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Family Room Makeover

Our house has a “Bonus Room,” which is North Carolina’s term for an extra finished room upstairs that doesn’t have a closet so it doesn’t qualify as a bedroom. (I’d never heard the word until I moved here.)

Anyway, our bonus room is the family hangout space, and this is how it’s been looking for awhile as we try to decide what to do with it.

An office? A TV room? Yoga room? Kennel? (For the record, Lundy the Lab loves his crate. The door stays open and yet he always wants to “cave out” in there.)

My husband did enormous amounts of behind-the-scenes work to lay a new floor, install new baseboards, fix electrical wiring and bury the cords for the surround system. (Long story but the previous owner didn’t have this room built to code. UGH.)

Can you believe I married him BEFORE I knew he had mad skills?  LUCKY, that’s what.

So, this became my inspiration photo for the color palette. It is Tobi Fairley’s creation of a sitting area within a master bedroom.

(Sidebar: If you want color inspiration and a solid education on good design technique, you must MUST visit Tobi’s blog. Hers is one of the few blogs that I read. every. single. day.)

Anyway, I fell in love with her tangerine orange and light blue color combo. Alas, I couldn’t afford her oversized houndstooth fabric which I am APE for, nor could I find funky end tables like hers anywhere close to my budget.

I wanted our family hang room to be airy, cheery and comfortable…where cottage charm mates with modern. I also wanted to use as many “old” things as possible so the room didn’t look purchased out of some catalog.

So, here’s the before:

And here’s the after:

The room color is Sherwin Williams’ Blue Horizon in flat–a nice breezy pale blue. Best of all, the toile pillow in the middle was handmade by my very talented and dear dear friend Shelley Williams whom I have loved since the day we met in the 6th grade. It is the focal point for the room and ties together the blue walls, tan carpet and white sofa all in one gorgeous piece. I love its traditional look set up against the funky dimensional tangerine pillows ($12 at Homegoods). I’m so happy to have this little piece of my sweet friend here in my hang room. :-)

Here’s the TV wall before:

The TV wall after:

The window wall before:

The window wall after:

Check out the How-To for my custom drapes.

The white sofa end tables are the $14.99 dorm room-type tables from Target. I’m still deciding whether or not to spray them tangerine.

Since the tables were too low, I used a set of books to heighten them and I love the comfortable homey-ness of the look. The black and white Ouzo bottle we brought back from Greece, and it remains one of my favorite things to this day. Its design is retro and modern at the same time. Here’s the table on the left:

And here’s the table on the right:

In my imagination, that clock has been passed down for generations in our family and now holds the place of honor on my new end table. In reality, I bought it at Homegoods last week for $15.The blue and white gingham baskets beneath used to be in Little Guy’s nursery.

The lamps were my splurge at $50 apiece (also Homegoods), but they make JUST the statement I was looking for.

Another before:

And after:

The room feels at least 50% bigger.

You can see that our door trim isn’t quite finished, but I’ll post about it soon. I have plans for the wall above the blue chair too

Remember the ribbons on my Christmas tree? I knew I’d find a home for them…

And let’s be really clear. While this room was in progress, HERE is what the rest of my house looked like:

Feel better?

Let me tell you…potty training a toddler is some KIND of fun when you can’t even find a path to the bathroom!

Okay, back to the pictures that don’t make me crazy. Ahhh….

Yes, a coffee table or ottoman will come in time. For now, this is one of my favorite before and after projects.

I would love to see your blue and orange decor combos!



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