Most of the rooms in our current home are a little bit bigger than the rooms in our last house. This is a picture of our family room, taken by the realtors selling this home. The space is great. We love the arched doorways and the carpet was brand new.
This room has a skylight and I love the natural light it lets in. While there's really nothing wrong with this space, we still wanted to make a few changes to add better flow and a bit of character. To make this room flow with the rest of the main areas of the house, we painted all of the walls the same color (Dolphin Fin by Behr). This is the same color paint I used in our split level. The other thing we did was rip up the carpet (we gave it to some friends because it was still new) and we installed a water proof laminate from Home Depot. This helped with the flow a lot because the hallway, family room, and dining room had carpet. The kitchen had an older linoleum, and the living room and entry had a newer linoleum. Now they all have the same flooring and it makes these areas seem bigger, even though nothing, as far as square footage, has changed.
Here you can see the newly installed laminate. In person, it has a lot of texture and a bit of that hand scraped look. We're pretty happy with it. However, despite new flooring and a fresh coat of soft grey paint, the room still felt very plain. That long wall with the tv against it felt too long and open. So we did what we've done in every home we've ever owned.
My husband installed built ins. We did them a little different than we've ever done them before though. This time, instead of building the lower cabinets by hand (hard and time consuming), we found the idea to use stock upper cabinets. My husband built a base, about six inches tall. Then he added some stock upper cabinets from Home Depot to the base.
Every household has their own system. The system that works in our household is that my husband does the building and I do the finish work. So here I am calking every seam and nail hole.
Painting tends to be my job too. As long as I have something to listen to, on this particular day - Gilmore Girls - it's a pretty relaxing task.
Again, here is a view of how this room looked when we first walked through it.
Here it is today, just peaking through the arched doorway.
This is mOst of the entire wall. It's so long that it's difficult to get the entire length of built-ins in one picture. But that's a great problem. These offer so much storage. As soon as they were completed, I was finally able to unpack the last of the boxes from our move... The games, binders full of family pictures, books, decorative items, DVD's, CD's, etc. All of that is either displayed on the top shelves, or neatly stored and happily hidden in the bottom cabinets.
This is the wall opposite of the long built-in wall. Just a cozy corner for watching Netflix, hanging out with friends, or doing homework.
Here, again, is the far wall just to give you a bit of a before perspective of this side of the room.
The curtains frame this little area and make it feel cozy.
This is the rest of the wall between the window and the door leading to the back deck.
Just another side view of this whole wall.
You know, It's funny. (But not funny.) No part of this room came together seamlessly for me. Well, except for the flooring and the built-ins... we had visions of doing those things before we signed on the dotted line to take ownership of this house.
The hard part was that it was a different layout than the family room in our previous house that I was used to. I found myself, at first, having no idea where to place furniture or how to decorate. For the longest time, it didn't even feel like home. As I just let things be for awhile, slowly our families routine and our needs for this room, shifted pieces of furniture and such to where they are today. I was silly enough, at first, to think that I needed to get this room just right and perfect, all at once, without letting it just naturally evolve over time. Too often I put unneeded pressure on myself about these kinds of things. I wanted the transition of moving to feel seamless for my family and I. In reality, moving and settling in just takes time. After living here for seven months, this place finally feels like home.