Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Family Room Makeover: The Beginning

It's time for another DIY home improvement project around here! You didn't think we could go too long without fixing up another room in our house, did you? :) #remodel-holic

Remodel-holic [ree-MOD-el-hall-ick], also related to DIY-itis, an obsession seen in slightly insane but optimistic hopefuls who dream of taking a house and making it their own on a limited budget, limited time, and a lot of caffeine. Often leads to highs such as giddy feelings of accomplishment from making something with your own two hands while paying a lot less money by doing it yourself. People with this condition may also experience negative side effects such as sore muscles, bickering, cussing under their breath, spending ridiculous amounts of time at home improvement stores, and the annoying quoting of phrases such as "measure twice, cut once!" 

We've been inflicted with this bug for twenty-something years, since our first home together. I fear we're too far gone to be cured. ;)

Okay, enough silliness - let's talk about home improvement!

You know how something as seemingly innocent as buying a piece of furniture leads to an entire room makeover? No? Well yeah, it happens. Apparently I have the gene that tells me that's how we do things around here. We're finally getting rid of our old uncomfortable sectional in the family room that's seen our little boy through to adulthood. Now that our son is in college and no longer leaves a trail of goldfish crackers and sticky fingered destruction wherever he goes, we ordered a new sectional sofa almost 3 months ago, and after several delays, it should be arriving in the next week or so. Hooray! Since the new sectional won't have the recliner part of the sofa anymore like this one does, we HAD to get an ottoman to put our feet up, AND, since we have this nice new furniture, we're going to update the fireplace that I've been talking about wanting to do for the past 10 years, AND THEN, since we're doing that, I might as well paint the room, right?! Is that how your mind works too? Anyone? :) Rick thought he was just getting a new sofa but he's getting an entirely new room! He LOVES living with me.

Come on in and let me show you our family room as it currently looks:

Family Room Makeover: The Beginning

It may be mishmashy and predominantly brown (except for that bright green wall), but it's been a comfy, inviting space for our little family for many years. Maggie thinks so too. :) #thegreenwallgoes #thedogstays

A few facts about our family room:
  • This is where we spend most of our time when we're home. It looks lived in and that's okay by me. It's next to the kitchen (bonus!), it houses the only TV in the house, and the west wall is pretty much all windows overlooking the backyard we love so much, so yeah, this is usually where you'll find us.
  • It's a sunken open area, two steps down from the rest of the house. I hear sunken living rooms are making a comeback. Right on!
  • It's not a huge room at 12.5 ft wide x 18.5 ft long, but we like it. It's "cozy".
  • About 4-5 years ago, we borrowed some space from the garage and built an alcove on the east wall for the TV area. We really like that the TV storage area doesn't jut out into the room. I guess this little alcove makes our family room bigger by about 12 square feet. Sweet!
  • The room is carpeted with a neutral brown dot textured carpet. We replaced it about 4-5 years ago and it's staying. It's great underfoot and since this is the room our dog Maggie spends the most time in, it's a perfect solution for the dirty beast sweet girl. 
So apparently gray walls are all the rage the last few years and when you look up wall paint colors, you get a ton of gray suggestions. I like gray walls - we have them throughout the entire upstairs - but the khaki tan walls which go throughout the downstairs living area have been warm and inviting and easy to live with so I haven't been in any hurry to change them. These walls have been good to us, so you'll hear no disrespectin' from me about their beigeyness (<--spellcheck hates me right now). After years of the same ol' thing though, we are ready for a new look so we're changing the wall color. I haven't decided what color yet, but I'm leaning towards something gray-er, or at least without as much yellow as the tan we have now.

More BEFORE Photos

We have obstacles on every wall in this room to deal with when it comes to furniture placement. It is definitely challenging since we have to keep an area clear for the two doors in the room as well as the step down into the family room. Here's a look at each area a little more closely:

The green wall with the brick fireplace:
Family Room Makeover: The Beginning
I just noticed Maggie's eye staring from the lower right corner of this photo. Creepy.
Green is one of my favorite colors to live with because it reminds me of nature. I'm drawn to it just like I'm drawn to other colors seen in nature. When we first moved in 14 years ago, the fireplace wall was a 90s dark maroon colored accent wall. Over the years, I've just kept repainting it different accent colors when the mood strikes, I think as an effort to add more color and liven up this otherwise brown room. Although I never really thought this particular green wall looked cohesive or blended well with anything else in the room, it was colorful and I liked that, but I'm ready for it to go.

I'm going to say something next that some of you may disagree with, and I'm okay with that - the fireplace is getting a major makeover. I realize that it's a good traditional fireplace, but we prefer a cleaner, less traditional look and frankly, we've lived with this one for 14 years and we'd like a change. Notice the fan reflection in the mirror? I'd like to update that thing too although removing the fan isn't an option, at least not for my husband. Since I won the fan battle in our bedroom, I'll let him keep his fan in here but maybe I can somehow make it look less...something. 

The window wall:
Family Room Makeover: The Beginning
You can see that the sofa partially blocks the window and sliding glass door. It's not ideal, but it's what we could make work in here with the TV and fireplace. I'm not a fan of a TV above the fireplace for our house since our sitting area is so close to the fireplace. It would feel like we're craning our necks to watch TV, so we're really limited with the furniture placement. Que sera, sera.

The east wall has the alcove for the TV storage area and the door that leads to the garage:
Family Room Makeover: The Beginning
This photo best represents the colors currently in here. You can see where I'm testing out paint colors on the wall. After googling "warm gray wall color", I picked up three paint color samples and slapped them on the wall. All three samples are on the wall stacked one on top of the other. Can you tell the difference? Neither can I. Not sure I'm digging the cooler gray after living with such warmth. More on paint selection in a later post. 

The last view is from the family room which shows how it opens to the kitchen area. Easy snack access, baby!
Family Room Makeover: The BeginningThat lumpy old recliner sectional is soon to be outta here!

Goals for the Updated Family Room:
  • Cozy, warm, casual, and inviting - that's the main goal! Maybe a little fun thrown in there too.
  • Update the furniture with a new sofa and ottoman. Maybe some side tables or console table is in the future too.
  • Update the fireplace.
  • Maybe add some window treatments.
  • Paint the walls to brighten and modernize the space. Gray or beige? Greige? Purple? We'll see.
  • Stick with the nature inspired-beachy-tropical look that we like so much but make it look more cohesive. We've got a lot of turquoisey-aqua blues, orangey-reds, and green accessories already so I'll reuse a lot of what we have if I can figure out a way to make them work together.
I'll keep you updated on how our family room update is going. I can't wait to start working on this!

Have you ever turned a simple furniture shopping trip into an entire room remodel before? What do you think about the gray vs. beige paint debate? Maybe I should just go with white instead. I like white rooms too! Ha! 



  1. I can't wait to see what you do in here! Nature inspired beachy is right up my alley. I have the same problem with the ceiling fan. I would love to get rid of ours, but it's one of the only things that my husband insists on. I wish they made them a little more stylish that wouldn't break the bank. Good luck picking a paint color! That's always the hardest decision for me, which is why it's the last thing I do in a room. I love both gray and tan. I even like them together! I'm probably no help, lol.

  2. I can't wait to see what you do to your fireplace. We have the pretty much the same setup: black gas insert, red brick surround, and white painted mantel. I want something less traditional, too.

  3. Excited to see how you transform it! :)

  4. I guess I am not a true remodel-holic as I haven't learned the fine art of cussing "under my breath". I love your space. It looks great the way it is, but I can hardly wait to see the new reveal. I know it will be fantastic!

  5. Can't wait to see it all Sharon! I'm with you on the fans! lol We don't have any downstairs but the one in our bedroom HAS to stay! I lost that battle before it even started. ;)


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