I made an exception today. I usually sit down to write at the same spot around the same time of day, but for this post, it felt only natural to sink into my well-established reading spot in the family room to gather my thoughts around this reveal. We began making updates to this space last fall and it’s been quite the process from start to finish.
Our family room has been a place where I have taken the biggest leaps design-wise—an exercise in aligning my gut and heart with the will to abandon the desire to satiate popular opinion. I don’t feel any less nervous to share the result of the design which, in my experience, is a good indication I succeeded in putting my heart into this space. While this room was designed for our family’s needs, the process also deepened my curiosity around the roles color, texture, and pattern play in catering to our emotional needs. All in all, I’m really proud of how this room turned out.
Before we get to all of the juicy reveal photos, let’s take one final walk down memory lane…
Here’s the family room in its original glory in a bold YELLOW color. This is one of the photos from the listing.
Once we moved in, we added some of our existing furniture to the space.
Then we moved some things around (a couple of times).
Last fall, we removed the built-in shelves and painted the room green.
Then we painted the trim too.
This brings us to present day and a FINISHED family room.
From the start of designing this room, this was what I struggled with the most. The room itself—because of elements like the ornate built-ins—felt very formal for what we needed it to be. We needed a place that could be a true family room—a place for watching TV and lounging—but the room still begged for some traditional elements.
For a while, I let the idea of creating a more formal space clash with what my family actually needed. Once we decided on the layout (one with a cozy sofa in the center of the room), we were able to get the ball rolling toward achieving what we needed functionally.
Yes! I go in and melt into the sofa and read and the kids have found their favorite spots too. And because there are so many tables, there are plenty of spots where you can set down a drink and get cozy for a while. It’s a room where the whole family can relax.
We focused on adding the right lighting, adding enough storage for the kids’ toys, and bringing in enough modern elements so the room didn’t feel too stuffy or formal.
The clean lines of certain furnishings, the vanilla rattan of the coffee table, the modern boho diamond pattern on a console table, the post-modern lamps with an interesting shape, the Picasso print—all of these things helped create a lightness around the rich, dark sofa and red rug. The warmth really comes from the variety of textiles and natural materials that soften the green sofa and red rug combo.
We also brought in some vintage chairs that are Dutch from the ‘70s that add a bit of funkiness to the space. I love how those mix with the super ornate gold mirror that’s above the fireplace, the ornate flowers in the adjacent art, and other more traditional design elements. The tension is what makes the room interesting.
There were a couple of things. We were originally going to put a console table under the TV until we realized that the length of the wall shelves (which were originally going to be hung behind the sofa) was the exact length of the TV It just ended up being one of those happy accidents.
We added a Picasso print I already owned behind the sofa instead of the wall shelves. I love the print and felt like it was the right size, scale, and lightness to create a focal point on that wall.
We also changed our plan for the seating area in the bay window. Rather than adding a cafe table and chairs in the family room, we decided to put them in the peach room. In their place are two vintage lounge chairs; they face the sofa and help create a really conversational seating arrangement while also drawing focus away from the TV (a win-win in my book).
I love what we did with the TV wall. Adding the shelves helps mask a design element that’s often considered a sore spot.
The storage cabinet is also working so well for us and I love the texture the piece adds to the space.
Additionally, the red rug brings me joy every day. It feels so rich and when you step into the room, the cozy rug makes it feel like you’re meant to chill out (as opposed to nearby rooms which have tile flooring).
Yes! Save for one potential detail. The ceiling is big and long and it kind of begs for something, so we may eventually add an overhead light. For now, we have warm mood lighting in place that works really well. All of the lamps make the room feel really cozy.
I also can’t wait to see what seasonal decor changes the holiday season brings to this space! It is where, last year, we gathered in our pajamas and opened presents with plates of donuts on our laps and mimosas in hand. My wheels are already turning!
We were gifted certain pieces in this room, including those from Crate & Barrel and the One Kings Lane sofa.
Sofa: One Kings Lane
Console Table Behind Sofa: Crate & Barrel
Console Table Near the Entrance: Crate & Barrel
Storage Cabinet: Crate & Barrel
Coffee Table: Lulu & Georgia (glass top added separately)
Lounge Chairs: Vintage via Golden Age Design
Room Divider: The Inside
White Side Table: Lulu & Georgia
Marble Side Table: West Elm (purchased years ago)
Black Side Table: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Folding Table: Vintage
Red Rug: Nordic Knots
Sisal Rug: Safavieh
Matching Floor Lamps: Crate & Barrel
Floor Lamp: Mooielight
Table Lamp: Safavieh
Artwork Next to the Fireplace: Minted She’s Blooming print and The Fox Takes Off Her Gloves print
Artwork Above Console Table: St. Frank
Picasso Print: Chairish (purchased years ago)
Floor Mirror: Crate & Barrel
Mirror Above Fireplace: Vintage
Wall Shelves: Crate & Barrel
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BY Kate Arends - September 13, 2021
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.