HomeMy ProjectsRoom Decorating and DesignOur ‘Real’ Family Room: Budget-Friendly & Bright

Our ‘Real’ Family Room: Budget-Friendly & Bright

Posted on June 16, 2017 by KylieMawdsley

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.

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family room before redecorating (9)

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…

family room before redecorating with fireplace

Family room with stone fireplace, Sherwin Williams Cyberspace, leather, laminate wood flooring, chartreuse chair. Kylie M INteriors E-design and home

Same stone fireplace, but that’s about the only thing that survived!

Also, notice the lack of a 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).

Family room with Sherwin Williams Cyberspace, Creamy and Sherwin Williams Cyberspace with tv above, furniture layout and home decor. Kylie M Interior E-design

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

Best…coffee table…evah.

Family room with Sherwin Williams Cyberspace, Creamy and Sherwin Williams Cyberspace with tv above, leather chair and large wood coffee table. Kylie M Interior E-design

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!

Home decor ideas on a media style cabinet or dress painted white. Kylie M Interiors E-decor and Online color consulting

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

family room before redecorating (17)

Oy vay, what a dungeon – it may invite you in, but you might not come out alive!

Family room with Sherwin Williams Cyberspace, Creamy and Sherwin Williams Cyberspace with tv above, leather chair and large wood coffee table. Kylie M Interior E-design

Family room with gray sectional, accent chair, home decor, large square wood coffee table. Sherwin Williams Creamy. Kylie M INteriors E-design

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, and quality, and the dark charcoal is a great foundation for the room (and shows less wine spills than a lighter fabric).

Sherwin Williams Creamy in family room. Leather accent chair and gray sectional. Kylie M INteriors E-design and ONline Color Consulting

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)…

family room before redecorating (5)

And NOW, it pays homage to some of our favorite people in the world (and in Heaven too…)

Family room with photo gallery wall, gray sectional, ikea hemnes white bookcases. Sherwin Williams Creamy and home decor. Kylie M Interiors Colour expert and Canadian e-design blogger

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 didn’t even miss it. 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).

family photo gallery wall above buffet with home decor. Kylie M Interiors Canadian e-design, edecor and online color expert

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.

edesign, virtual paint colour consulting. Kylie M Interiors Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams color expert. marketing (23)


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…).

This wall used to look like this…family room before redecorating (19)

There’s Mr. Studmuffin again.

And now it looks like this – sans Studmuffin…

Ikea Hemnes bookcases in family room with chartreuse accent chair. Sherwin Williams Creamy paint color and home decor. Globe collection. Kylie M Interiors E-design

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 colors jibe? This space is my happy place.

Combining texture and colour in furniture. Kylie M Interiors E-design

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.

Ideas to display a book collection in a family room with Ikea white Hemnes bookcases. Kylie M INteriors e-decor

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.

Idea to display a large novel or book collection by Kylie M INteriorsSee any familiar titles?

Vintage globe collection on top of Ikea Hemnes white bookcases. Kylie M INteriors E-decor, e-design and home decor blog and ideas

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…

Round accent mirror with gold detail reflecting photo gallery. On Sherwin Williams Creamy paint colours. Kylie M Interiors Virtual and e-design

I love how my cool little Home Sense mirror reflects the photo gallery wall.

Sherwin Williams Creamy, an off-white paint colour with home decor. Kylie M Interiors e-decor and e-design

I love the look of this fold-up table ($99 Home Sense) with my little brass aviator-style clock ($29 Home Sense).

Bookshelf with a book collection. Kylie M INteriors

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…

Sherwin Williams Cyberspace, Creamy and Benjamin Moore Steel Wool in a family room palette. Kylie M INteriors

Read more: Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Creamy

Need help creating the room of YOUR dreams? 

Check out my affordable E-Design

E-design and colour consultations. Online color expert Kylie M INteriors. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams specialist (2)

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature


  1. Oh Amber, what a lovely note to get! And yes, the space does look SOOO much better and I’m just CHOMPIN’ at the bit to post about the bar area, which has some SUPER cool wine racks! I mean, not that I drink much wine or anything…
    As for creams and grays, normally I refer to my E-design, but to get you off on the right foot, check out some of these (my faves)…
    SW Silverplate, SW Big Chill, BM Classic Gray, BM Navajo White, SW Creamy…oh I could go on and on…
    🙂 Kylie

  2. This looks AMAZING! I had to double and triple compare before and afters to see if it was still the same flooring – I am crazy impressed with how that wood went from looking super warm to looking so subtle neutral in the new scheme!! Also love how functional yet polished everything looks. Nice work! (And now I’m obsessed with the idea of a “feature wall” to blend in the TV with its surroundings…)

  3. Hi Gina, thank you! It’s actually a laminate (Mohawk brand) from Lowes. We got a quality underlay and love the feel of it underfoot. I mean nothing is as nice as solid wood, but it’s also way more expensive and not as durable for dogs/kids. I do like the vinyl, but I just don’t know what the vinyl will be like in 5 years – not sure if it will still look as good. They’ve come out now with some quality vinyl products, but I’m still more of a laminate gal myself…

  4. Hi Kylie

    Lovely to just find your site! I have recommended it to the paint mixer dude at our local Sherwin -Williams paint store. I was there today to pick up Cyberspace and out of curiousity (and because he had a BM paint deck handy) I compared it to Steel Wool which I know you used for the accent wall in the hall toward the rear of the of the family room.

    I am wondering what drove the choice to go with Cyberspace on the fireplace wall (and then later for the back wall of the wine bar area) instead of just using Steel Wool again. Would it have washed out too much with the sun coming into the windows?

    I have a wee powder room off my kitchen that has no windows and has a pocket door with thick blurry glass. I was wondering about using Cyberspace or Steel Wool in it – somehow the Cyberspace is so dark on the paint chip (almost reads black) that I am kinda freaked about painting the whole room that color even though I like the idea of high drama in a powder room (even if if is only a closet-sized biffy)! I think Steel Wool in a room with only a 3 light vanity bar might be dark enough …… your take?

    Also I am really into warm yellow these days (lots of snow and cold days where I am). I like yellow with red in it, not an anaemic pale yellow. Perhaps you will do a post on some great non-radioactive-nuclear-waste-looking yellows some time? 🙂

    1. Post

      Hi Loni! You know, I like the Steel Wool, but the Steel Wool is in my entryway/kitchen and it’s actually the darker version of it, Gray 2121-10 that was originally on that back wall. I switched to SW Cyberspace as I wanted just a bit more undercurrent, a bit more interest via the navy blue that comes up – and it HIT the spot! And if you are worried about Cyberspace being too dark, Steel Wool could be a good happy medium for depth, but not TOO much depth 😉

  5. I just ordered a one-room package from you and am of course stalking all your designs now! I DO see familiar titles on the shelf (Middlesex – which I’ve read and LOVE and Loving Frank – which is on my to-read list). I love your style and can’t wait to hear from you. My boyfriend is so excited someone else is picking out the paint color for our living room and that I won’t be coming home with 10,000 more samples!

    1. Post

      Wahoo, I can’t wait to help! And yes, I’m A huge book nerd, I read at least 1 a week. I just finished reading ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Fine’. I didn’t THINK I’d like it and then I ended up LOVING IT! I’ve read some real doozies. A few of my faves are ‘What is the What’ and ‘House in the Sky’. So awesome…

  6. Okay, so you will LOVE this seeing as you are a Sherwin Williams Paint Color Specialist.
    I found your blog by typing in the words Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams into my Pinterest search engine.

    Many things: I love, LOVE the makeover of this room even if it has been like a year and a half ago. I hated red/burgundy in an entire room even when it was in style. Now? I want to move in (said in the least stalkerish way).

    I also love your “voice”, again said in the least stalkerish way. A lot of decor/DIY/designer blogs sound so stale but you have a way of keeping me and my ADD (totally have it, not just a euphemism) brain engaged.

    Adding you to Bloglovin. Lord, I hope you still blog……

    1. Post

      Okay Kari, here I am FIVE YEARS LATER, responding to you. Seriously, I’m cleaning up my comments section (which has thousands upon thousands of comments I never got to) and I was just deleting and deleting. Something about yours caught my eye, and you seriously made me laugh SO hard. Also, being recently diagnosed with ADHD, I know about that whole ‘brain engagement thing’.

      THANK you (and five years later, I hope you’re still reading my blog 😉

  7. Kylie! Your designs are amazing!! I am especially in love with the flooring color in this room! Please tell me that you can tell me the color of the laminate?! I read through the comment list and saw it is Mohawk but am curious about the color?

    1. Post

      Oh shoot Kathleen, it was a few years ago and we’ve moved! I know it was from Lowes and I feel like it was ‘Jackson’ something…I’m sorry, that’s all I can remember!

  8. So happy I came across your website! Thanks for all the great information and tips. I just recently moved into a new house and the hardwood floors are very similar in color to yours, although maybe slighter more orangy. I want to paint the entire house in agreeable gray but noticed you chose the cream color instead. How do you think that color flooring would work with agreeable gray?

    1. Post

      Hi Ashley! Without seeing your home and lighting, I don’t see a problem with Agreeable – it really is a super flexible neutral! I love Edgecomb Gray too…different but still flexible.

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