House For Six

Reader Spot: A Colorful Family Room!

Deme Crinion3 Comments
The funny (and wonderful) thing about the blogsphere is that you end up "meeting" people you otherwise never would have met.  Kathryn blogs over at Team Whitaker and we first "met" through the What I Wore Sunday link-up.  Oh, but wait......she not only has a great sense of style, but she blogs about matters of faith and family AND has a love for DIY?!   How could we not be friends?   

When I saw her recent family room makeover, I couldn't wait to share it!  It seems there's been a big turn towards grey when it comes to wall color, but Kathryn's family room reminded me of just how beautiful and inviting a room can become with a warmer color palette.  So, we had to bug her for the details...


What was the space like before you began?
I affectionately called the space no-color hell. It was completely blank - white walls, white carpet, white tile - with zero personality. In a way, that made design easier because I didn't have to cover up things I didn't like. We just ripped them out! 

What were some of the things that inspired the colors and other design choices for the project?
When we move, we always replace the carpet in our new home. It's just a thing I have. I can't live on other people's carpet (or their toilet seats). I knew with five kids, white carpet had to go and therefore chose a great, very durable, neutral brown. For the walls, those were a bit tricky. Because the space also connects to the foyer and formal living area, all with 20-foot ceilings, we had to consider the same color for the entire space. I went with a warm, but neutral beige/brown. 

It allowed the wall moulding to pop. And, the window wall got some special treatment, both in color and fabric. All that neutral called for some big pops of color - namely, red - and I found a great fabric that I later saw featured on an HGTV show with Sarah Richards. I used it in the pillows, ottoman and chair backs.


Were there any problem areas and how did you address them?
Repeat after me, 20-foot ceilings. That made the space open and airy, but a real challenge when it came to making it warm, cozy and intimate. I opted to paint the feature wall a dark color and really anchor the room with some bold colors and neutrals. 


In addition, that wall moulding made it tough to hang anything. We had a great piece of art, given to us by a friend but it was larger than the moulding space. So, my husband affixed a scrap piece of wood to the back so it didn't rock against the wall. It is our favorite piece in the room.


How did you get your resourceful/thrifty/think outside the box/DIY on?
I couldn't find any big-box store pillows, so I bought fabric instead. We used it throughout the room and I love how it turned out. We sold our old couches to pay for the new ones (thank you Craigslist). The family movies are housed in two baskets I found on sale, 75% off, at Target and the remainder of the decorative accessories were all bought 50-60% off at various places: Pottery Barn, Hobby Lobby and Aaron Brothers. 


When we refaced the fireplace, we bought our tiles in bulk, saving quite a bit of cash. Our one splurge was the travertine in front of the fireplace. We joke that's the only space we can ever afford to tile! We intended for that to be a DIY project, but when we had unexpected surgery for our son, we decided to hire it out. 
For the TV stand, I used a sofa table instead of buying a TV stand. It was a perfect fit from our old house and I love that it's not really the focus of the room, conversation areas are!


How did you make this space work to fit your needs?
We made the fireplace the focal point, by using a stone/glass horizontal glass tile. At first, we were worried about its impact, but now it really makes the room. 

We built everything around that space, allowing for plenty of seating for friends and family. With such a big space, we had to find a way to make it feel cozy, the colors and fabrics really helped us achieve that goal.



What makes the space special and unique to your family?
Our house is the main gathering spot for every major family holiday, birthday party and sacramental celebration. We often host 20-30 people in our home for those events and this room gets a workout. Aside from the kitchen, it is the heart of our home. It's where we sip wine with friends, watch movies with our children, open Christmas presents, sing happy birthday and enjoy some lovely Downton Abbey as a couple.


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Pretty amazing right?  Such a difference from the "no-color hell" that was the before!  When it comes to home eye candy there's the kind that looks incredible but that you're afraid to touch....and then there's the kind that looks incredible, but that you can totally see people living in.  This is one of those spaces.  I can see how this room would get a lot of lived-in love!  

You can find all the details for this space right here on Kathryn's blog.  But consider yourself warned.  Not only does she have this gorgeous redo, but all sorts of tips for organizing, some fab party planning, encouragement for moms and the journey of faith, and more incredible before and afters.  Like this drool-worthy closet makeover:
master closet, after, blog_011


Thanks so much for the inspiration today, Kathryn!


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Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!