It was so much fun sharing my home office reveal with you last week, and your enthusiastic responses made me that much more excited to share the rest of my rooms. In fact, I’m forcing myself to spread them out a little bit more than I really want to, haha! My plan is to share one a week.
In case you’re just tuning in, we moved over the summer, so this house is still fairly new to us. I shared my home office reveal last weekend, and today I’m sharing my family room with you!
The family room is actually where our decorating project began.
I’ve been asked what my decorating style is, and I’m not sure I really know, ha! As with fashion, I have a hard time defining my style, but I know what I like and don’t like. I suppose if I had to put a definition on it, I’d say my decorating style is mostly traditional with some transitional or modern elements.
Traditional decor can feel stuffy, so I try to avoid that by introducing in a few more modern pieces in each area. I tend to lean formal, but I still want my home to feel comfortable. I guess I don’t like to put myself in a box!
This is where working with a designer is really helpful. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working with Magda of ReImagine Interiors throughout this whole process, and she did a great job figuring out my style and giving design direction when I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted.
Here’s how the family room looked when we got started.
Family Room Before
We started our decorating project in the family room for several reasons. For one thing, we were planning to have the interior of the house painted before we moved in, and I wanted to replace my old family room couch so we didn’t have to move it. There was only a 2-week overlap between closing on this house and the last one, so we needed to choose paint colors and a new couch right away.
As far as the paint is concerned, the stone fireplace in the family room and the granite in the kitchen are both “bossy” elements in that area of the house, so it was important to pick a color that would complement both of those surfaces.
You can see what I mean by bossy… both are large focal points with busy patterns and a variety of colors going on.
In the pictures above, you can see that the family room and kitchen were painted a golden yellow when we got this house. It’s not that I mind that color so much, but I decorated in the tuscan trend when we moved into my former house, and I was tired of it. I wanted to go a different direction here.
I envisioned something light and airy with cool neutrals and maybe some bright or bold accent colors. And rather than painting the main rooms different but coordinating colors, as I did in my old house, I wanted to find one versatile neutral that I could carry throughout this house — something that would work with any other colors I might introduce and allow me to change up my decor from time to time.
Magda came over the day we closed on the house with several paint colors to choose from, and we held them next to the fireplace to see how they would relate. I learned that neutrals will look different depending on what else is in the room with them, so it’s always important to pick a color in the room where you will actually use it. She had ordered large swatches so we could really see how the colors would look against the stone, and in other areas of the house as well.
We ended up choosing Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray, and I couldn’t be more pleased with it. It’s what I would call a “greige” — a warm grey or cool beige.
That day we also chose materials for the family room curtains and kitchen valence.
Family Room Progress
Choosing a color for the couch was a bigger decision, and I chewed on that one for a few weeks. Every couch I’ve ever had, I’ve gotten sick of it before it wore out. Since a couch is a fairly large expense, I wanted to choose something I would love for a long time.
Home decorating is not my passion, so I wasn’t up on “the latest” when we started this project, and I started reading home blogs to bring myself up to date. You guys gave me several great suggestions that I’ve referred to time and time again. One of those is Maria Killam‘s blog.
Somewhere along the way, I read her advice to always purchase a couch in your favorite color and you’ll never get tired of it. Of course, that begs the question, what is your favorite color?
I didn’t have an immediate response to that question, but as I thought it over, I realized that one color I never really tire of is blue. I started out decorating with blue when I got married 23 years ago, and while I didn’t have much of it in my last house, it was a primary color in the decor in our first 3 homes.
I decided that a navy couch would be the perfect solution because it goes with so many colors that it’s almost a neutral, and it’s different look from the white and grey couches that are so popular right now. It’s really hard to buy a new couch and not get swayed by current trends because that is almost all that’s out there.
We ordered my navy couch through one of Magda’s distributers, and I was able to select the exact fabric. I also chose a style that is a bit of a departure for me — it’s more of a modern style than the rolled arms and rounded back that I typically go for.
Here’s the room with the new couch and the freshly painted walls.
The next big addition to the room was the custom curtains. We chose matte black hardware to coordinate with the matte black door hardware throughout the house, and it also coordinates with the new kitchen light fixtures (see below.)
Here you can see the room as it was coming along. The coffee table, end tables, leather chair, and ladder bookcase were all from our old house.
We also picked an area rug for under my kitchen table, and I decided to bring the navy from the couch into the kitchen via the rug.
Here’s a quick before-and-after of the kitchen. I’m planning a kitchen makeover for Phase Two of our redecorating project, so I’ll save a dedicated post for that, but I did add the rug and swap out the light fixtures for some that are more modern and in keeping with the decor throughout the rest of the house.
The upholstered ottoman was the next piece we added to the family room. You may remember that I wasn’t sure about it at first. It’s a long room, so Magda felt it needed a large ottoman, and I could appreciate that, but I felt like it looked out of scale with the couch, which has a rather low profile. She promised that it would all makes sense when we got the rest of the furniture and accessories in place.
I added a large wicker tray to the ottoman, hoping that would help break it up a bit, and it definitely helped. You can also see that we added some throw pillows to the couch and lanterns by the fireplace.
Originally we weren’t planning to replace the wall to wall carpet in the family room, but after we lived here for a while, it looked even more grungy than it had seemed at first, so we decided to go ahead and replace it with hardwoods and an area rug before Christmas.
Around the same time, we also added two new occasional chairs and a pair of lamps, and I swapped out the seasonal throw pillows for more of a year-round print after the holidays.
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably seen parts of this progress already, but I’m finally ready to share the finished results! There are a few more things I’d like to do, but all are fairly minor and I’m not sure when we’ll get to them, so I decided to go ahead with this post.
Family Room After
Like I said for my office, the wide angle lens Alison used to shoot these rooms makes them appear even bigger than they really are, but I love how she captured the colors and the natural light in the room. It was a sunny day when we took these pictures, so everything looks especially bright.
Ultimately it was the addition of the area rug that really anchored the space and tied everything together, so I’m so glad we decided to go ahead and do the floors before the holidays!
My throw pillows are from T.J.Maxx and Home Goods, as well as most of the accessories on the ottoman tray, so I don’t have links for those.
We didn’t get good close-ups of the lamps and the two new occasional chairs, but those all came from ReImagine Interiors so I don’t have links. Each piece added some much needed texture to the room, and the metal grommets on the chairs are a nice detail.
It’s hard to look at these pictures and not nit-pick the minor changes I still want to make. I’d love to replace the ceiling fan with something more modern and probably a more subtle light, if any light at all. We really don’t need it because we have recessed lighting as well as table lamps.
I’m hoping to find an end table to replace the glass one that coordinates with the other wood in the room, and I’d like to get that picture hung over the mantle instead of propped.
In fact, I have a really pretty mirror to swap out when winter is over, and I personally prefer that to the winter print, but this was a compromise for my dear husband who hardly makes any requests when it comes to home decor but loves that painting that we bought early on in our marriage. And it really is very fitting for wintertime, I just want to get it hung and then add a few accessories on the mantle.
Finally, both Paul and I would love to have a built-in bookcase installed on the TV wall, but that is definitely part of Phase Three!
All in all, I’m delighted with how this room turned out. It feels both spacious and cozy, the colors and textures enhance the light and airy feel, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the house. I can’t wait to share more with you over the next few weeks!
photo credit: Alison Cornell
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