Decorating & Design

August 26, 2010

Family Room Addition

I’ve just finished decorating a family room that is in this week’s House & Home Online TV episode. I took a few snapshots to use in a blog post, too, as I thought it turned out quite well.

Here are the before shots:

Photo Blog August 26 Family Room Makeover Before

Photo Blog August 26 Family Room Makeover Before

And the after shots:

Photo Blog August 26 Family Room Makeover Sofa

Photo Blog August 26 Family Room Makeover Drapes

Photo Blog August 26 Family Room Makeover Lamp

There’s a lot going on in the room but it seems to work well together. It’s fresh and eclectic all at once.

The biggest expense was the Sullivan sofa from Rowe Fine Furniture, but at $3,500, it’s still a great price for a sectional. I love it because it’s not gigantic like a lot of sectionals out there. 

Next, we went for custom-made window coverings. Drapes are very important to me because I think good drapery really adds a nice layer to a room. Nothing complicated here, just a simple top-tack drapery heading on a black metal rod. We used a double-wide fabric from Designer Fabrics. Since it was double-width, we could easily use the stripe pattern horizontally which is more fun and a little less traditional looking. It frames the windows and complements everything else in the space. Even though we used a striped fabric, I still see the pattern as “neutral” — you can coordinate a lot with grey, black and cream stripes, so this homeowner won’t tire of the drapery for a very long time.

Most of the other elements are actually pieces that the homeowner already had in storage. The coffee and end tables got a fresh coat of white paint, and the dark green velvet chair was transformed with a classic white slipcover. The fabric looks like cotton but is actually polyester and washes up really well. It’s called Pegasas (91J5361) from Joanne Fabrics. We had Nancy at Cover Your World create the slipcover, and we couldn’t be happier with the new chair.

My favourite “layer” in the room is the gallery wall. The window facing the backyard is a nice focal point, and since there isn’t a fireplace, this wall of art makes for another great focal point. I hung all of these prints in about two hours. It will actually take you longer than you expect to find pieces to put on the wall. I laid the frames out in a random fashion, which certainly speeds things up. I just made sure that every frame was staggered from the one beside it, so that none of the edges lined up — otherwise it would look like you tried to line it up but couldn’t! The homeowner had all of these photos and paintings already (most of them were sitting in a closet), and they looked okay on their own, but in a grouping they looked even better. We actually reframed a few of the pieces because I find a bad frame really dates the style of the artwork — that’s usually when people put them in the closet!

We added colour (aside from the gallery wall) on the sofa with lots of bright cushions from Pottery Barn and West Elm. The floral pattern is actually a fabric we found at Designer Fabrics, and we used it for a few different custom pillows.

I went for a cotton 8’ x 10’ flatweave rug from Elte because I wanted a simple but large tone-on-tone pattern to balance out the striped drapery.

Here are some lessons to take from this room:
1. Keep higher priced items (like the sofa, drapes and rug) neutral.
2. Look around your house and give new life to things you already have (paint and slipcover).
3. Reframe old artwork and look for family photographs to create a gallery wall that will give you an amazing focal point.
4. And our tried and true rule — add colour with pillows and accessories.

To see more great transformations, check out our Extreme Makeovers photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1-5. Cameron MacNeil