Family Room Refresh

by Liz Dowling

Have you ever had a room in your house that you didn’t know what to do with?  You walk into it, stand there, circle around and walk out.  Our family room was that room for me.  It is a huge rectangle with a million windows.  The opposite of cozy.  It is always cold and a little drafty.  We inherited it from the prior owners who added it right before they were unexpectedly transferred to London.  We got the brand new custom TV/Entertainment unit, complete with a Proton TV and all of their stereo equipment.  I couldn’t throw that out, could I?

Original unit with Proton TV

Original unit with Proton TV and huge speakers

I was constantly fussing with the furniture and could never get it right.  The TV unit was so deep, there was no room in front of it for real seating, so I threw two Pier 1 chairs there.  Nobody ever sat in them.  The couches moved around.  When the Proton TV finally died, it was time to fix this!

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The TV unit was pitched.  We added a new gas fireplace (Wittus fireplace, great brand!) to take care of the chill in the room and put a flat screen TV above it.  I bought two swivel chairs from Ballard Designs on sale.  They were delivered in a “natural” fabric which looked ok to me, but the cushion was too transparent and you could see the down mix through the fabric.  I found an inexpensive Calico Corners pattern to cover both of the cushions and stopped there instead of recovering the entire chair.  Now you could swivel yourself in to join the conversation or turn yourself towards the nice, warm fireplace.

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We lost all of the storage in the old TV unit which was an issue for the cable box, receiver, stereo equipment and so on.  I measured all of the pieces we needed to hide and had my carpenter make a storage cabinet as small as possible and still fit everything.  I hid it in a corner of the room and painted it two colors from my throw pillows.  This small fix made our family room the place to hang out, watch movies and entertain.  Now, if I could just get it back from my kids…

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the wry home

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