A Homey and Affordable Family Room
Partner post to: Our Family Room Wine Bar
Oh puhLEASE, did you really think I meant what I said in the title? Let’s be honest, within 6 months I’m sure this room will be TURNED on its head, but for now – I’m totally in love with it!
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 that I called it a ‘real’ family room. Why? 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 obviously be beautiful, but I wanted to show you guys something a bit more fun and colourful!
I’m also going to share with you some of the highlights of this room, as well as 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 counsellor.
The Coffee Table and 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 2 drawers removed to house the cable box and what not, but I got tired of seeing all of that junk (even thought 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 and 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 2 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 as well as the paint colours.
Sectional: $2200 (on sale) Urban Barn. I’ve learned the hard way not to buy a cheap couch. Not that this one was 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
Now, standing at the fireplace and looking BACK into the room, you’ll see my favourite 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 most favourite 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 2 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 these stools 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 as well as candles and gardening gloves as it’s close to the backyard.
NOW…we’re moving on to my REAL favourite part – my books.
My Ikea 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…
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 3 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), the drawers have ALL of the girls artsy-fartsy craft supplies as well as 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 favourites displayed JUST how I like them.
See any familiar titles?
The top of the cabinets are also a great place for my globe collection (and dust).
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 colour 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 colours?’.
You’re looking at…
- Feature wall (which was an EPIC way to lower the impact of the TV): Sherwin Williams Cyberspace SW 7076
- All main walls: (which also runs throughout the stairwell and living room): Sherwin Williams Creamy SW 7012
- Backdrop wall in the hallway (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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Love the way there is more light in the room. The blue accent wall really brings out hard wood flooring. Lovely.
Hi Brenda, thank you! And I LOOVE how Cyberspace works – it’s just this magical dark colour. And whooda thunk a room would be brighter with a dark colour like that! Pretty cool 🙂
Enjoyed your clever display of books.
Chartreuse chair is happy crowning glory in ” real” family room.
Well thank you Beth! I may never part with that chartreuse chair…or my books 😉
Just love everything about your new living room, beautifully done!
We have the exact same coffee table. It’s an Indonesian Opium table. I love it too!
Hi Henriette, thank you for letting me know about the table! It belonged to my friends parents and I spent a LOT of time growing up in their home! I told them if they EVER got rid of it that I’d buy it from them, and thankfully they remembered! It is pretty darned cool 🙂
Holy Cow! What a fantastic transformation, from dark, dramatic and moody to bright, serene and happy. You really do know what you’re doing, and yet it looks so effortlessly put together. *wistful sigh* And your writing style is informative, light, and peppered with innuendos–very entertaining. As a brand new follower, I look forward to seeing more of your rooms and, hopefully, catching some inspiration for my own transformations. Right now I’m working on transitioning from blue/greens and yellow to grays, cream and different accent colors. Picking the right gray is SO daunting. Thanks for sharing your gift.
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…
Oh WOW Kylie–this room looks fabulous! I especially love your sweet and happy Buddha. I have to say I was having a moment there when I was just going to take a quick look and thought the red room was your makeover. LOL Great job and inspiration for us. Colors are lovely. Okay, so when should I expect you?
So gorgeous! I love the current living room and all the changes that you do. If you don’t mind me asking, is there any before-after floor plan for comparison? I like the changes, but with the wall and door move, it is a bit hard to visualize it – could probably be post of its own too if you plan to make a whole house floor plan, before and after. Just an idea though
Ooooo Sasha, good idea! And while I don’t have the measure from the original, I bet I could draw it out pretty easily – thank you!!
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…)
Hi Suse…soooo it is new flooring! Because we moved walls when we remodelled the office we had to re-do the floor. BUT, it is very similar as yes, I took that kind of golden yellow out of it and went for a more neutral ‘brown’ look from Lowe’s. And feature walls are addictive! I always say that I have a hate-on for feature walls, but the truth is I have a hate-on for ‘poorly placed feature walls’, but if you can hit it right, it looks awesome 🙂
This is absolutely stunning!! I love all the color and texture combinations! It’s so comfortable and stylish at the same time.
This is what I like to see a well designed and accessorised room that a family can truly live in! Yes it has a TV because real people have things like TVs that must live in family rooms… plus the furniture all looks comfy and inviting. Really like the way the dark tv wall blends the tv –rather than creating the “black hole” that most flat screens create. Great job…must get back to my Kylie M inspired painting project!
Thank you Lori! It really is homey (not to be confused with homie). We love it and I’m SUPER pumped to send out the post about the bar (shrine to wine) area – it’s pretty cool!
Thank you for not putting a bunch of things on the coffee table. I see these in decorator mags and just cant go there! As always, you hit it out of the ballpark!
Thank you Suzanne! I always admire the nicely outfitted coffee tables, but most of them aren’t very liveable! I’m even thinking of doing a blog post of ‘how I live every day’ vs ‘how i tidy things up for taking photos’. It’s not like it’s super drastic, but I think that sometimes it’s just nice to see ‘reality’, not a dressed up version of it!!
I love the use of the dark paint colors. What direction does this room face? We have a (small) dark, north-facing room and I’m wondering if Cyberspace would work there.
Hi Elisa! The room is south facing. What I love about it is the subtlety of it, it’s like taking Benjamin Moore Hale Navy (which has more blue in it) and adding more gray/black, so it kind of comes in under the radar, without being ‘navy blue’. Now would it come up enough in a dark, north facing room – it depends if you have good interior lighting. I would imagine that it would act closer to a soft black. I had Hale Navy in my office (pre-reno) and at that point, my office was VERY VERY dark. Sure, it was south facing, but the window was 2 1/2′ wide and underneath our patio. Hale Navy looked pretty darned cool, darker of course, but wicked – check it out and let me know what you think…
Too much clutter going on in the small family room with all of the accoutrements, it makes the room look smaller. I think you need to loose some of the boxes/decorative items on top of your cabinet next to the fire place and under the large picture. Also, get rid of those globes on top of your book case; sometimes less is more…
I really like your paint colours and furniture though but I am not a fan of clutter/busy decorating…
Thanks for the ideas Theresa! Personally, I like to find a nice balance between too much and too little – I like the homey feel that I get when I’m in the room with the family, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea! Almost all of it has meaning and that’s pretty important to us – I appreciate your input!
Lovely and livable ! Enjoy your new space. I am so looking forward to the next post. And so glad I decided to do an e-consultation with you. These photos confirm that I made the right choice.
Kylie it’s lovely. Fresh but not cold, homey but not homely, accessorized but not staged. I have to tell you… you made me laugh and darn near tear up over your Target comment. I bought the best stuff there. An interior designer on a consultation appointment admiringly asked me where I found some of my choices.and you should have seen her face when I kept answering, “Target!”. I remember having some really melancholy conversations with fellow shoppers during Target’s liquidation period. Many of them, like you and me, had discovered it was a place of little treasures at great prices. If you knew what was popular at the big name home decor stores, you could get similar items at “start the car!” prices. Miss them and the sales associates who went out of their way to be super friendly. I would drop in just after opening at 8am, after my morning school car pool, and be greeted by an energized group of smiling faces fresh from their morning pep rally/meeting. I wonder if they’ve found new jobs and if they landed on their feet. It hit a lot of them pretty hard here in Montreal. I don’t usually comment on your posts, though I enjoy them a great deal, but I had to commiserate with you over Target. RIP home of the great find!
Hi Catherine, I KNOW! Seriously, the day we found out it was going, I had friends texting ‘are you going to be okay???’. I LOVED MY TARGET!. The staff was awesome and I just loved scrouring the aisles for good deals, and there were ALWAYS good deals. Mind you, our bank account is thankful that Target went away 🙂 And I’m glad you loved our home!
Let’s have a virtual ‘cheer’s to Target – WE MISS YOU TARGET!
I love the make over, I have red and yellow all over my house, and it’s time for a change. What color did you pain your ceiling and trim in this room?
Hi Kathryn! All of the trim is BM Cloud White – however we didn’t paint the ceiling, we just kept what was there which is a textured ceiling that is not a stark white and likely closer to Cloud White than not 🙂
Ah-mazing!!!! Total. Transformation. Like WOW! I love it. It is such a drastic difference and gives hope to all who think their rooms cannot everr change…Inspiring is what it is. Dang girlllll lol. That truly is a family room. And your sense of humor always always brings a smile to my face and makes me laugh out loud lol. Always. Talented you are. Can’t wait for the next post.
Thank you Robin – we do love it 🙂 And I can’t wait for the next post here – I figure the title ‘Wine Shrine on a Dime’ should be catchy 😉
I love the new look. Fresh and clean yet with warm elements. Very homey and comfortable looking. What is the flooring material? Hardwood or Vinyl? I’m thinking of replacing the carpet in my basement family room but I’m afraid it will be too cold on the feet.
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…
Love the Ming coffee table. At $200, it was a steal! It looks like one of those that was made by Henredon or Baker or the like in the 1960s-70s that sells on Chairish or 1stdibs for much, much more. I have a similar one. Some of my favorite memories growing up are of all of us youngsters sitting around a giant coffee table at my aunt’s house at Christmas, snacking on holiday treats.
I know – $200! Just recently the hubs was like, ‘I think I’m kind of over this coffee table’ and I was like ‘heckkkkk no, it isn’t going ANYWHERE!’. And this is weird because usually it’s me that wants to change things up!
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? 🙂
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 😉
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!
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…
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?
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!
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?
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.