Tonally Traditional Family Room – Reveal!
A new client project reveal feels like a nice way to jump back into blogging! You may recall I set the stage for this makeover back in November, but then I got greedy and didn't want it drowned out in all the holiday frenzy.
This one's a slight departure from my typical bold color, multi-pattern, quirky vintage MO (don't worry, it's still there, just in more measured doses). Even so, it was a thrill to work in a more refined direction and create a space that's both serene and stately, with just the right amount of we-don't-take-ourselves-too-seriously coziness.
Let's look back at where we started.
One of the last remaining spaces in their home to be decorated, Adrianne and Charlie's family room housed much of the leftover furniture they'd accumulated over the years. The window treatments were a remnant from the old homeowner, and the carpet had seen better days. It wasn't at all indicative of the chic stylings in the rest of their classic whitewashed brick colonial. But despite it begin last on the list for an update it was probably the most used room in the house – family game nights, movie marathons, piano and saxophone jam sessions... So it was important that it be a family friendly, cozy retreat, yet still incorporate the traditional aesthetic of the rest of the home.
Now it's a calming haven with a soothing color palette of blues, greens, and greys – colors all close to each other on the color wheel. And the focus is on the nuanced differences between each tone rather than my usual high contrast approach, hence: Tonally Traditional Family Room.
The long and narrow layout of the room really navigated the design. And can we talk about those paned floor to ceiling corner windows? Amazing. Playing up that symmetry felt like the best course of action.
In most rooms it's important to arrange seating in ways that promote good conversation flow – often this means chairs across or flanking a sofa, or maybe a love seat adjacent to a sofa etc. But let's be real, in a family room where the main objective is to melt into a heap on the couch, remote in hand, after a long workday, conversation isn't the highest aim. Diminishing the presence of a television is sometimes a noble pursuit, but in a family room, why fight it? So I suggested one statement U-shaped sectional, beefy enough to adequately fill the length of the room, provide a prime view of the TV for everyone in the family, and seamlessly complement the room's existing symmetry.
We had a custom sectional made by Younger Furniture, purchased through Hutch, the local furniture store where I work. It's a beauty. The button tufted cushions, english roll arms, and turned legs all give it that refined traditional look that works so well with the home, and the subdued burst of color from the teal upholstery keeps it fresh. Oh yeah, also, it's crazy comfortable.
Pretty AND cozy. Win!
The next big design element was the carpet. Removing, not replacing wall to wall carpet seems to be on most people's design agendas. But again, in a family room where comfort is king, you really can't beat the warmth and coziness of new carpet. After pouring over several samples in a range of blues and greys we landed on a charcoal from Karastan. It's 100% wool so the quality is excellent, and it's oh so comfortable underfoot.
I love this vintage hexagon coffee table more than most things right now. I picked it up at an estate sale a couple of years back, completely in hopes that the right project would eventually come along. That shape just feels really current, and the beautiful grain and detailing on the top, so good. It's maybe hard to tell in the photos, but this is a big coffee table, just under 4' in diameter – so the scale is perfect with the large sectional. The warm honey wood-tone contrasts well with all the other cool greys and blues, and in a room comprised of mostly contemporary pieces, it's a welcome bit of heritage.
There was a moment when the sectional first arrived where Adrianne and Charlie briefly hesitated regarding having a coffee table at all; they'd grown to like the open spacious feel without. I decided to still place and style it, then let them think on it. After a few days I got the verdict, they were keeping it! And they had the most charming reason – they'd played a game that night with their three kids and every one had their own side to sit at. It felt like it was meant to be!
In addition to the room's length, one of the other major design challenges in the space was the lack of lighting. There wasn't an overhead fixture so table and floor lamps were pulling a lot of weight. I knew I wanted to keep the end tables the same on each side of the sectional and use matching table lamps. #symmetry Trying to also incorporate floor lamps seemed like too much. Streamlined sconces in satin brass, though... yes please! We added the Sonneman Palo Wall Lamps behind the sectional as well as on each side of the TV and the best part is they're plug-in so no messy electrical hardwiring required.
The adorably quirky sheep art was something Adrianne and Charlie picked out. When I first sent them my mood board it had an image of a pretty, but arguably generic abstract painting. They loved the idea of a statement piece on that wall, but really wanted it to actually hold some personal meaning for them. Serendipitously, while on vacation in Maine they wandered into a library that happened to be featuring the work of nearby artist, Jude Nickerson. They struck up a conversation with Ms. Nickerson, and despite having no previous distinct affinity for sheep, they grew quickly enamored with her pastoral depictions, and fond of the connection the painting would now have with their trip.
On the other side of the room the piano got a little styling update (because I never met a flat surface I didn't want to layer with all the things). Since the painting above the sectional was such a standout piece I decided to go simpler on this wall. A large brass square mirror works perfectly. Positioned straight across from the back french door it bounces even more light around the room and the streamlined brass perimeter is a nice tie in with the scones and other gold touches throughout.
I'm so happy with how this space turned out and even more so with Adrianne and Charlie's excitement! It's now the perfect room to snuggle up for family movie night, or leisurely lounge, book in hand, on a sunny and slow afternoon.
Here's one last parting Before/After to highlight the transformation:
* Photos by Bethany Gilbert