Nest Tour: Family Room
When Taylor and I were house hunting, one of the things that he really, really wanted was an open kitchen. We had one in our apartment, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t a 100% absolutely must have for me.
So when we found our house, which had just been price-dropped into our price range, and it had a open kitchen, a basement, good schools and all sorts of other checked boxes, we were thrilled.
And after living with the open kitchen for a few more years, I honestly don’t think I would ever want to do without it. It is so nice to be in the same room when one person is cooking and the other is chilling out. And before you think that I do all the chilling out, I am the short order breakfast cook on the weekends.
Since the furniture I had from my apartments was originally my grandparents’ formal living room furniture, back into the formal living room it went when we moved in. Which left an entire family room to furnish. And I think we *finally* have.
Let’s start with a Before, shall we?
Picture it. Sicily. Moving Day, October 2009. The Gators game is on, which means time stands still and no unpacking shall be done if your name is Taylor. So, thanks to our open kitchen, I could still unpack while Taylor watched Tebow and drank champagne. But, you see the room. It’s YELLOW. Ceilings. Walls. Brick fireplace. Brass doors. The only cool things are Leslie, the Overstock tabouret stool and the top half of the trundle bed I bought on Craigslist from Betty Draper.
She’s pissed because I talked her down to 90 bucks.
But here is the room now:
Where to begin? The Hawthorne sofa and loveseat from Room & Board were a big splurge. But, I will say we have been very happy with them. The twill fabric is really nice and has held up beautifully. The rug is the Agra rug from Pottery Barn (and appears to no longer be available). The chair from Overstock you can read all about in this post. The coffee table was another Craigslist find. I enjoy how the triangular shape of the base mirrors the branches with the coral flowers in the rug. Taylor thinks I’m reading too much into it, but hey—I was an English major. It’s what I do.
And speaking of reading too much into things, another motif in the room is circles. Since we had lots of boxy shapes to begin with—the fireplace, the sofas, the coffee table, we tried to balance it out with circles—the Ikea mirror, the artwork, the CB2 pendant light, the CB2 table lamp, and the tree stump table.
We painted this room and the kitchen with Valspar’s Woodlawn Sterling Blue. The kitchen countertops have blue flecks in them, so we wanted to work with it, and since it’s one big room, it all had to be the same color. We spent a looong 3 days and nights painting the ceiling and the paneling.
The fireplace was another project and a half.
We knew we did not want to leave the brick as it was, but instead of simply painting it, we used a treatment I found on Apartment Therapy from the BBDW store in New York. (Read the comment about 2/3 of the way down by Tyler for the instructions, if interested.) All it is is drywall compound applied to the brick, dried and sanded. We sanded a little more than they did at BBDW because we wanted a bit more of a liming-effect, with some of the red showing through to tie into our color scheme.
It was a bit messy.
But worth it.
The fireplace screen was painted with gray automotive primer which can withstand high heat and will hold up with the frequent opening and closing of the doors. Do you spy a footstool? Coasters? A VW bus? An Ikea Lack table?
I guess now would be as good a time as any to explain our color scheme. I already mentioned the choice of blue paint was influence by the countertops, but the rest of the look came from a trip to [My] Dekalb Farmer’s Market, specifically the seafood department.
Yep. Blue crabs. I just loved their blue and orangey-red claws, tempered with the brown/olive shell. And the variations of blues and oranges is just gorgeous. But since we live hundreds of miles from the ocean, and our views are of the tree tops, not the sea, we just took cues from the colors and left the nautical themes behind.
You can see some of the deeper blues from the crab legs in the blue velvet pillows on the couch. The celebrity Bridesmaids pillow has it in there too, as does Taylor’s new favorite cookbook. The art is vintage postcards from all the cities in which we’ve lived. The frames are from Pier 1. You can read more about them and our trick for hanging them in a straight line without breaking up here. The silver bowl that everyone in America owns is from Ikea.
These folding chairs were in the basement when we moved in. Coincidentally, my Mom had the same ones. They are great for extra seating when we have a few folks over. I wanted them to seem more like a window seat, so I shoved them together and accessorized them as if they were a bench. I recovered them with an olive plaid fabric that Taylor had to talk me into, but was totally the right choice. The throw blanket was an end-of-season clearance item from Publix of all places. The pillow is the flip side of this popular one from Dwell Studio for Target.
A few monochromatic touches on the mantel keep it pretty without appearing too cluttered or pulling your eye while you’re watching TV. Gotta focus on those Real Housewives, people. All Homegoods finds.
(Please ignore the klassy kord kovers.) I chose books that fit with our color scheme—blues, creams, whites—and turned all but one around a’la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Such a good movie.
So that’s the family room! Thanks for spending a few HOURS reading this. It was a tad lengthy. I know I say every room is my favorite room, but this one might actually be. It definitely gets the most use, that’s for sure.
Have a great weekend. It’s Friday. This makes me happy.
EDITED: I’m also sharing this room on Cottage & Vine’s Room To Room tour.