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Nest Tour: Family Room

August 26, 2011

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.

For other rooms in the nest, see tours of the Guest Room (which I rearranged last weekend. whoops.) and the Hall Bathroom.

EDITED: I’m also sharing this room on Cottage & Vine’s Room To Room tour. 

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49 Comments leave one →
  1. Scot permalink
    August 26, 2011 10:35 am

    New to your blog but enjoying your posts so far. Checked out the guest room tour as well. Love the inspiration of the Blue Crabs from YDFM. I’m also a former Chattanoogan now living in Atlanta. Slowly decorating our new house in East Atlanta Village with my wife Emily.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      August 26, 2011 1:16 pm

      Glad to have you! Always nice to see a fellow Chattanoogan!

  2. Elaine Smart permalink
    August 26, 2011 12:55 pm

    Love the room! My favorite item is the original painting next to the mirror.
    Fabulous – color and design!

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      August 26, 2011 1:16 pm

      Thanks for letting us steal it from you!

  3. August 26, 2011 3:41 pm

    I want to be there. Eating Triscuits-slash-dancing to Teenage Dream. At 4:15. A.M.

    Nice Sophia Petrillo shout, PS.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      August 26, 2011 10:36 pm

      You and I will be young forever.

  4. Molly permalink
    August 26, 2011 9:20 pm

    I am new to your blog, but SO excited to see it! This was my Aunt Shirley’s house…we have lots of fun memories from this house! I LOVE what you have done with it…it really looks great! Glad to see someone loving it so much! Enjoy!

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      August 26, 2011 10:36 pm

      Molly, how fun to find someone who knows and loves our house! I’d love to know, how did you found the blog? We have heard stories about “Miss Shirley” from our neighbors. She sounds like quite a gal. Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope your Aunt would be happy with the changes we’ve made. We really enjoy living here!

      • Molly permalink
        August 30, 2011 2:47 pm

        Your neighbor Kyle sent us the link to the blog…I was SO excited to see the house and what all you have done. Aunt Shirley was a ton of fun and would definitely like the changes! We have lots of fun memories from that house. And how fun that a Molly moved in:)!

      • thenestinggame permalink*
        August 31, 2011 9:32 pm

        Yay for Mollys!

  5. Lilly permalink
    September 6, 2011 12:32 pm

    Beautiful home!! I love the fireplace redo. I have a similar brass fireplace cover and was planning on painting it, but wasn’t sure what would work, so thanks for the tip on the automotive primer! Did you have to sand the brass before spray painting?

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 6, 2011 9:07 pm

      Thank you, Lilly! The automotive primer worked great. Taylor says he scuffed it up a bit, but didn’t spend a lot of time sanding it or anything. Good luck!

  6. September 10, 2011 10:20 pm

    Me again! First, I love the Eternal Mind reference; awesome! Second, our new-to-us house has wood paneling in our family room. I can see that your room was wood paneled as well before it was yellow? We are looking at a cool ice-blue or pale gray for our family room, and we’re wondering how many coats it’s going to take.

    btw, we’re in Huntsville, AL, so hello from a few hours south!

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 10, 2011 11:54 pm

      Hi, Huntsville! It took us 1 coat of primer (Kilz 2) and 2 coats of paint. And yes, it was already yellow—so no telling how many coats it would have taken if it hadn’t already been painted. I would DEFINITELY do 2 primer coats if yours is unpainted. We did the grooves first with a brush, then the flat part with a roller. It was not fun, but it’s over. :) Good luck! And thanks for reading!

  7. September 12, 2011 2:32 pm

    The chair and lamp in your space are my favorites. Your furniture is very similar to mine needless to say I love it!

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 12, 2011 3:09 pm

      Thanks, Comeca!

  8. September 12, 2011 4:38 pm

    I love everything about your beautiful room! We painted our brick fireplace, but I wish I’d seen how you did yours. And it’s just too bad that rug is no longer available because it is gorgeous.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 12, 2011 4:39 pm

      Thank you, Jane! What nice things to say.

  9. September 12, 2011 9:58 pm

    Love all the changes!! The mix is just right! And the trunk side table rocks the PARTY!! So glad I found you via Cottage & Vine!!

  10. September 13, 2011 11:24 am

    Thank you for taking the time to share the details. What a nice transformation – the colors, accessories and furnishings are spot on. That drum shade was the perfect touch for your room. Yeah, Betty does look pissed :)

    Thanks for sharing your space in the “Room to Room” series!


    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 13, 2011 11:26 am

      Thank you, Rene! It was fun seeing so many beautiful rooms!

  11. September 15, 2011 7:06 pm

    Really love this room. So calming, cohesive and uncluttered. I stumbled on your blog via Cottage and Vine and will be following for sure.

    Have a great night.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 15, 2011 8:41 pm

      Thanks, Erin! What nice things to say. Glad to have you here!

  12. Sophia permalink
    September 21, 2011 11:16 pm

    Very nice. Which fabric did you use for the R&B sofa upholstery?

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 22, 2011 11:44 am

      It is the Doss fabric in Otter. It says it’s microsuede, but it really doesn’t look or feel like that. It feels more like a cotton twill or moleskin. We love it!

  13. lounytoon permalink
    September 22, 2011 1:29 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your ginormous round mirror. I love it so much, I have been hunting for one for myself. Care to share your source?


    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 22, 2011 1:39 pm

      It’s the Anes from IKEA. I don’t think it’s available anymore, unfortunately! Maybe ebay?

  14. September 22, 2011 2:49 pm

    Love this room! I have a fireplace that makes me nuts so I think I will try this out! What color did you use on your walls?

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 22, 2011 3:01 pm

      Thank you! The wall color is Woodlawn Sterling Blue by Valspar (Lowe’s).

  15. whislerpotpie permalink
    September 22, 2011 3:10 pm

    So much to love. I will not repeat love – but instead relish in your [my] DeKalb Farmers Market comment. Hilarious.

    Fun inspiration! Crabbies don’t make me stabby!

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 23, 2011 11:42 am

      “Crabbies don’t make me stabby!”

      I hear there’s an opening for a writer at 22…. :)

  16. September 22, 2011 7:34 pm

    I came across your blog after DAYS of researching how to redo our fireplace. This is it! This is the finished look we want! I’m also going to take your advice and use circles to balance our room too. You’ve done a fabulous job! Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 23, 2011 11:40 am

      Thank you! Good luck with the process. It wasn’t that bad! (Easy for me to say since my husband did all the work…)

  17. Andrea permalink
    September 23, 2011 1:35 am

    I love your trundle bed; do you have any information on it (e.g. manufacturer, date made, etc.)?
    I just discovered your blog (thanks, Apartment Therapy) and it’s now part of my daily blog rounds :)

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 23, 2011 11:41 am

      Thank you! I have no clue on the trundle. It was a Craigslist find and there are no marks/stickers/brands on the frame. It’s pretty bare bones, but solid. I’d guess it was from the 70s, but I really have no basis for that argument!

      Glad to have you around!

  18. September 24, 2011 9:57 am

    Everything looks beautiful. Wonderful job!

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 24, 2011 11:32 am

      Thank you very much! Your blog seems right up my alley—three of my favorite things!

  19. Lisa W. permalink
    September 25, 2011 11:11 am

    Just found your blog via AptTherapy and that photo of the blue crabs just knocked me out! Those are the colors I’ve had in mind for our living area too, but that photo just made fireworks go off in my head! I love what you did with your living room, the colors, shapes and proportions look so right—will definitely mosey around to see what else you’ve done. Great job!

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 26, 2011 9:12 am

      Thank you! You’ll never look at seafood the same way again. :). Welcome!

  20. September 29, 2011 9:22 am

    Hi! So after reading about the fireplace I marched right home and my boyfriend and I did the same thing to his fireplace. We only used joint compound as BBDW Tyler suggested on the AT post. I have to ask though – is it a powdery finish? If I brush against the fireplace will I get stuff on my clothes? We’re not done yet (ran out of mud) but I’m interested to know how yours is working for you. – emily

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 29, 2011 11:36 am

      Ours was a little powdery for a few weeks, but eventually it hardened up. I just ran my hand over it and it’s solid. When we first did it I kept asking Taylor how we’d seal it, but it took care of itself.

      Good luck! I hope you like it as much as we do.

  21. Liz permalink
    November 4, 2011 10:58 pm

    Love your blog. It has inspired me as we decorate our new home. Just wondering where you got the blue pillows on your couch?

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      November 5, 2011 11:28 pm

      Thank you, Liz! I’m thrilled that you’ve found the blog so useful. I got those blue pillows 13(!) years ago at a home store similar to Linens ‘n’ Things that has since gone out of business. The brand name on the pillows is Portofino, if that helps!

  22. elizabeth permalink
    January 14, 2012 2:19 pm

    love your room. i found you by google searching our mutual sofa–the hawthorne by room & board. i am looking for a chair and your post helped!

  23. Amir permalink
    August 18, 2012 3:04 pm

    Quick question regarding the brick fireplace. Did you paint at all over the compound (as Tyler seems to recommend at the end of his comment that you linked) or was it simply just compound + sanding? Thanks.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      August 19, 2012 8:40 pm

      Amir, we did NOT paint anything. We just have the compound on top of the brink. At first it did rub off on clothing a small amount, but after a few months-a year it stopped “shedding”.

      Good luck!

  24. September 15, 2013 3:01 pm

    Hello, I was googling the Sterling paint color and came across your website. I was wondering if you still like the color. I like vintage, rustic decorating and love how it looks in your living room. My walls are white at the moment so I think this wouldn’t be too drastic but add some color. Thanks so much for your time.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      September 18, 2013 10:55 am

      Sherry, we do still really like it! It’s a pretty, soft blue with enough gray in it to keep it out of baby boy territory. Good luck!

  25. October 12, 2013 7:31 am

    Your home is so pretty. I’m thinking of painting my living room Valspar Sterling Blue. I was wondering if you still love it. Does it go with most color schemes? I have tan couches and black accents. Thank you so much for your time.

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