One of my favorite people and favorite families has a great new family room and I’m excited to share it with you today. Almost a year ago, one of my best friends asked me to help her reclaim her family room space. Her son and daughter (ages 5 and 7) were finally past the play kitchen and ride on toy days. You know – the stuff that, no matter how hard to you try to organize, just ends up lined up along the wall at the end of each day because it’s too big to fit into any bin or basket. She and her husband were tired of living in primary colored toy-ville and decided the time was right in their family to invest in some new furniture. Simultaneously they decided to finish their basement so all the old, past its prime furniture moved downstairs along with most of the toys. Not all…but a most. More on that later. But first a quick recap of where we started. The room is FANTASTIC to start with. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. It’s a great size and open to the kitchen. It has these nice built-ins flanking the fireplace and beautiful, large windows that overlook the backyard. Not too shabby a place to start and frankly nothing but decorating was needed. Not a smidge of construction dust. We started with a navy couch and loveseat that had seen better days….those days being pre-kid days before they had to contend with couch trampolining and post ice cream face rubbing, etc. Having spent plenty of time in this room personally, I have to say, it was quite comfortable and really functioned well for them when their kids were younger and needed more open space to play. This furniture and rug came with them from their previous, smaller home so the scale was off for this room and it was just time to reconsider the room as a whole.
Here’s the design board I worked up for the new and improved “family 2.0” version of the room. At the top of the list – new couches, a larger coffee table and rug and a lighter overall look to the room. I like to show some “in progress” shots whenever possible because I think it’s nice to see that no, these things do not happen overnight. We started with new couches and a new rug. Right away the whole room felt lighter but the wall color (which we were planning to change anyway) was not doing the new couches any favors. Very monotone. Need contrast asap!
We debated the best floor plan for this room a lot. Two couches vs. a sectional were pretty definite but across from each other and perpendicular to the tv or in an L shape? A pair of chairs? Just one chair? A sofa table? These were all up for debate and we spent a few weeks up front exploring the various options before landing on the final arrangement. Early on we even toyed around with the idea of adding a pair of painted wicker chairs to the seating arrangement. This was quickly nixed by the man of the house. Men and indoor wicker do not go together. This is a universal truth. Just accept it and save your energy for a fight you can actually win. Also see those cute purple Target stools there? I love those things. They are such chameleons. Almost unrecognizable in their new state.
Let’s play “what’s changed” shall we? 1. The walls are lighter but the back of the built-ins are darker. This was a really big change for the room and I love the drama it adds. The fireplace and TV were already the focal point so it made sense to go with that and really draw your eye to the end of the room. 2. The pair of couches are in roughly the same spot as the navy couch/loveseat were when we started but the entire arrangement is now anchored by an appropriately sized rug. 3. The side tables are much larger. They fit the room better and allow for larger lamps, again for better scale. They have both open and closed storage which I felt was important for easy access to stuff the kids use often. 4. The coffee table is much larger. Honestly it is just about the biggest, most glorious thing I’ve ever seen. All 50 square inches of it are just perfect. I picked it specifically because its generous size (which the room can absolutely handle) is great for spreading out LEGOs, blocks, snacks, board games, magazines, etc, etc. I feel like it invites you to gather around it while grounding the entire room. It’s even been known to serve as a princess dance performance platform. 5. A large sofa table visually divides the family room from the kitchen a bit more and big, neutral baskets provide A TON of storage. 6. A new little “moment” was created in one of the corners. The headlining act to this corner is most definitely the classic spindle chair. I love the little bit of black it adds to the room and it’s just such a pretty spot. 7. Drapes! That big window was begging for some dressing. 8. Accessories, art, color, metallics, repeat. My goal for the room was to make it more grown up but not erase kids from it entirely. The kids DO still live here and they DO have stuff. We just needed to a. edit some of that stuff/move it to the basement playroom and b. give them a place to put the things they play with often upstairs.
images via Jessica Delaney
I SO love the way this room turned out. It’s bright, colorful and young but doesn’t leave mom and dad feeling like they live in a playroom! Thank you Stacy for trusting me to take on this project and for just generally being awesome. Working with a good friend as a client could have its challenges, but it’s really quite easy when you like all the same things.
Out of respect for my clients, I do not share resources on their projects (that’s what they are paying me for afterall!)