Our family room was an addition to the original house, which was added probably about 30 years ago. It's a nice big room, with doors to our porch and a fireplace (which shares a chimney with an outdoor fireplace - one of the best features of this house!)
When we first moved in, our family room looked like this:
It was perfectly nice, but just not us.
The first thing I did, maybe a day or two after we got the keys, was to paint the fireplace white and the walls a purpley grey. At this point, I had no idea where my camera was, so I only took a couple of quick, terribly lit photos of what I was doing.
I was pleasantly surprised to find these two beautiful air return vents that had previously been hidden behind old photos!I couldn't cover these up again, and luckily, I had a mirror that fit perfectly between them.
Here's a photo during the painting process. We had a LOT of cream to get rid of (all baseboards, vents, etc.) and with the fireplace and walls, it was a huge job. Luckily, I had a friend to help me out (you can see her shadow on the right!)
I'm not sure if you've ever painted brick before but there was absolutely no trick to it - I used cheap white paint and a regular brush and it's held up perfectly.
Here's a photo from Christmas comparing the two - at this point, I had painted the walls and fireplace, but hadn't yet gotten to that gold colored insert.
By February, I was getting ready to call this room finished - we had sprayed the gold insert black, added a homemade coffee table, and done just about everything I could think of (with the exception of fixing the lighting, which I'll get to in a bit.)
One day, though, I was sitting watching TV and staring at the blank walls when I decided... I should do more board and batten. I had just had great success with adding it in my front hallway, and I was sure that it would look amazing in my living room.
Once I get an idea, it's hard for me to sit on it. Within a few hours, I had gone to Home Depot and purchased all of the wood I needed to board-and-batten up the entire family room.
(I'm going to say that there's really no excuse for the poor quality of these pictures, except that I think my camera was at work that weekend.)
Once I had board-and-battened the entire room, we finally decided to address the lighting issue. The biggest issue is that there wasn't any. When we moved into the house, there was a weird, completely off centered medallion on the ceiling. It may look somewhat centered in this photo, but believe me, that's a trick of the wide angle lens.
Anyway, Joel finally came up with an idea for a 5 foot by 5 foot box that would cover the ceiling and center out the lighting. He covered the box with pallet wood in a herringbone style and added 5 potlights, giving us gloooorious light!
Here's a picture from the hanging up phase - you can see here how completely off centered the light was.
With the lighting coming together, I realized I was uninspired by the current purpley-grey color I had painted the room. As my final piece, I repainted the walls, using a Sherwin Williams color that had been color matched to Martha Stewart's Plumage.
First off, here's a couple of photos where you can see the light Joel made:
And now, the finished room!
This room really didn't cost too much to update. Among the things we did:
- painting the fireplace ($10 for a 5 gallon "mistint" of off white - the fireplace required maybe 1% of the amount of paint!)
- painting the room grey (another $10 5 gallon mistint)
- board and batten ($60 for supplies)
- pallet light (our biggest expense - $200 including the LED lights)
- blue paint ($1!! The paint store near me was clearing out cans of white for a buck a piece, which they will tint at any time for me.. I bought all 24 cans.)
- white paint for the board and batten (another $1 score)
- plus I'd factor in another $50 or so for all of the painting supplies, wood filler, etc. that was used along the way
What do you guys think - was the darker color a good choice? Or did you prefer the light?
Have you ever had a difficult design challenge (such as an off centered light) that you've had to overcome?