Formal living room furniture allows you to work around the needs of your family while still giving the look that you want. You don't have to have a casual family room feeling just because you have a family. You can still create usable space using elegant furniture pieces that can still work with your family. Here are a few tips for choosing formal living room furniture.

Give your room a funky feel. This is pretty easy to do and will also allow you to update your formal living room furniture from a few decades ago. You might want a more casual look or you're just afraid that your family will actually want to put up their feet. Try reupholstering wing back chairs with a bright turquoise or chocolate brown or velvet fabric. This will give your home more of a coffee house vibe that can really add a fun feeling to your space while still working with the rest of your furniture.

Bring in rich wood furniture. This is an essential part of formal living room furniture. You can even incorporate it into on your couch with a curved piece along the back and the legs. End tables should have curved legs and lots of carvings for an intricate feeling. If you are worried about the wood tops being durable enough then you can place a tray on top, which will act like a mini coaster. You might even be able to find antique pieces with faux leather which will prevent you from worrying about the wood warping.

Formal living room furniture doesn't have to be stuffy and boring. Change up what is around your older furniture like antique light fixtures, faux silk curtains and a damask fabric. You can just incorporate different fabric on the living room set that will have an elegant touch but will still show off your personality. This is also a way to bring pattern and color into the room. The advantage to this type of furniture is that the fabric is different from more contemporary fabrics; you'll find a lot of different patterns available to you. Then it will match a vintage room or a shabby chic design. You can even make stripes feel formal depending on the color that you choose. An all over striped living room set can seem a little overwhelming so try to stick with basic solid chairs and your sofa can be in a striped fabric for contrast and interest.

One of the most important aspects of this kind of furniture is that it actually be usable. You might have graphic childhood memories about not being able to go into the living room. If you were allowed in you weren’t allowed to actually sit on and use the furniture. You can still get those formal lines and allow your kids in the space. You can even have a white sofa in this kind of space. Just look for a slipcover. You’ll also want washable fabrics like cottons so they are easy to clean. In this case find a more formal color or print to make up for the casual feeling of the fabric. Keep the lines formal but choose fabrics that the whole family can live with to get the best of both worlds.