The family room – the room that we hang out, probably SIXTY PERCENT OF THE TIME, is strangely the last to get finished (well, that and the landscaping and bathrooms). It’s a ‘cobblers kids with no shoes’ situation. But there is an update for you and it has gotten a lot better. So let’s go all ‘time travel’ on the situation and recap to where we were 1 year ago, before we moved in.
Beautiful. Mauve. Dark. Stupid.
We wanted to make some obvious changes: paint the walls, ceiling, replace the floor and add WONDERFUL INVITING-NESS EVERYWHERE. I loved that it shared the space with the kitchen but that it wasn’t our formal living room so that we could make this super kid friendly and comfortable.
I have dreams of Charlie playing on the ground with beautiful scandinavian-style toys, wearing all organic dye-free, blood-free, diamond-free clothes, while I make a vegan roast, wearing a hand-stitched apron, nude underneath. This is how it should go down on an average Wednesday in our family room. And it does.
But after 3 months it still looked like this – mismatched chairs, stupid everything. Bad, Bad, Bad. But I had just had a baby, and was busy weeping out of happiness or sadness, so I get a pass.
So now, as of November 2014, we are better but not done. I’m working on it but the progress is S.L.O.W.
We have an awesome, very comfortable sofa (in the best configuration possible). The ottoman is rad and insanely kid friendly but it doesn’t work with the sofa, stylistically. The rug is awesome (a CL find 5 years ago for $75) but it’s too flat for the chunky sofa – although it does hide dirt, etc, really well. There is no art on the walls, but a family photo wall is planned. Its going to be a wonderful room, it’s just not there yet.
The gold chest of drawers is from a vintage store, and its rad. The standing lamp is from Chairish and its weird and wonderful. Oh and that weird white laptop table is GENIUS because when I was breastfeeding I could put my water on it without reaching forward towards the coffee table. Its kinda ugly but totally great (it slips under your sofa and acts as a very convenient side table).
Things are fine but not awesome.
Blue Rug: Vintage | White Floor Lamp: Vintage from Chairish | White “C” Table: Container Store | Blue Blanket: Target | Grey Couch: sofa.com | Tan and Cream Pillows: Vintage | Blue Striped Pillow: The Citizenry | Leather Ottoman: Vintage from Amsterdam Modern | Brass Side Table: Vintage | Table Lamp: Schoolhouse Electric | Shades: DecorView
Its great that we have a room that is open to the kitchen, indeed, but its a little awkwardly shaped.
Pendant Lights: Vintage from Shopclass LA | Blue Rug: Vintage | White Floor Lamp: Vintage from Chairish |White “C” Table: Container Store | Blue Blanket:Target | Grey Couch: sofa.com | Tan and Cream Pillows: Vintage | Blue Striped Pillow: The Citizenry | Leather Ottoman: Vintage from Amsterdam Modern | Shades and Drapes: DecorView
Meanwhile on the other side of the room we have this:
The TV and the pack ‘n play. Charlie actually likes being in that pack ‘n play. Its not like he’s dying to go in it, but once he’s there its big enough that he plays for like 15 minutes at a time. Thats not bad, friends. I can pretend to cook or check my instagram, while he’s in there sticking a spatula in his mouth.
The TV feels kinda small that far enough away from the sofa. We have a projector that we could use there and just get rid of the TV but you can’t watch projectors during the day, which is kinda fine because how often do we actually watch tv during the day, right? But Brian is a massive college football fan so at least for these few months there is some daytime watching to be had. So our options are a. get a larger TV, b. use the projector screen and c. mount the tv to the wall opposite the sofa (on the far right) that you can see in this picture:
Then it would be a really cozy TV area, but I wouldn’t be able to watch TV while I cook and I am actually cooking at least 3 nights a week now, plus making Charlie’s food, etc. But I could always just watch on my laptop or get a little counter tv. I feel like i’ve been talking about my tv situation for like 3 paragraphs. Geez. But its important and it just doesn’t feel right yet.
Blue Rug: Vintage | High Chair Seat: Stokke | Pack and Play: 4moms | Barstools: Vintage | TV Console: Vintage |Pendant Lights: Vintage from Shopclass LA | Abstract Painting: Vintage | Wood Bowl: Target | Black and White Tray: Target
So, when we shot for Domino we quickly set up this room even though it wasn’t on the shot list, and I think none of us were that psyched about it (which is why it didn’t run in the magazine). The thing about these kinds of sofas is that you shouldn’t try to make them look ‘hip’. They are crazy comfortable, inviting and pretty but not cool. So in this photo I think we tried to make it look cool and instead its a little over-styled. I like everything in this shot and I like how the photographer took it, but I don’t like how we styled it to the camera. There is just a little too much stuff and the styling makes the sofa look suburban when it really just needs to look simple, comfy and cozy.
I think it actually works best when pretty neutral pillows are thrown on in and it looks super casual and flop-on-able.
So that’s the family room update. My questions to you guys are: A. should I do a wallpaper in here? (I mean, I know what you are going to say, ‘YES!!!”), or just do a massive family photo wall? OR do both, if I choose a more subtle patterned wallpaper? I could do one similar to the one in the bedroom – just a simple metallic texture (posting soon, I promise). Maybe that’s what I’ll do. But I also don’t want it to get super busy because this area is a bit cramped and there are often a ton of toys and computers laying everywhere.
Thoughts on what to do on the walls and what kind of ottoman/coffee table (remember it has to be kid-friendly) I should do are very welcome … Weigh in, folks.
Thanks to Tessa Neudstadt for the ‘pre-after’ photos and Brittney Ambridge from Domino for the photo that never ran.