WOT: Family Room Improvements

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Today's Working On Things centers around our home...

We have lived in our home for three years.  It's 1,280 square feet, with three bedrooms and one bathroom.  At first, our house felt like a mansion, moving from a one-bedroom apartment with our 15 month old.  But now with five people, we are definitely feeling more tight these days!  It was built in 1949 and everything is still original to the home.  Lots of creaky floors, warped doors, cracked walls and ceilings, and peeling paint.  We are so grateful to call it ours!



I actually love that our little home forces us to keep things organized.  We don't have a lot of junk (although we definitely still have some junk drawers), because we simply don't have the space for it.  I'm regularly purging, but nesting twice in this home has really cut down on what eats up our real estate.  Having a smaller space also helps me in what I buy for my kids; their toys are chosen carefully because if something is going to take up space, it had better be worth it and played with often.


We've largely furnished our home with hand-me-downs and craigslist finds, with other things coming from Salvation Army, Ikea, and Homegoods.  We made our first "real" grown-up furniture purchase a year and a half ago--our West Elm velvet sleeper sofa, and I love it.  We are saving our money to do some gradual updates to our home, such as finally adding some lights into our ceiling, ha!  Shopping with a low budget certainly makes you more creative, but it also makes those things you finally spring for feel all the more worth it.





That being said, there are some things I'd like gradually update with the decor of our home, starting in the family room.  



I recently added Ikea cupboards to the sides of the fireplace and we are getting bids from handy-men on helping us reface it with wood, put in a new mantle, and replace the old tile.  (I'm hoping on doing a bunch of that myself, but we'll see!) I also want to add white planking above the mantle to finally hide the TV cords that drive me nuts.  I'm hoping doing all that will make it look like a built-in.  I only just hung those mirrors above the cupboards and I'm pretty happy with them.  We also have plans to put in some crown molding; just need to go get the dang supplies!






Next is the rug.  It's a good size, was super cheap, and is wool, which is nice because my kids play out here a ton.  But the large graphic print feels a little too past-trend now and the white parts drive me nuts, they get dirty so easily.  I'd like to do another rug the same size and still a muddy gray, but I'd like it to be either more classic (such as an oriental rug) or with much smaller patterns that do NOT include white.


I'd also like to do a bench under the windows.  We had that yellow bench-ottoman there before, preferring to keep the rug totally clear so the kids could play. That was working quite well!  But we recently shifted the ottoman to in front of the sofa during Christmas, and once we put all of the holiday decorations away, we found that we actually really enjoyed putting our feet up and the kids still had room to play.  The teepee is fine there for now, but it takes up a lot of space. And we don't really have a spot to take off our shoes.  Once the diaper bag and carseat are piled around it, it feels really messy.  So I'm thinking of either putting a simple wood-slatted bench there (there's one I've been eyeing for years), or a storage bench so we can put our shoes.  I'm on the hunt!  (Our blind situation also needs some work, but I don't want to fix that until we finally replace our single-paned windows...)



In a few years, we're hoping to tear down this wall and open up the kitchen and family/dining area.  Where this credenza is now, in the long run will be an island.  I think about it every day!


So there you have it, our little family room!  I'll make reports once I've done some more improvements.

18 comments:

  1. Super cute! I love it! Reminds me of my new favorite decor book (a Rachel Martinez recommendation) The Nesting Place.

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    1. Thank you! Funnily enough, Brad got me that book for Christmas. (I haven't started it yet, because I'm still reading the other one he got me... I'm a sloooow reader these days!)

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  2. I love your home. It was so fun to see it! We had the TV cord problem until we fixed it by making a hole in the wall behind the TV, and a other behind the entertainment center. We put the cord through the two holes and boom! Not more cord problem. Now, if we ever move the entertainment center I'll have to learn how to patch drywall!

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    1. I have almost knocked a hole in the wall (and other walls), out of pure annoyance! We'll eventually be making one, but doing it with the handyman who actually knows what he's doing.... Patching drywall isn't too bad, from what I've heard.

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  3. You really have a nice decorating skill! Love your home. Beautiful!

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  4. I love your yellow door and the color of your walls! Do you know the paint color? I'm always on the lookout for good colors. :) This room is so cute, and I love that it's kid-friendly without screaming "Three Kids Live Here!!!!!!" :)

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    1. Oops, sorry! I'll look in my garage and write back tomorrow. I actually don't love my family room walls... The blue is subtle, but I want a little more gray than blue-blue... Still debating!

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  5. That yellow door! Serious heart eyes. Come fix my house for me.

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    1. Um, seriously I'd love to help via the internet! Email me if you have some conundrums or need a tie-breaker. I live for this stuff! I don't know everything, but I'd love to try.

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  6. I love it Monica! That truly is a talent. We're going to be making over our front room too. I CANNOT wait. I put nothing back up after Christmas b/c I want to get started stat! New paint, new rug (thanks for the tip on the white parts btw), new decor. I just want something new and fresh in there. And you're going to do your own crown molding?!?! Truly, truly amazing! I want to get some but I would definitely hire that out. Dan and I do NOT have patience for that kind of project. Or any house project really. :)

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    1. Oh, we are most definitely not doing our own crown molding. The handy-man we have for the fireplace (if he'll ever return my call with an official bid) says he'll do our family room for $300. What?!!!

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  7. I think it is DARLING!!! I would love to live there! You have great taste and a good eye!

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    1. Carly, you are SO nice! I know you have the best taste so that means a lot to me.

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  8. I hear you on the rug situation! I've been eyeing the kilim rugs at west elm. I think I've already told you I love those mirrors!

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    1. Seriously, I've been eyeing those rugs as well! I was going to go check them out in the store just to figure out which one to eventually spring for when a sale happens, or when R succeeds in making a terrible stain on our current one.

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  9. First of all I love your home and style! Second I never thought of opening up the wall to the kitchen but that is GENIUSSSSS!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Aubrey! I'm dying to do it. Brad might come home to a big hole in the wall...

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