Shelter Family Room: The Plan

By Kate Riley July 8, 2015

Today I’m excited to be sharing another space I’m working on this month, it’s a family media room for an emergency shelter in my hometown. Longtime readers know each year I donate my time to my local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS), a non-profit that provides services to prevent and break the cycle of homelessness for children, families, and single adults. This shelter I’m working with right now is known as the COTS Family Center, it has 11 rooms and serves homeless families with children.

Last year for COTS I helped pull together a work clothes closet, the year before we painted a shelter exterior, the year before we remodeled two kitchens, this one and this one, the list goes on, find all of the posts and projects from the past here.

This year I offered my design services to create a family/media room for the emergency shelter Family Center, each room is shared by a family in crisis. The length of stay at the shelter ranges from three to six months, depending on the difficulty families have finding housing. 

I reached out to World Market as a sponsor for this project and being such a generous brand, they agreed to provide the all of the furnishings for the space !! THANK YOU WORLD MARKET! This will be the family room that all families share, but the purpose is a relaxing space for the parents since the children have a separate play area. Children are allowed of course but the room is mainly to serve the adults.

Here’s a picture of the space taken two months ago, since then the flooring and baseboards have been installed and the room has been painted. As you can see it’s a blank canvas so I’m excited to create a cozy welcoming space!

cots image


I sketched a space plan to give you an idea of layout, it’s a long narrow room so I’ve broken it into two zones, a reading/laptop zone with a table at the back (I found a pedestal at a thrift store and I’m refinishing it) then pairing it with two World Market wingback chairs. In the center will be the sectional sofa/rug/media stand combo and I’ll decorate around the pieces shown below.


cots shelter family room


I wanted this space to appeal to all so the pieces are neutral, comfortable, and practical, but included among the basics are a combination of texture, color, and patterned accessories. Below are the main pieces I’m planning on including, I’ll surprise you with the smaller accessories when I photograph the completed room.

world market shelter family room

Triton High Back Chair x 2 / Shadow Flower Curtains x 2 /  Sapphire Harbin Accent Table / Large Scale Zoey Map ArtHarrow Media Stand / Charcoal Abbot Sofa / Ball Drapery Rod / Tonal Hooked Rug 6 x 9 / Bamboo Floor Lamp

I’m pulling it together this month and will have a full room reveal in a few weeks, stay tuned!


  1. It will be awesome! I love that you give back as it’s so important and what a wonderful example for your children to follow.

  2. Kate I have such a new kind of respect for you. Not that I didn’t before but wow you are contributing your time and energy and design, just everything for such a beautiful cause. I have read many many blogs where people are decorating their own homes or friends and families but you are giving a gift to these people that that is simply wonderful! I know personally when my environment is peaceful and comfortable it is so much easier to relax and you are giving them this gift. Thank you and God bless your kind soul for all that you are doing!

  3. This is a wonderful project! Awesome furniture choices and I look forward to seeing the final result.

  4. Kate, I’ve followed your projects in the past and I know this one will be beautiful. Thank you for your commitment to help those less fortunate. I admire you – and of course love your designs.

  5. What an amazing cause, I know of some where in my area that they are setting up a safe shelter for women, sadly a much needed resource. Great work you do, can’t wait to see the results.

  6. It’s lovely! I like all your posts and ideas but your projects for alma and cots are my favorite. It was the alma project that got me reading your blog!

  7. Can’t wait to see another of your transformations. Kudos to World Market for their generosity!
    Love your site, BTW.

  8. If you ever need a helper, I live in Santa Rosa and would lend a hand. It seems the homeless are growing in number these days. Great cause and very giving of your time, not sure how you manage everything as it is.

  9. Thank you for donating your talents and time to such a worthy project. You’ve put together a beautiful design. And yay for World Market for stepping up to the plate. I’ve always love their stuff and this just reinforces my desire to shop there. Can’t wait to see the reveal!

  10. Looks like a great relaxing spot that I am sure everyone will enjoy. I really love the colors you have chosen (neutrals with that vibrant blue) and the map artwork is perfect. How nice of you to pay it forward and offer your services. But for the grace of God, any one of us might find ourselves in need of such a respite.

  11. I worked professionally with homelessness issues for years, and I can’t tell you the difference you’re making, one room at a time. It does so much good for a family to be in a space that feels perfect for a family and not in a “these things didn’t sell at the garage sale” environment. Bless!

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