and the great-room sec­tional wears a wash­able slip­cover.

One big room equals one big happy fam­ily. It’s a liv­ing-cook­ing-din­ing space where they can all be to­gether—but each still do their own thing.

That’s the op­er­at­ing prin­ci­ple that keeps life at the Furt­ney home in Kent­field, Cal­i­for­nia, hum­ming along. A wide-open main liv­ing area—which in­cludes gath­er­ing and eat­ing spa­ces, plus kitchen—makes it work. Erin and Tom can catch a game on TV while their four kids (Ford, John Ryan, Au­drey, and Fiona, who range from 18 months to 8 years old) pur­sue their own kind of fun but re­main in visual range.

The cou­ple added brightness to the great-room by white­wash­ing ev­ery­thing—beams, walls, and fire­place bricks. Even 1970s wall pan­el­ing looks like cerused wood af­ter a dec­o­ra­tive paint fin­ish was ap­plied. Then Erin fur­ther light­ened the mood: No­tice the “Beware of chil­dren” sign on the man­tel? “You need to have some whimsy,” she says.

Pil­low-lined win­dow seats at both ends of the light, bright space beckon bud­ding readers, and the ot­toman is some­times a race­track, some­times a doc­tor’s exam ta­ble. For home­work, crafts, or puz­zles, the young Furt­neys can take their pick of three ta­bles spread through­out the space. “This al­lows us to all be to­gether, yet not have to do the ex­act same thing at the ex­act same time,” Erin says. Come Fri­day, though, per­sonal space goes out the win­dow. It’s movie night plus pop­corn on the sec­tional—all to­gether.

To­gether, but not too to­gether.

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