The Family Room Reno.

February 7, 2012  —  Written by Julia 

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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Last week, I told you that our family room is one of my least favorite rooms in our home.  It is not very family friendly right now or comfortable.  … Or good looking.  

Granted, it is an improvement from where we started:

But we have recently started talking about putting kitchen plans on hold for awhile and tackling this space asap.  As in, start knocking down walls as soon as we can clear the space.  It’s a hard decision.  We both really want to get our kitchen more open, but the kitchen is usable now and isn’t a total eye sore and we are anxious to have a true area where we can gather and relax (for more details on why this space is so uncomfortable read this post from last week).

So, we set a budget of $4000.  That includes everything.  And there is a LOT we want to do:

Our plans include:

1.  Find a new home for the piano.  *Tear*  Unfortunately, it doesn’t get used much.  When Chris starts to play, Greta always comes and bangs on it.  When Greta is asleep, Chris can’t play.  We have also had to start locking the piano bench in the laundry room so Greta doesn’t climb on top of the piano.  So yeah, time to find a new home for our “second baby“.

2.  Sell our sectional and our large ottoman.  If you are local and interested, here is the listing for the sectional and here is the ad for the leather ottoman.

3.  Take out the half wall behind where the couch currently sits.  It jolts into the room a good 8 inches and is weird to us.

4.  Rewire the cable to the other side of the room.

5.  Remove the ceiling fan (we never use it) and install 6 recessed lights on a dimmer.

6.  Get new carpet!

7.  Install new baseboards.  Tall and simple like the ones in our guest room.

8.  Build (Buy?) some sort of media unit.  It will go on the wall where the couch now sits. The white storage that is currently hanging out under our tv is causing issues.  Greta can now reach the top of it which means she likes to hang on it.  It isn’t good for our blood pressure.

9.  New Furniture!  We are on the hunt for a deep couch/sectional.  We want the inner depth of the cushion to be at least 27″(not the overall depth).  We love the idea of an L-shaped couch and a separate large chaise in a bold color for a set up like this:

10.  Make sure there is plenty of storage for Greta’s toys.

11.  Bonus points:  New french doors leading out to the patio and maybe knock out a window on the far wall above the sectional like we dreamed about here.  These things will of course depend on how the budget is lookin’ once we pick out carpet and furniture.

We are excited about this new project.  I hope that we can get it all done by the end of March–for no reason other than I love a deadline as much as I love a cozy living space.  Everyone on board say, “Woot!”

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What do you think?

  1. Steph says:

    Woot! We are there in a heartbeat to help. Count us in for the start of our attempt to pay you guys back!

  2. We would have the doors swing out. Have you thought about that option?

  3. Gingerbradley16 says:

    consider the swing of the french doors – you have to keep the area clear so it can open – I keep wanting to do frenchdoors, but concerned about the inside space it takes

  4. meaganbriggs3 says:


    I totally think moving the tv to the other side is genius. And a window against that wall would be a dreammmmm. Just think of all that natural light shining through!! (even though your house is SO bright because of all the natural light you have already….) but I love the sectional you posted from west elm (that place is amazing! And great deals too).

    I can’t wait! But I agree, your kitchen is great right now and knocking down walls and living in a construction zone would drive you nuts. YHL’s kitchen is driving ME crazy and I don’t even live there!!! Getting a room finished that only needs cosmetic fixes is a great project for you. And who doesnt love new furniture!?

  5. diane streicher says:

    You’ve obviously thought a lot about how you want the room to work for you..but what about aesthetics. Have you decided on a design inspiration yet…colors, art, textiles?

  6. Mood board in the making! Look for that tomorrow!

  7. Woohoo! Exciting! Your kitchen is totally fine for now! Do the family room!

  8. Oh man. We are crossing our fingers that wall can come out! How did you research for yours? Right now our plans include drilling or cutting a small hole and surveying. Now I am nervous.

  9. Jessica says:

    I LOVE all your decorating ideas, very inspiring!

  10. Wish I was in your area because I would totally snatch up that sectional!

  11. Woot! All great ideas…can’t wait to see how it turns out! xox, katie

  12. michelle says:

    i have 3 sets of french doors in my house and they all swing out. out is good!

    have you researched what is behind that half wall? i am concerned that it may be part of your foundation. or at least part of it may be foundation. i have one in my family/rec room that is only about a foot tall. a pain in the tush, but necessary!

    good luck. looking forward to seeing what you do here!

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