A Homey & Affordable Family Room
When we bought our home, this was one of the spaces I was REALLY excited about – I knew it had the potential to be the hub and heart of our home (which can’t often be said about a dark basement family room). And it’s not like it was THAT bad to start with, HELL YES IT WAS (sorry, that was my inside voice screaming at me), but it definitely needed a little KLC.
Let’s start with a nice general shot of the main area before.
As you can see, the hubs is standing at the bar, which was awkward for a few reasons…
a) He prefers to sit when he drinks beer and this was more of a ‘stand up’ bar, rather than a ‘sit at’ bar. Let’s be honest, though, as long as he’s drinking beer, he’s pretty happy.
b) It was a terrible layout; even if he were to sit at the bar, the countertop was chest height (even with tall bar stools) and he would be staring at a blank wall (similar to when he’s talking to me about my shopping problem).
b) It blocked the flow of light from that window, which we needed in this dark space.
d) It had cherry cabinetry which WAS beautiful, but not really ma’ jam.
But I digress. You will be seeing more of the bar area in the NEXT blog post, as it really deserves a spot of its own. For now, we’re focusing on the main area, which has come a LONG way from its somewhat goth roots…
Same stone fireplace, but that’s about the only thing that survived!
Also, notice the lack of bar to the left of that brown leather accent chair and the fact that the TV becomes a secondary part of the room, blending into the paint colour (it’s like I know what I’m doing or something).
And in the title, you’ll notice I called it a ‘real’ family room.
Well, I find that a lot of the magazine, Houzz, and Pinterest photos that you see are either:
a) cost prohibitive – meaning they are out of reach for many readers.
b) they aren’t all that ‘liveable,’ meaning you ‘could’ relax and put your feet up, but the homeowner may beat you for doing so.
c) there’s a WHOOOOLE lot of gray and white, which can be beautiful, but I wanted to show you guys something more fun and colorful!
I’m also going to share with you some of the highlights of this room and some of the costs, so you can see where I found my happy medium between quality, price, and looks, all without having to visit a marriage counselor.
The Coffee Table & Media Center
Coffee Table: $200. This coffee table is unreal. Coming in at a whopping 54″x 54″, it’s really as big as they get. I bought this piece 2nd hand and while it’s ginormous, it’s the perfect spot for games, puzzles, drinks, and feet! And notice it’s not accessorized with trays, floral arrangements, and artful stacks of books. That’s because that is HIGH maintenance. I like to keep things low-key and simple for everyday use – the above is about as artful as it gets.
Media Stand: $30. Did you notice the white cabinet to the right of the fireplace? It’s another 2nd hand piece. It’s solid pine and with a fresh lick of white paint, it turned into the PERFECT media center. I’ve got the cable box hiding underneath it and the drawers hide all of the technical bits n’ pieces. For a while, I had removed two drawers to house the cable box and whatnot, but I got tired of seeing all that junk (even though you KNOW how I LOVE going without any drawers…). And you’d never even THINK it was only $30!
And I’m a BIG believer in a home that is full of love, not just ‘home decor.’ Therefore, many of our decorative bits have meaning – you’ll see my Big Grandpa there, safely tucked away in the yellow container (so he can hear the hockey game).
Now let’s look at another before photo (always the best part…).
The Accent Chairs & Gray Sectional
Oy vay, what a dungeon – it may invite you in, but you might not come out alive!
Accent Chairs: $485 Pier 1. I have MAD love for my two leather accent chairs (the other one is to the left of the fireplace). Tobacco brown is my fave leather colour and it’s a fab complement to the warm stones in the fireplace and the paint colors.
Sectional: $2200 (on sale) Urban Barn. I’ve learned the hard way not to buy a cheap couch. This one was not crazy expensive, but it’s certainly more than I’d USUALLY spend. It’s comfy, quality, and the dark charcoal is a great foundation for the room (and shows less wine spills than a lighter fabric).
Artwork: $119 Home Sense. I LOOVE my pussy willow canvas!
The Family Gallery Wall
Standing at the fireplace and looking BACK into the room, you’ll see my favorite part (okay, maybe my 2nd fave part) – the family photo wall.
Before, this wall was bright red and overwhelming (this is how it looked when we bought our home)…
And NOW, it pays homage to some of our favorite people in the world (and in Heaven too…)
A few things to notice…
The wall is now longer than it used to be. This was all part of my ‘Home Office Makeover – a Black and White Affair.’ So, we actually LOST 2 1/2 feet of space in the family room, but we don’t even miss it. In fact, the flow is way better as there’s less non-functioning dead space.
The sofa table behind the couch: $250 (custom). This is a custom piece that I had Drift Designs in Wood make for us (amongst other awesome pieces in our home). It has two stools, so come game time, we can accommodate that many more people (plus it saves extra messy meals from being eaten on the couch).
The stools: $80. I got them for $80 a piece – brand new (but bought 2nd hand; they just hadn’t been used).
The buffet: $499 Home Sense. This houses our games, candles, and gardening gloves as it’s close to the backyard.
NOW…we’re moving on to my REAL favorite part – my books.
My Ikea Hemnes Bookcases
For those of you who know me well, you’ll know I’m a super nerd and love to spend most nites with a good book. And I’m a total hoarder too. While I don’t have a problem parting with books I didn’t enjoy, I’m pretty hard-pressed to give up my faves (just a couple hundred or so…).
There’s Mr. Studmuffin again.
And now it looks like this – sans Studmuffin…
Artwork: $59 Home Sense. This is sitting where there USED to be a door – ALL part of the plan, my friend (and part of the office remodel).
Ikea Hemnes Bookcases: $950 for all three pieces. These bookcases saved me. I used to have a long low bookcase that I painted black, but I was in the mood for something fresh, bright, and SUPER functional – and these bookcases fit the bill. Not only do they hold my precious books (said in the voice of Gollum from Lord of the Rings), but the drawers have ALL of the girl’s artsy-fartsy craft supplies and some great display spots behind the glass doors.
Freakin’ Glorious Chartreuse Chair: $525 Urban Barn. I…love…this…chair. Tim does not; he says it’s a Grandma’s chair. However, he doesn’t even know what chartreuse is, so he doesn’t get an opinion.
Hexagon Accent Table: $99 Target. And don’t even ASK me how much I miss Target (sob sob…sip sip – ALL BETTER!)
See how all of the textures and colours jibe? This space is my happy place.
Pouf: $59 Home Sense. I have a mild pouf obsession – amongst other things.
Area Rug: $329 (clearance) Home Sense. This is a big boy at 8×11.
And while I’m not SUPER anal with my books (says the girl who colour coordinated them), I do get a lot of mental pleasure from seeing all of my favorites displayed JUST how I like them.
See any familiar titles?
The top of the cabinets is also a great place for my globe collection (and dust).
Here are a few more bits n’ pieces that I love…
I love how my cool little Home Sense mirror reflects the photo gallery wall.
I love the look of this fold-up table ($99 Home Sense) with my little brass aviator-style clock ($29 Home Sense).
I love these particular books SO much; I even busted out of the color coding (deep breath) to display them on their own – topped by a clay creation that Cassie made when she was younger.
Now, after ALL of that, you’re probably thinking, ‘Well, that’s fine and dandy, Kylie, but what the HECK are those amazing paint colors?’.
You’re looking at…
- ACCENT WALL & BAR AREA (which was an EPIC way to lower the impact of the TV): Sherwin Williams Cyberspace SW 7076
- MAIN WALLS (which also run throughout the stairwell and living room): Sherwin Williams Creamy SW 7012
- BACK HALLWAY ACCENT WALL (which also leads into the entryway and my home office): Benjamin Moore Steel Wool 2121-20
Read more: Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Creamy
Now HOT on the heels of this blog post will be ‘Part 2 – The Home Bar’, which I can’t WAIT to share with you, so stay tuned – and it’s done now, check it out here!
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