October is finally HERE!
Along with the return of hot apple cider, football Sundays, falling leaves (so many, many, many leaves) and Halloween, this means that the new house renovation gets kicked up a notch.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been focusing on dealing with exterior projects (electrical upgrade, utility line burial, small siding patches, securing new roof flashing, tree/landscape removal and rehabbing the garage). Apologies to all of my future neighbors — for the noise, the dust, and the fact that the house is definitely going to look worse before it starts to look better.
Behind the scenes, I’ve been working with my general contractor and assorted suppliers to select specific flooring, cabinetry, fixtures and finishes. As you can imagine, ordering any of these products has a lead time and we want to be sure everything is locked and loaded before walls start coming down. If things keep moving at their current speed, I’m hopeful that the major demo can start in less than 2 weeks!
Can you tell I’m ready!?
When I first walked through the house (what seems like EONS ago), one of my favorite features was the large and bright family room. The expansive space is directly off the kitchen and the perfect spot for all our future family hang outs. I loved the huge wall of sliding glass doors, the view of the backyard and the exposed wooden beams running the length of the room. The room definitely had instant potential but needed some attention and TLC.
In terms of renovation, most of the work in this room will be purely aesthetic. The large built in entertainment system/wall unit will be removed and the opening to the rest of the house will be made wider for better traffic flow. I wanted the space to feel unified with the rest of the house, but just a little more casual and comfortable.
Here is the design plan that I came up with:
Shop The Look:
Couch // Rug // Ceiling Fan // Curtains // Roman Shades // Gold End Table // Nesting End Table // Book Shelves // Coffee Table // Basket Chair // Blue Geometric Pillow // Black + White Pillow // Leather Poufs
Here’s another view of the room, this time looking straight towards the fireplace wall:
Shop The Look:
Some Design Notes:
• The flooring was probably my easiest selection. Clearly, based on the “before” images, light carpet was not a good solution for the constant traffic in that room. Also, since the family room will be the primary access to the backyard and patio/deck after the renovation, we wanted a floor solution that could hold up to wear and mask any outside dirt tracked inside. I wanted something low maintenance and forgiving — both traits I could personally use a little more of! I selected a low-grain, wide-plank hardwood for the entire main floor of the home (mudroom and powder room excluded). I was like the Goldilocks of flooring searching for the right color combination — not too dark, not too light, not too warm/orange. I settled on a pre-stained hickory hardwood, with a slight grey washed finish. I love it.
• I’ll be using an oversized soft rug to create my main seating area. Over the years, I’ve become quite the rug connoisseur. I’ve learned from my previous mistakes (yes, I’m talking to you jute rug — I love the way you look, but HATE the way you feel!) and think I’ve developed good insight into selecting the right type of rug for any specific room in question. In this case, I knew I wanted a neutral rug. It’s a large space and anything too colorful or bold would overwhelm the eye. More importantly, from a budget perspective it’s much easier to repurpose a neutral rug down the line. This LOOPI PEBBLE RUG from ARTICLE sang to me… it was the right color (pebble sand) to tie together all the neutral tones of the space, but dark enough to hide any imperfections (spills, stains, etc.). Wool is also highly durable and can be professionally cleaned to look like new.
Yes, with children in the house, a future professional cleaning is practically a guarantee.
• Once I found the RUG, I was immediately drawn to the LEATHER SECTIONAL featured on the ARTICLE website. I am a big proponent of sectionals in casual, gathering spaces. While I prefer more formal couches/loveseats in formal living rooms, I think sectionals have a casual ease to them and offer way more seating/lounging space for your family and guests. I just adore the aged caramel leather of this couch… it’s the right amount of warmth needed in what’s a predominately cool toned space.
• Can we talk about the walls for a second? Not sure if you can tell from the “before,” but the family room currently has a jumble of wall materials — namely, vertical wood paneling (on the fireplace wall) and ancient grasscloth covered with an unknown number of paint coats everywhere else. In order to unify the space and save thousands of dollars in labor peeling off the antique grasscloth, I decided to go the Joanna Gaines/Fixer Upper route and call in the big guns: shiplap. The white shiplap material can be affixed OVER any existing wall covering and looks pretty sweet, to boot. Hooray, for easy (and inexpensive) fixes!
• Lastly, for the fireplace a coat of paint and a new mantle is what we’re shooting for. The existing brick is going to be painted a bright shade of white, with a black hearth stone and an oversized new mantle — also painted black. One of my currently unresolved design dilemmas is if I should go for it and paint the overhead beams a contrasting shade of black to pop against the white ceiling and tie in with the fireplace? Go big or go home. The other option would be to leave the beams a natural wood tone to match the new floor.
Any thoughts? Ideas?
Aside from the sectional and rug, none of the furniture selection is a done deal. Until the huge wall unit comes out, the entrance is widened and new flooring is laid, I’m not really sure how much or WHAT I want to fit in this space. I’m debating creating a desk area behind the section of the couch closest to the patio door. I currently own a beautiful reclaimed wood desk with black pin metal legs that would work perfectly with the colors and aesthetic of this space.
I imagine I’ll be playing around with scaled renderings for a while… that’s all part of the fun!