The one room in our house that has never quite 100% worked for me is our family room. In my DREAM family room, I envision tall ceilings, an open floorpan with sight lines from the kitchen, lots of windows, and plenty of room to host family and friends. In this family room? None of that!
It is REALLY long and rectangular, with openings to other rooms that make it difficult to place furniture. It is just odd. You'll notice that if you look back on my posts, I hardly ever even post about this room because it isn't a room that I've very proud of and it certainly doesn't inspire me. Truth be told, we don't even spend THAT much time in here! I decided that needs to change! I'm on a mission to make this a room that I LOVE.
The first thing we did is mount the television above the fireplace (If you're in Cleveland, I highly recommend Installs by Vic! Great service!) That change alone made an absolutely huge difference. It made the room feel taller and more put together instantly! We then got to work on built-ins to house the cable box, DVD player, and cords. I wanted something that would also break up the realllllllly long wall so you would feel like you were in an actual room, not a hallway. (Because seriously, we mostly were using this room as a hallway!)
We found some unfinished base cabinets from Home Depot that perfectly fit between the fireplace and the windows. Then, Evan built another open cabinet on top of the existing cabinet so we could store our DVD boxes and give the cabinets a more custom look. (I wish I could have documented the steps or remembered how much we paid for lumber, but this was during the first trimester of my pregnancy and I was sick.as.a.dog! Please forgive me!) We then added more trim and molding to tie it all into the fireplace mantel and make it look like one seamless unit. Here is a good look at it in the construction phase, so you can see what is old vs. what is new:
Evan also eventually added baseboards around the whole unit to finish it off. We then painted all of the woodwork in our favorite, custom white paint and voila! What a transformation for a couple weekends worth of work and not too much money.
It is also REALLY nice to have more hidden storage for the kids' books and toys, which we used to have in baskets beside the fireplace and TV stand. Still easily accessible, but so much less cluttered. Here is a "before" picture of the room...
Compared to now:
What a huge improvement, right? We still have a lot of work to do in this room but I'll be sharing Phase II soon, which features our new couch! (You can see a sneak peek if you check our current, real life home tour post!) I'm also brainstorming what chairs and other accents I can incorporate to make the room more cohesive and beautiful. Working on that now and can't wait to share!