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Design

Family Room Update (and a LOT of changes)

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Ahhh. The family room. Another source of both function and design confusion for me. But, with the photoshoot of the entire house rapidly approaching it’s time to really think about the design of this room, now that we know its main function. After living here for 3 months we’ve found that this room serves as our cozy TV room at night after the kids go down or on weekends with them. Some playing happens in here but mostly it just serves as some toy storage during the day – the kids mostly just drag the toys out of here and into the dining room, living room or outside, but it’s nice that we can store them in here out of public view. Originally we though that this would serve as a great cozy room to read with them, but we typically read books in the living room and in their rooms as that living room is just so much more inviting, which brings me to this – how do I fix the design of the room to make us want to hang out in it more while still holding on to its function as the now cozy TV room? Currently, this room is the one that we want to be in the least and our house isn’t huge so neglecting one perfectly good room is a big old waste of square footage.

Let’s recap:

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Before Renovations_1

This room may have originally been the dining room, I’m not sure. One of those doors was a closet and the other led to the hallway that really just stored the huge hot water tank and a tiny washer and dryer.

Facing the other way, the windows were covered in ivy and had this kinda awkward but cute cut out. I thought it was cute until I realized how much harder it is to design a narrow room with a jut-in bay window like this:

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Before Renovations_2

These photos make it look bright but trust me, it was super dark and just felt sad. So after the renovation we decided that this was the room we should paint a cozy dark color. We chose Stiffkey Blue by Farrow and Ball.

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We brought our gray sectional and the white credenza over to fill these needs temporarily, knowing that these weren’t the right pieces for the house. What this shot (below) shows you is how open this room is to the rest of the house – which is a great thing functionally, but the dark color really stopped the flow of the first floor because of this really jarring moment, visually. (Obviously these rugs – and everything else – were temporary).

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Gray Sectional_1

That red door is painted ‘Rectory Red’ by Farrow and Ball and man, it is the most perfect red EVER – I highly recommend it. We used high gloss on the exterior and semigloss on the interior by the way.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Gray Sectional_2

Clearly there were a lot of issues with this room after we got it painted and there was furniture in it – it was dark and narrow, the old sofa didn’t work, We needed a rug (or two?) and that lovely West Elm credenza was not the right piece for the window (obviously). But we took a bunch of photos to document it all so here you go:

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Gray Sectional_8

Living with the room like that was as painful for me as viewing it is for you. So when our friend’s at Sixpenny reached out about their sofas and had an English Roll Arm in LA that we could borrow and try out, I jumped on it (figuratively, not literally of course), although I am sure the kids would love a chance to jump on it.

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Obviously this sofa and setup is WORLDS better and that sofa is extremely comfortable, by the way. We liked the room so much more as soon as it was in there and the grey sectional was out. We sold the credenza and gave the sectional away and I found this little bookshelf for $10 that I was going to use for the toys for the time being, but it still wasn’t really right.

And even with the new sofa in there the blue was still a problem for the flow of the house.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_English Roll Arm_Ask the Audience_1

As you can see we messed with the architecture of the house during the renovation to make it more functional and open. We put the arches back in and matched the original plaster of the walls, but the dark color was really highlighting that wall as soon as you walked in which really wasn’t what we wanted. It needed to feel more seamless as it is a small house.

As a reminder this is what it looked like before we took the wall out:

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_Ask the Audience_Before Renovations_3

It was super closed off and tight, and we love how open it is now, but that dark color was bumming us out without us knowing it. I’m currently writing a whole post about when to paint a room dark because I’ve learned through this experience that there are more rules to dark colors in rooms than I thought.

Emily Henderson_Family Room_Blue Paint_Tudor_English Roll Arm_Ask the Audience_4

In these photos the room looks like the awesome color that it is (Ginny also painted her dining room this color) but in the context of the whole house it just felt like it was really creating this big dark hole in the middle of a really happy flow.

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So here are my goals:

Make this room one that we REALLY want to be in and play in. Therefore it needs to be comfortable, happy and we need to maximize the space without adding too much furniture to keep it open. To do this I need to do the following:

  1. Design a sofa that is super deep and comfortable. I love this one that is currently in there but because of the narrowness of the room we can’t really have an ottoman or a coffee table without cutting it off even more, so we need a super deep sofa. We also need it to be deep because we can’t have it more than 84″ wide and a narrow sofa wouldn’t allow four of us to really lounge on it and feel cozy. The reason that I know that an 84″ super deep sofa would work is that we tried this sofa (that we are fostering in the living room) and it was surprisingly perfect in size and scale. We would just bring that one into here but we certainly can’t have two navy blue english roll arms in one house, right?
  2. Find a rug solution. an 8×10 is too wide, so it could be a corridor rug (like 6×11?) or somehow layer two rugs (see the options below) – 6×9 and something more sculptural?
  3. Art for walls. Still deciding what the best solution is for this but maybe family photos, maybe a gallery wall, maybe one big piece like we did in the old house above the sectional before we moved.
  4. Paint the walls, obviously. That is being done as I write and should be finished tomorrow. We are lightening it WAY up and painting it a neutral tone so that it flows so much better (see below)
  5. Toy storage that doesn’t impede too much with the window. Let’s not even talk about those windows whose frames are totally disintegrating and we’ll probably have to have them custom made and installed, but if we do they will probably have to take off the ivy which kills the ivy on the whole house – the roots are right in front of the window – it’s just a disaster and of course now I see why the previous owners let the ivy grow completely over the exterior of the window. From the outside it looks GORGEOUS but not having any natural light in this room is sad. Long story short we cut back a lot of the leaves but left the stems and it looks pretty janky from the outside, but it’s fine inside now (these photos aren’t updated yet – but I’ll insta-story about it later today).
  6.  Switch out the light fixture. That one, while I love it, wasn’t ever meant to be there – the electrician got confused when installing all the lighting in the house. We left it in here, but it’s too small for that room and instead should be switched with the one that is in Elliot’s room currently.
  7. Add window treatments. Since the walls are going to be solid I think a pattern in here would be nice – something classic but maybe a bit playful.

So I’ve come up with two almost identical starting point/design plans. They aren’t totally flushed out, but this is the direction so far to give you an idea of what is going on in my brain:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_English Tudor_Modern Traditonal_Family Room_Play Room_Mood Board_version 1

Sofa – I LOVE this sofa but it’s too long and not deep enough so I hired my friend Rosa Beltran from Clad Home to customize the shape and size to fit the space better. We are getting it upholstered in a similar colored fabric, a poly velvet that is super durable and stain resistant.

Rug (vintage) – If you’ve been watching on insta-stories I’ve been trying out rugs and none have felt right. And yet they have all been A FORTUNE. I found this on Rejuvenation’s antique/vintage section and it is a great size 7×11 and the colors are beautiful. I could just layer the sheepskin or white hide on top of it at the end. Now, my only concerns are that the color might be too similar to the color of the floor – but other than that it is just stunning and trying to find a beautiful rug in a neutral yet happy color palette that works with our entry rug (which I don’t want to move because it’s my favorite rug of all time) is not an easy task.  Anyway, I’m hoping that 7×11 is perfect and I taped it out but sometimes once you get something into a space it doesn’t work as planned. It was on sale for $1200 and they gave me an additional discount on it since we are friends so I spent $1k on it which if any of you know antique rugs, this is a great deal. I think that the kids won’t be able to destroy it because of the coloring and pattern and it adds a lot of soul. It has a lot more green in it than you can see in the mood board. I get it next week so I am crossing my fingers (I would have waited on it but it was going to get snagged up quickly as it is such a great rug, and if it doesn’t work perfectly in this space I always know I can sell it or use it in a future project).

Side Table (vintage) – I bought this from the flea market, it’s an antique store display drawer case and it’s awesome and brings a nice warm wood accent into the room.

Ceiling Pendant  – We have this in Birdie’s room ready to move down here and hopefully it works. It’s a semi-flush mount so I just want to make sure that it doesn’t hang too low in the room.

Cabinet (vintage) – my friend Scott had this piece in his dining room before he moved and had to get rid of some pieces (It’s from 1920’s and it was originally in the New York library). We secured it to the wall so that it can’t topple over on the kids and it houses a lot of the toys. Scale and style are great, but I kinda wish it had drawers instead of shelves with bins, but so far it’s working pretty well.

Curtain Fabric – This is a new linen blend toile pattern available at Calico (aka Calico Corners). The style name is Honneur (FC)/La Mer and it is not currently on their site but is available in any of their stores. It’s a forest toile in a light green/blue color and it’s just so happy and wonderful. I love that it references something super english and classic (toile) but in a more playful and yet serene pattern. They are currently putting it online so stay tuned for the exact link!

Sconce – A classic but modern sconce to help glam up this space and that corner. When we placed them we had a different idea in mind for that bay window (a big built-in) so I may even reposition them once we get everything else in the room.

Sheepskin Rug – now as a mom I’m like – you know that kids can’t really play on sheepskin rugs, but as a stylist I know how much better it will look layered over the vintage one than a white cowhide. I also know how insanely comfortable this sheepskin is (Brady used it in his niece’s nursery and has promised me that it is GOOD and that she loves playing on it) so I may try it out and use it for the shoot. But if the kids need something flatter to roll cars on I’ll switch it out for my existing white cowhide that I brought over from our old house. Also the kids might love that it’s cozy and they can play cars literally everywhere else!

Leather Ottoman – I feel like we’ll have space for something like this and I’m LOVING this new one from The Citizenry.

Paint Color – Ammonite by Farrow and Ball. This is in our bedroom and it’s the warmest happiest gray ever. I LOVE it so very very much. It looks great with our kitchen (strong white) and our entry (blackened). They are all just various tones that keep your eye moving and give it depth without being the same color or jarringly different.

I am loving the way that it is looking but some of my team at EHD feared that the rug could made it look a bit granny. I understand their fear, but I also love me an antique rug and I think I can edge it all up with the lighting, accessories, pillows and art.

But here is another option:

Emily Henderson_Ask the Audience_English Tudor_Modern Traditonal_Family Room_Play Room_Mood Board_version 2

All we changed was the rug. This rug is from Restoration Hardware and it’s an indoor/outdoor gray rug. Now it’s fairly boring in this moodboard but I do think that it makes this room feel fresh and more modern. I ordered a swatch of it to see how it looks in person. I’m assuming that if it’s indoor/outdoor that it is going to be highly stain resistant and durable and for that reason I’m interested in trying it out. Our last light colored rug in our family room became DISGUSTING so fast and while I’m not totally opposed to getting them cleaned once a year, it just begs the question ‘WHY?’. The vintage rug in our living room is a bit bright for me but Birdie can literally spill a berry smoothie on it and you can’t see the stain. I want that option in these high traffic rooms.

We’ll add more to these design boards as I find the perfect pillows/art/accessories so this isn’t a finished situation. But I am curious – are you on team Antique Emily? Or against me, on the Fresh/Clean team??

***Progress Photos by Tessa Neustadt

For more reveals from Emily’s Los Feliz Home: Powder Room | Jack and Jill Bathroom | Living Room Update | Charlie’s Big Boy Room | Master Bedroom | Master Bathroom | Living Room | Kitchen & Dining Room | Elliot’s Nursery | Backyard | Closets | Laundry Room | Elliot’s Nursery Update | Kitchen | Updated Living Room

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Bea

First impressions is that the blue contrasted too much with the white. Farrow and Ball do matching whites for this very reason. It’s worth checking out their website and going with their suggested combinations because their colours really are tricky to get exactly right as they change so much in different light levels. For example, I would have painted the skirting board in a darker white. Although I realise you are now completely repainting the room. The other problem is the focal point. Is it the window or the TV? I feel the eye is drawn to the window and yet the sofa is demanding attention to what is effectively a blank wall with a TV mounted on it. How about two large comfy armchairs at an angle with a table in the middle to make it seem less like a station platform? Do you really need a sofa if the room if it is largely used by the adults in the evening? Also how about painting tricks like painting the window frame the same colour as the walls to make it disappear and that side alone a darker colour to bring it forward and make the room more square?… Read more »

Désirée

I’m a fan of the Antique Emily option. It grounds the space and creates the cozy atmosphere that you’re going for. My personal opinion is that the window is begging for a small table and chairs – a space for puzzles, coloring and crafts, playing cards and board games, and, eventually, the inevitable legos.

Catherine

I agree! I believe this room was an old dining room, and therefore was designed to have a big piece of furniture in the middle. A small table and chairs for the kids close to the windows would be super practical and also help with that missing *something* in the middle of the room.

You have quite a challenge here, Emily! 🙂 Can’t wait to see the reveal!

Jamie

that green sofa is gorgeous – can you tell me where it’s from? the link isn’t working (it’s going to the Rejuvenation rug). thanks!

The link has been updated, but it is from Anthropologie. xx

Jamis

Still not fixed and redirecting to rug site at 1:14 pm PST

Elisabeth Wallace

https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/velvet-leonelle-sofa?color=031&quantity=1&size=ALL&type=REGULAR Here you go Jamis! I believe it’s in the color, “Duck Egg” here.

danielle

unfortunately it’s still going to the rug- it is gorgeous though!

Alexandra

still not working for me, but it’s stunning!

alex

I think you’ll find that as the kids get older, and do much more detailed, prolonged imaginative play, that’s it’s nice to have floorspace where that can happen uninterrupted. ie. charlie building a playmobile world and being able to leave it there for a few days as he works or elliot working on a much bigger puzzle. i grew up with three brother and big, sprawling games were a huge part of our play. It’s nice when that doesn’t take up the whole living room and since your living room and dining area get so much play already, I’d be happy for this room to be TV and future use as a prolonged play spot. That way you don’t have to give up the dining room table for days at a time while a game gets played out.

Rae

Alex, you have made the point that I was going to make. My kids are a bit older than C & E. We have a playroom that is not as sunny as the rest of the house. It was largely unused when my littles were toddlers except as toy storage but now is the perfect spot for spreading out. It is an especially good spot for when we have company over. Adults hang in the kitchen / dining / living areas and the littles have their own space to carouse. I imagine that when the teen years hit that will be even more handy.

Also, I vote antique rug. It doesn’t look granny to me at all.

Danielle

I really like the first option (Team Emily) best. It’s really pretty and goes really well with the rest of the vibe of the house you’re creating.

Josh

I agree. The second one looks great, but the first has more of that English look.

I didn’t see “granny” in the first option at all. My initial impression was actually “bachelor”, but in a very good way. The color scheme seems more masculine than I’m used to with you, but I love it and I think it makes it cozy. I like everything individually, but love them together (the sofa link is going to the rug BTW).

Tracy

I also think maybe this room isn’t right for a sofa – if you can live without.

2 facing loveseats?

A quartet of giant armchair/lounge chairs, 2 on each end with a giant play/Lego/Candyland table in the middle?

Maybe a desk on the non-window end, and chairs in the window end?

Emma

TEAM GRANNY ALL THE WAY

Dena

I love the green sofa. I think you should have a little light hearted fun in this room if you are wanting the kids to play. I used to have closed storage for toys and it just gets forgotten about. For board games it’s fine but kids really need to be able to see their toys. I could see a teepee/cozy tent going in here. Some fairy lights, some natural elements, a wooden kitchen and a few pretty baskets with toys.
I think family photos sound wonderful AND leaving space to hang their artwork in here.
What about an art table? I know you are a designer and don’t need a designer but Megan Schiller of the art pantry seems like a fun person to collaborate with. http://www.theartpantry.com
I am team vintage for the rug. Could you transition this room into having a rya rug or something else that is a bit more fun?
Also, once they get older they will love playing back their with friends.

Melissa

Is the archway before the bay window decorative or structural? If decorative, I would see if you could remove it since it breaks up the wall on both sides. I feel it would be easier to place furniture in the room without it. I agree, the blue is not right at all, too dark, plus I feel like it clashes with the blue island in the kitchen. What sheen do you have on your walls? I prefer flat since shinier stuff will highlight all the weird textures of the wall. Also, this is just my humble opinion but I HATE barn doors. The style doesn’t look right in the house either. :-\

You took the words right out of my mouth! All I could see on those dark walls was that revolting texture — hideous. And those barn doors have been Done. To. Death. Actually overdone. Blech. You are my guru, Melissa!

jess

my eye wants the sofa to be as far down toward the window as possible, with a small sideboard/credenza/small dresser/some piece of furniture higher than an end table in that first corner as you come into the room. The window pulls me directly into the room, and the couch being the first large object halts my progress in a jarring kind of way. A separate and distinct -but smaller scale than a sofa – moment at the beginning of the room would help the flow. I love this nook. Once you work out the bugs, it’s going to be amazing.

April

I’m for the antique rug. It’s much more interesting and the scale seems better for the room (I don’t think the RH rug comes in non-standard sizes?). Also, I think it’s a good thing if the perimeter of the vintage rug more closely matches/blends in with the floor. There are a lot of angled walls in that den/foyer/powder room area and a rug that doesn’t create a sharp line across the den threshold will help the flow of that space (along with the lighter paint color).

kelsey

I love the vintage rug option, and that green sofa is amazing!!!

Emily

I’m surprised I feel this way but I’m team fresh/clean, at least right now. I might change my mind once I see the options in the room and how it works with the rest of the house. I kinda feel like the heavily green moodboards will clash with the rest of the house though. There needs to be more blues and reds.

Jess

What about getting rid of the wall with the tv? So when you walk in the house the wall to the right of the door is gone. It would open up everything and keep that room from feeling like it’s off and neglected and you’d probably spend more time there if it felt like it was a part of everything else.

Lilli

But then they would have a huge room as an entryway, i.e. dead space, and no room to watch tv in. (They have a formal living room w the fireplace too).

Sarah

This was my first thought, too! Maybe I’ve been watching too much Fixer Upper and am in a mindset of walls just coming out everywhere, but that one image that shows the two rooms makes that wall look bananas. I’ve been to plenty of houses where the front door opens up into the living room, but maybe there’s a more functional and less formal solution for a young family?

lauren

I like the green rug better. My initial reaction is to make the room more of a library nook with lots of bookcases, so I like that direction better.

Becky

While I love the vintage rug, I have a 3 and 5 year old and after struggling with traditional rugs, opted for an indoor/outdoor rug in our family room and it saved my sanity. It’s soooo easy to clean up messes and I was even able to haul it out into the backyard and hose it off after a particularly bad mess. Save the vintage rug for a few years down the road as the room will be beautiful either way.

YES! An inexpensive indoor/outdoor rug saved my sanity in our family room. It’s just so darn practical!

Diana

UGH YES TO OPTION ONE. That whole palette is my heartbeat. So gorgeous, crossing my fingers that the granny train can stop at your house:)

Jenny

Ikea sells a double sheepskin rug – I’ve only seen it in store, not online – for less. I have it in my daughters’ bedroom, and I’ve even – gasp! – washed it in the washing machine. It came out pretty well! I washed it on the gentle cycle and even machine dried it on the extra low setting, because it wasn’t drying well on its own. It doesn’t look quite as good as when it was new, but it’s still soft and fluffy and pretty and a lot better than having poop on it (yep, that’s why I washed it!). All in all, I’m quite pleased.

Jessica

I know you must be loathe to remove any of the architectural interest here, but I think the arch in the middle of the room is creating too many “zones” and breaking up the flow of the room. If you removed that, you could scoot the sofa over towards the window, opening up the entrance of the room. You could place the pretty library/toy chest or something else on the wall immediately to the left of the entrance vs being overwhelmed with the sofa. And then the rug could scoot over with the sofa, reducing the clash with the entry rug.

Claire

I know this is basically the worst possible scenario (in terms of time and money)… but have you thought about closing that archway? It’s hard to tell from the photos but it seems to be contributing to the awkwardness of the room. Instead of being a cozy little room for curling up with the family it just seems like it’s a narrow space to put a couch to look at from the kitchen. Again, it’s hard to tell these things from photos sometimes, but from where I’m sitting it just seems like narrowing the archway significantly to bring it closer to the original opening size would make the room more closed off and go a long way to making it more functional as a space. I’m in the minority these days because I like closed off rooms more than a big open floor plan, but I feel like for this room it may help more than hurt? Probably too late for this option but it was the first thing I thought of when scrolling through the photos.

Dena

I completely agree!! And as the kids get older they will want to be in a space besides their rooms that isn’t so open. And most parents want that too!!

Abby

This was my thought, as well. Adding a door back to this room would allow it to be closed off when someone is watching a loud tv show, and it could even function as a guest room if need be. I understand the desire to open up everything but it just doesn’t seem to work for this area of the house and diminishes the delightful contrast that one gets from the transition between a small space (the entry) into a large space (the living room).

Doesn’t the living room already have a tv? If so, is it really so important for this room to function as THE tv room for everyone? I am not saying you need to remove the tv but maybe don’t worry so much about including a sofa that everyone can sit on at once. The room is simply smaller than required for such an arrangement, it seems.

The window area is just screaming for a small table to 2 petite but comfy chairs. Does it get morning or late afternoon sun at all? That’s where I’d want to sit. I really want this room to be a cozy library or office…but that’s me. 🙂

I have a similar room in my house. It’s technically the master, but ours is a 1940s bungalow with an added second story so the “master” is tiny and we sleep upstairs near the kids. Someday we will renovate it to be a true master suite. For now, it’s our family/TV room. Here’s what worked for us: -A giant rug (because the kids spend a lot of time on the floor) -A cozy, not too dark paint color (it’s a light grey, but I am so over grey so that’s changing) -White curtains: light and bright, but softening at the same time. -Storage ottomans. Not the chicest option, but toys and diapers can be stored in them, and they’re easy to shift around. Sometimes they serve as our coffee table, sometimes they’re extra seating, sometimes they’re used to block a baby from pulling on something dangerous, and often they’re used as jumping off points for wrestling matches. -Fun, happy artwork -Lots of cozy textures…comfy pillows, blankets, etc -Baskets everywhere. For toy storage, for art supplies, for remote controls. Quick, easy clean up, and also easy access for the kids. -Probably the biggest thing for us is a dimmer switch. The… Read more »

Erica

Totally agree that a kids’ table and chairs would work well in the bay window.

B

Yes! Built in kids nook for the bay window area! It’s the perfect space, and not in the middle of everything, so they can leave dolls houses/lego/play dough/etc there without having to pack it away all the time!

Kris

Im curious…have you tried a couch on the wall the tv is on? Even if it has to be a shorter couch. I realise you might not want the tv on the visible wall but something about the couch there really visually just intrudes into the room. Maybe somehow cover tv or just make a nice collage of art to help blend it in. Maybe a piece of furniture under tv for more toy storage. Plus if its a tv room whats the harm in it being visible! And maybe move the closed toy storage to small wall that is to left when you first walk into room. Then in nook area by window (angled facing couch) a comfy chair with small table and light. Maybe a leather chair. And a basket with some toys or books. Love your house and blog!!

CAT

For sure, antique Emily’s team! The other rug looks like it’s an indoor/outdoor rug. While durable, not very “sexy”.

Claudia

Love the vintage rug both style and color-very unusual to see green. While it would hide stains and wear, my vote is for the indoor outdoor rug. It is lighter and brighter and should clean up easily. It also is crisper and more modern – a great contrast to more traditional elements.. Modern is not my jam, but the balance lets the special pieces pop!

Cynthia

I don’t understand rugs being “trashed”. I have always had a houseful of antique and vintage rugs and had a few simple rules. Shoes off in the house and eating is done sitting down at the kitchen or dining room table (or outside). I wouldn’t dream of letting my boys roam around with drinks or drippy fruit or sticky hands. I vacuumed as needed (1-2 times/week) and had the carpets sent out for cleaning every few years. “Indoor/outdoor rug” screams “petroleum-based product” to me and I would not want my children rolling around on that on the daily.

Alex

I agree with Cynthia. Small adjustments to daily habits can make huge difference in your family life – a positive one. There is no need to be so defensive, Emily. And your kids are/will be different people.

Selfishly, I love that you bought this new home because this more traditional mix is pretty much my favorite style! I think that it’s more challenging to find the perfect balance, but the spaces feel so much more stately, yet lived in at the same time.

Also, I love the blue but the tone felt off with the rest of the house. Did you think about a lighter tone blue? Pastels are totally in right now

katie

I feel drawn to the gray rug. It seems that the vintage rug along with the curtain is too much vintage for me. I’m inordinately excited about the art that will go up! I think some really interesting art is just what the room needs (along with that incredible paint color!) Is it possible that the vine could be transplanted somewhere else? The lack of natural light is what made it feel too dark I think. I absolutely love that fabric on the couch! Can’t wait to see the reveal!!

Sasha

I would paint a lighter pastel blue. Or maybe a mustard color, it would give it more light. Our dining room is mustard, and living room (from which you see the dining room) is light baby blue, and the two work well together. I would put a kids play or coloring table by the window. Charlie’s old toy kitchen would also look darling there. That way the room would get used other than in the evenings.

Kim

I’m on Team Antique Emily!

Heather Tramontes

I don’t care for the sofa in the room. To me, this room is intended to be a music room. I’d love to see a piano.

Christina

I just read all the comments and love learning from others and seeing things thru their eyes. With that said, the vintage rug is perfection. The grey is great…in another situation, but it would be “meh” in there. LOVE the green sofa. Not a fan of dark windows as light is my crack, but there is something cozy and charming about the ivy covered window. I think it will inspire your children as they grow…hobbits and elves type play. I would leave them which is not at all what I would do in 99% of situations. Lastly, I am also not a fan of Victorian type rounded rooms with rounded furniture, but since you are designing a couch anyhow, would it make any sense at all to do it in a half moon shape to fill the window? Talk about cozy lounging! You would need to leave the TV on the current wall but put it on a swivel arm so you could pull it out towards you. If that idea is totally lame, I like your current set up with the couch and maybe a built-in bench under the window with storage drawers for books and toys. I might… Read more »

Liz

Neat ideas, Christina. My mind had not wandered into those ideas – so it’s neat to think about.

I love the first option, it’s so cozy! And this is probably too crazy (to cut off half the windows), but when I saw the windows, I thought they needed a custom window/lounge seat with storage underneath!

I can’t wait to see it!

Tammy

Antique rug all the way! So pretty!

Nancy50

This room seems very adult to me. I know the kids are young and you probably can’t imagine them bringing friends from home from school to hang out or have movie night and pizza but let me tellnyou it will be here sooner than you think. Is this the room where sleepovers will happen? If so, it just looks sooo serious – not the fun vibe you give off on your blog. I guess redecorating rooms on a yearly basis is great for blog fodder and what the heck most of the furnishings are sponsored but the room you are currently designing looks more appropriate for empty neeters who might have s grandchild visit on holidays.

Sheila

I like the vintage rug. I don’t think it looks “granny” at all. The curtain fabric does, but not the rug. I like it!

Robin

Team antique Emily!

ellen

Emily I LOVE everything you have chosen for this room!!!!!! Go for the antique rug…i think once you put your art and lights and all the emily stuff there is no way this will go granny. And those old rugs really aren’t difficult to clean.

As far as the layout, I love all the ideas to do a little table & 2 chairs in front of the window! You could do an art table with little chairs for the kids, or a small game table with dining size chairs for everyone? Also a little tent would be darling in here too! It kinda feels like it has to be treated a bit separately? Also, i feel like this little room might be a good one for some custom built-ins? Maybe between the arch & windows?

I understand wanting a sofa for sure. I guess there isn’t really anywhere else to put it? The only thing I think you should add is a little table under the tv to ground it. It feels a little lost at the moment.

Can’t wait to see this when its done!!

sara

I am Team Fresh! The second rug makes a world of difference in my opinion, esp. with the antique cabinet and leather ottoman.

Marie

I’m on team Emily regarding the vintage rug!

Jane

Definitely on fresh and clean team! Also, that looks like a perfect spot for a huge window seat! And it sounds like you’ve decided to paint, but what about a bright, happy (but subtle) English wallpaper?

SweetRosieBrown

I concur. Definitely calls for a wallpaper! Wish I’d been the one to think of it first!

Rachel

Team Antique! (And the beautiful blue really has to go–Maybe in a bathroom? ?)

Michelle

Team Antique Emily all the way.

Ann Elise

Though the Stiffkey is gorgeous, you’re so right about the flow. I’m excited to see it lightened up. To me, the bay window is SCREAMING for a petite round pedestal table (we know you like a good saarinen, but an antique gaming table could be a fun pursuit). I can see the kids coloring there, or it being a nice spot to sit with the laptop and a glass of wine. If not that, maybe some built-in low-slung benches could work there and provide a bit of storage? That nook needs something or it feels like it’s just hanging on back there. We all know what this room is for and I’m shocked to see people suggest that you ditch the tv wall. I think you have to embrace the narrow coziness of it all. I think a slim console or bookcase is a must under the tv to help it feel more anchored and intentional. Though this would probably veto any kind of ottoman or poof situation. These slim consoles from room and board are super neutral classics and go as slim as 7″: http://www.roomandboard.com/catalog/living/console-tables/slim-console-tables-in-natural-steel also nice: http://www.roomandboard.com/catalog/living/console-tables/brixton-console-bookcase On a side note, the other thing I’m dying to see… Read more »

Kirkles

Paint the walls 3 shades lighter than your kitchen cabinets.

Beth

Vintage rug!!

jessvii

Option 1: vintage rug.

Also, I love the tall floor lamp but I don’t see a link to it.

Other things I’d consider: Install a mirror over the couch to bounce light around. Install a small ceiling pendant in the alcove. Consider placing the tall floor lamp on the left side of the sofa (the darkest corner of the room) instead of on the right side.

anna

Antique!

Nancy50

When you decide to fix the windows, you should take a look at the custom sofa/window seat that Ohhappyday has in her living room.

Jeni

What product did you use to anchor your furniture to the wall? I’m scared of ruining my furniture but I know anchoring is a MUST… so I’m interested to hear how you’ve dealt with it!

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