Designing the Perfect Family Home

Danielle Bryk, host of HGTV's Home to Win, know how to design a chic family home on a budget

Danielle Bryk, host of HGTV’s Home to Win, knows how to design a chic family home on a budget

When it comes to designing the perfect family home, it can be challenging to find the right balance between stylish and practical. But for Danielle Bryk, interior designer and a host of HGTV’s Home to Win, celebrating simple acts of family togetherness is a crucial part of the design process. Her expertise? Transforming modern family homes into beautiful spaces with a budget.

Having lived in four different cities and 17 different homes means Bryk has had to do many of her renovations herself. Thankfully, none of the projects was a first foray into the world of design. “When I was growing up, it wasn’t unusual to find my mother in the middle of one major renovation or another,” says Bryk. “As a result, when I grew up and had a family of my own, I gained the skills needed to renovate our own family homes.” Bryk describes her style as urban… but soulful. While it’s obviously important to make practical design choices, beauty is important too.

Consider the family’s use of space

When tasked with renovating a family home, there is a lot to think about. So how does family life change the home dynamic from a design perspective? For Bryk, it’s all about considering how a family will use each space. “With three kids and two dogs, I eventually ended up with a lot of leather furniture in my own home—things that could be wiped down easily and age well.”

Each room in a family home often has multiple functions, Bryk adds. Is the dining room table the place where homework is being done? Do the kids play in the kitchen while you cook dinner? Where do they hang out with friends? “Understanding how you use each space and accounting for those functions will ultimately lessen the chaos.”

Do more with less

There’s also the topic of budgeting. According to Bryk, the trick is to do less but do it well. “It’s not fun,” she says. “There is a temptation to make everything shiny and new, but it never ends well.” Instead, add some sort of focal point to an otherwise simple space. “Think artwork or a great light fixture. Something that adds impact and a sense of whimsy.”

While it’s understandable to want to play it safe, Bryk doesn’t believe having a family means you need to compromise the overall design of your home. “For one thing, I truly believe we have too much stuff,” she says (think gear and plastic toys). To solve this problem, Bryk says she includes a dedicated play area in her home. This helps her gauge how much toy space she needs. “I think the biggest design challenge for a family home is managing the clutter.” But beyond this, she adds, there are many finishes like flooring, tiles and fabrics that are hard-wearing and still super chic.

So what’s next for Bryk? “I’m looking forward to Season 3 of Home to Win which begins airing at 10 p.m. on April 29th on HGTV. I’m also continuing with my private design clients.” In addition, Bryk will be speaking in Vancouver on the main stage at the B.C. Home + Garden Show on February 23rd and 24th.