Family Room Updates

Hi guys! Happy Friday! We wanted to show you the progress we’ve made in our family room. This room has always been sort of neglected and messy and we never used to hang out in it at all, so it’s so great to finally see this room coming together into the modern, cozy vision we had for it. Actually, we took these photos a couple of weeks ago and the room already looks way different, so expect another update soon!

Our house is a split level, so we have a “formal” living room on the main floor, next to the kitchen and then a few steps down from the kitchen is our family room, which is essentially the kid(s) playroom where we keep most of Joey’s toys and where she and I spend a lot of time during the day. Our family room is also our guest room (there’s now a sofa bed) and home office, so it’s serving a lot of different functions.

You may remember this is what our family room used to look like:

What a mess.

Here’s a wide shot of the room when we moved in and a breakdown of our plans:

So the first order of business was to clean everything out again, put that unused treadmill as well as that stained old rug out with the trash and do a big clean up and clean out. Then we removed the built-ins on either side of the fireplace. Easy peasy, right? Of course not! It turned out the drywall only went up to the bottom of the built-ins, and after we started to replace the drywall ourselves we instead decided to have our contractor come out and add some electrical on both sides so we can have sconces, which I’m so happy we did. Also, when we went to replace the overhead lights, we discovered that the electrical was a mess so they needed to be rewired too, and there was a way-too-big hole in the ceiling drywall where the fan used to be, which also needed to be repaired.

Once all of that was finished, which took months because our contractor was busy with other jobs, we finally got to paint all the walls, bought a new couch/sofa bed, replaced the curtains, added sconces and new flushmount lights overhead, mounted the TV and rearranged the room. Here’s what it looks like now (or, well, a couple of weeks ago):

Sorry for the overhead lights turned on. It’s so hard to get decent light in this room.

We love the color the chalkboard wall brings to the room, and it was also a huge hit with the older kids at Joey’s birthday party — as you can see we’ve kept all of their chalk masterpieces!

We actually had a huge disaster while painting this wall, though. Andy went to Lowe’s to get the paint, asked for chalkboard paint in the color we had picked out, came home, primed and put on the first coat. Before he started the second coat, I was helping to shake up the can and noticed it wasn’t chalk BOARD paint, it was chalk FINISH paint … which is for furniture NOT walls!! Lowe’s had given him the wrong thing. Andy of course was SO MAD. I almost didn’t even want to tell him because I felt so bad after all the work he’d done. He’d spent all day painting this wall only to have to do it all over again. And at that point I wasn’t feeling well enough to help (first trimester). He took the paint he had back to the store and they were very understanding and apologetic. Unfortunately the original color we chose isn’t available in chalkboard paint, OF COURSE, so Andy picked the most similar one on the spot and luckily it all turned out for the best. Except he had to re-prime and re-paint everything. All in all, this room that we thought would be an easy paint job took almost an entire week because the whole thing needed to be primed, all the trim painted, ceiling, etc.

Originally we were going to paint the rest of the room white, like the rest of the house, but at the last minute decided to go with a pale grey. It’s super subtle. In person you almost can’t tell that it’s not white, but it gives the room just a slightly more cozy vibe and makes it feel like a separate space.

When we first painted the room from tan to pale grey, it felt so much brighter and lighter that we decided to hold off on painting the fireplace. Plus, we were so sick of painting by then! We liked the way the (faux) brick looked with the light walls and darker chalkboard wall because it was so much better than it used to be, but after living with it a few weeks, we’re back to disliking the fake bricks and really, really wanting to paint them all white.

The new Ikea sleeper sofa is one of our favorite things. It’s comfortable for sitting and it’s fun to pull it out to a bed and curl up to watch movies. When the kids are older, it’ll be great for family movie nights.

In this corner we keep Joey’s toys in these baskets and we’re thinking about adding some book shelves to turn this spot into a little reading nook, too. I love seeing Joey go into these baskets and pull out the toys she wants to play with … and sometimes even put them away! All the bigger toys we just pile up in this corner, too, though we shoved them all out of the way for pictures. Ugh, kid toys are the worst colors.

I’m obsessed with the sconces we added to both sides of the fireplace. The brass and white is gorgeous (and they’re less than $100!). I love how they play with the brass fireplace surround, which will really pop when we paint the fireplace white.

As I mentioned, since we took these pictures, we added a bright rug in front of the couch and we started to hang some art. We want this room to feel really cozy, comfortable and colorful. Check out our original moodboard — we’ve swayed from it a bit with color but we’re still going with the same “modern-cozy” vibe. Andy and I generally like a minimal style and don’t hang a ton of stuff on the walls in the rest of the house, but I think it would be fun to fill this room with colorful and personal things since it’s the family/playroom. We also want to reupholster the chair (the adult-sized chair), though we can’t decide what… I’m thinking something bright and cheerful of course! (Hm, pink??)

On the other side of the room, the side that’s not pictured, we’re working on setting up our home office, so we’ll have pictures of that soon, too!

Sources:
Paint (light grey): Valspar “Polar Star”
Chalkboard wall: Valspar tintable chalkboard paint in “Night Scape”
Sleeper sofa: Ikea Friheten in “Skiftebo Dark Gray”
Flushmount lights: CB2
Wall sconces: All Modern
Child’s chair: Pottery Barn Kids
Curtains: JCPenney
TV stand: antique
Adult chair: antique

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