Family Room: Still “In Progress”

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Today’s post is all about being “further than we were”, but “not quite there yet”. Welcome to our Family Room. This space has been one of our toughest so far to get looking the way we want it. We’ve come a long way, but I’m not 100% loving every aspect of it just yet… but who knows- maybe you’ll have some good ideas for me after reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts- feel free to leave a comment below!!

We live in a cozy 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath townhouse. Upon entering, the family room is the first room that you come to, so it’s important to us that it sets the stage for the rest of the house. We want it to feel warm and inviting and reflect who we are and the things we love in life. Mushy, I know. Let’s move on…

When we first moved in, the family room looked something like this:before family room

And this:before family rm

And how about one more, just for kicks?before stepsSo that’s what we started with- actually quite nice! Not a huge fan of the gray doors and trim, but the “bones” of the room were great and that’s really all that matters when you’re starting. The first thing we did with this space was to dream big and then narrow down those dreams to feasible realities. A few of our initial dreams were:

  • Knock down the wall(s) that made up the coat closet to create more of an openness between the kitchen and family room. We eventually decided against this idea because: 1. Closet space is a precious commodity in our home, and 2. The electrical box is in there and we didn’t feel like opening THAT can of worms.this closet would go
  • Install shelving or closet space underneath the stairs like I was seeing all over Pinterest… you can see examples here. I was all set to get the sledgehammer out and go to town… meanwhile, it took my grandfather 30 seconds of evaluating the project before reminding me that the only way to do this would be to eliminate the downstairs bathroom. Whoops. Okay, scratch that idea. Maybe we’ll do it in our next house. 🙂 berwick 076

All of that aside, we decided to leave the room as is, in terms of walls, closets, and bathrooms and focus on the things that we could change. I’m a list person, so let’s look at this in terms of the steps we took to get to where we are today:

Step #1: Finding the Furniture. This was a complete “happy accident” and generally, we would have waited until the room was painted to even think about furniture. However, it wasn’t even a week before we stumbled onto the furnishings that we would use for the family room. You can read all about our mysterious furniture source here. The pieces are in the neutral beige family and this later helped us to select a color for the room that wouldn’t clash.

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Step #2: Choosing the paint color. For this room, we played off the colors in the furniture in picking a neutral tone for the walls too… and landed somewhere between a light yellow/beige and ivory. The official color name is Cottonseed, from Behr.


Step #3: Cover Up! Because we had already bought the furniture and loaded it into the house (there is only so much space in my parents’ attic and shed!!), we had to make sure to be diligent in covering it up for painting. We were also planning on sticking with the original carpeting in the room, so we put drop cloths over all of the flooring too.

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Step #4: Paint the ceiling. One of the most painful jobs of the process- by far. We have “popcorn ceilings” and it takes a considerable amount of effort to fully coat them. No one wanted the job, so we just took turns until it was finished. We used Behr Ultra White Ceiling Paint and it worked fine out fine. Others might have specific paint favorites, but as this was our first time out of the gate with big projects, we were happy with Behr.

Step #5: Paint the walls! You know this about me- I like to see progress and I like to see it NOW! I was thrilled to start getting color on the walls because it was something different than white! The color adds some cheer to the room and compliments the furniture well.

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Step #6: Paint the trim and door white. Tedious, but necessary. Just like in our spare bedroom, white trim and doors completely transformed the room.

Step #7: Furnish and Arrange. It did not take us long to figure out that the furniture only fit in the room one way without being awkward or blocking the path into the kitchen.

We ended up putting the couch against the far wall that backs up to the kitchen.

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The two chairs and ottomans, we positioned by the window.

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We went through a lot of different scenarios with the other furniture. As you can see above, we started with a dresser from Goodwill that we had planned to restore and paint. Needless to say, it didn’t stick and before long, we had changed out the dresser for an end table.

new 026

As for the entertainment center? That’s an entirely different story and you can read all about what we ended up with here. I’ll give you a hint- it is not the white piece, pictured above.

Step #8: Be okay with being “in progress”. We still have a ways to go with this room. We have plans to hang art and photos, to bring in some other furnishings and pieces of interest, and to continue to shape it to feel like us. I am looking forward to the day when the room feels “right”. So much so, that sometimes I go a little nuts with things… In my most recent “family room escapade”, I went on a rant about how we should repaint the whole room a different color! Mitch just about had a heart attack.

I am learning that rooms take time to develop. Heck, we have already changed dozens of things since we’ve been here and it’s only been ten months! I have to keep reminding myself that it is okay to let the room evolve and not have to have it totally finished and perfect all at once.  With that being said, I will keep you up to speed as we add, subtract, and progress with this space. For now, here is how it’s looking:

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It’s amazing how different the color looks when photographed at night (above) and during the day, with natural light coming in (below)!

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Looking into and out from the kitchen…

  gallery wall 031gallery wall 047   

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Do you have a room that is in the “ongoing” state? Hopefully we’re not the only ones… 🙂 I’d love to hear your stories- leave a comment below!

Until next time, enjoy “the fun of it”!


PS. Only TWO MORE DAYS to enter the Starbucks giveaway! Click here for more details!

Update: The family room has seen some more changes since this post… we added two cute side tables, contemplated new colors, and completely changed the curtains (which resulted in the biggest transformation to date!). 

10 thoughts on “Family Room: Still “In Progress”

  1. I’m still totally in progress with our bedroom. We lived in our house for a year and a half before I got the living room to where I felt it was done. So I’m OK with the room evolving. Love your changes!

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