(I made those pillows out of current Ikea fabric (the one on the left is "blue", on the right is "light yellow"), the train case to the right of the couch was made by very talented Meg Rooks, it holds our small games and playing cards. Under the pillow on the right is the quilt I made for especially for this space.)
Our family room is the most used room in the house, besides the kitchen. We're lucky to have it. Its tucked in the back of our house, right off the kitchen, with doors leading out to the backyard. It definitely gets messy. Mornings are spent there, homework requiring the computer is done there, Gracie does her serious bird watching there, wii tournaments are played there, evening movie marathons with popcorn happen there, we've also been known to sleep in there during heavy wind storms.
I knew right away that any sort of spruce-up work I did in this room would need to happen quickly, because too much disruption and my family would simply not be on board. (They barely were anyway, I mean, they were totally happy with the way it was.) Once I decided on the paint color, I proceeded to prep, paint, and clean up all within a 24 hour period (and I had the sore muscles to prove it). I did it within this time frame mostly because Peter didn't think I could do, but also to get it back to working order fast. The couch and chair were already donning new Ikea slipcovers (Ikea, I will love you forever for that, you know), see their durable yet sorely faded denim ones here (and please add 3 years of wear to that photo), or here. I also purchased more neutral lampshades for the lamps.
Next I moved on to decluttering. A LOT of decluttering. We had a large, tall, very uninteresting Ikea armoire in the back corner that held VHS tapes, DVDs, board games, etc. (What's a VHS tape?) We realized we could donate/discard quite a bit of what was in there, and what little we kept is now housed in a new Ikea Billy bookcase (see below). I opted for the glass doors on the bottom half and put a piece of thrifted linen toile behind each glass pane, to hide our board games, craft supplies, etc. The shelves are also glass, and I added lights to the inside top of the cabinet. I will forever futz with the placement and assortment of what goes on those shelves. For the moment there is one of my favorite tiny paintings from Heather Smith Jones in a thrifted frame I painted black (and will probably repaint)-
(that tiny wooden doll on the right, above, was a gift for me from my niece Kate when I married Peter. She was 5. Keep in mind that she can legally drink wine with me now.)
I've already discussed my love for this coffee table. It is only a few inches narrower than the one we used to have in here, but ah! those few inches make such a difference in the space around it. We always felt we were walking around the old one. The beloved beanbag has been moved to Emma's room (not discarded, oh no!), and I will eventually make a new cover for it, but it was time to change things up on that side of the room.
The table we use for the kid's computer was Peter's grandmother's table. Its very worn and I actually really like it that way. On it are pens and pencils for the kids. (They each also have desks in their rooms where most of their homework is done.) The curtains I made succeeded in adding some height to that side of the room.
I hemmed the curtains on all 4 sides as a big rectangle and hung them on clips. It couldn't have been easier. You can see I printed a bit of blue (another one of Lotta's stencils) on them, but just a little. I just felt they needed something once I was done printing the leaves.
I splurged on some Tracy Melton pieces (and have since decided I need more original art in my life). I smile every time I look at these, they are so perfect for this space, I love love love them! My friend Sam has a series of these in her house and the minute I saw them I fell in love with them, they are best in person.
that ship vase, above left, is new, a birthday gift from Diana Fayt. I love it.
(cranes leftover from this year's school auction, I couldn't bear to throw them out!)
I am told that this chest of drawers is one of the first pieces of furniture Peter's parents ever bought together. I've never verified that information, but since Peter and I have been married, it has seen life as a dresser for Emma, for us, and in recent years it has lived in this room, where it holds DVDs, craft supplies and puzzles, etc.
(A cribbage board Emma made last year, with tiny seashells for the pegs.)
Silhouettes of the kids done by Angela at Simple Silhouettes. I love the green!
My collection of German weather houses and nesting dolls. That floral piece on the wall is one I found while thrifting recently. I'm still trying to decide if I should paint it.
That bucket holding my blanket-in-progress was made by Maya.
The photo above is a rather odd area over in the far corner of the room. On the outside of our house, this would be where you enter the crawlspace under the house. We've never known what exactly, if anything, to do with it (it made a great play surface for the kids when they were younger). I have an idea to put a large foam cushion on the surface, and padded backrests on the wall, to create some sort of lounging area, but for now we just try to keep it uncluttered.
I'm so glad I spent some time on this space. It was sorely in need of a little attention. It has been a good room to us, I knew it was time to return the favor. I really like being in here now, if feels lighter, brighter, and cleaned up. Our budget was tiny, but our imagination was big, and dare I admit, that's a more inspiring way to create a space for us. An unlimited budget and we would probably still be staring at those blue walls, wondering what to do.
You still have time to win Anna Maria's book!
Have a great day!