The Ultimate Family-Friendly Media Room + Wet Bar
Welcome to the Portland project’s party central…the ground floor media room. It’s 540 square feet of family fun. We really thought about how to present this lady, trying to figure out how to make its reveal “editorial” but something about saying “how to design the ultimate entertaining space that’s as large as some people’s apartments” just didn’t feel right. Sure, there are takeaways here for anyone who has even 1/4 of the space (color palettes, how to slice up the areas, etc.) but I know this is a pretty aspirational room, and I didn’t want to sell it as anything but that. It would be like putting eyelash extensions and a matte red lip on a beaver and passing it off as a beauty queen. Wait, no…backwards? Because this is a beauty queen, not a beaver, so whatever the opposite of that would be. So, I thought it would be best just to show you this baby in a “look at this eye candy” way and walk you through the room. Ready?
This whole bottom floor felt like a bit of a waste when we got our hands on it. The home already had a pretty sizable garage, so a GIANT storage area (the bottom half of this floor plan) was itching, nay, crying out to be repurposed. Unless the new owners were somehow going to be an Amazon distribution center, it just didn’t make sense. We shifted the smaller bedroom down into the storage area (and where we also built out a laundry room area and moved the stairs), so that we could open that whole area up to be a kick-butt media room and wet bar. It ended up being 36 feet long by 15 feet wide, and the French doors open up to the backyard so it can feel really indoor/outdoor (you know, when it’s not raining in Portland).
The space above the mechanical/storage room is actually a little different, where we landed. It could have been one big closet (like in the floor plan), but we built-in a daybed nook on the right half, leaving the left half open to be used however the new owner wanted (for staging, we put in a games cabinet for board games and other fun family things).
We really wanted the vibe to feel casual yet sophisticated yet a little funky and special. Tall order, but I feel good about where we landed and how we got there. You know I love a bold wall color, so we brought the same shade from the powder room upstairs down here (Sherwin-Williams’ Waterloo) because it looked so, so good streaked with natural light. And because we didn’t want it to be too cave-like (which wouldn’t have been the worst thing, frankly), we designed a “feature ceiling” to draw the eye up and add in that little bit of “funky special” that was on the checklist.
Because I envisioned this being used as a family space, I wanted the color palette and textiles to be playful and not as serious as they were upstairs. A striped rug from Dash & Albert is subtle but adds a nice graphic punch (as does the black and white pillow on the armchair) and the throw pillows and blanket bring that bright but comfy pop with some earth tones (and of course, lots and lots of wood, because I can’t help myself and every room benefits from the warmth of wood). Oh, and that Maxwell sofa from Interior Define is SOOO deep and comfy, which is great for lounging and extended movie watching.
In line with the whole “family-friendly” idea were these custom draperies and rods we had made through Decorview. The traverse rod (their flat fascia wood traverse rod, to be exact) paired with their light filtering “Sheriff” fabric in the steel colorway make for a really easy-open situation so no one ever has to tug forcibly to get rings over humps in the rod.
Wanna see one of our favorite little details in this whole house? This was originally going to be a closet, but then we thought WAIT THIS SHOULD BE A BUILT IN DAYBED. Perfect for impromptu naps, as a reading/coloring corner, or a place to hide nooked into a corner talking to boys late at night (you know, for the teenagers…or grown women).
I think maybe a tree wallpaper or mural should be my calling card. Never leave a project without plastering some tree trunks up on a wall somewhere. I do very much love this soft blue paper by Sandberg mixed with the striped and graphic Schumacher fabric from the throw pillows. Altogether, it’s sweet but not saccharine. If you have a nook like this to work with, I say treat it like you would a powder room…have some fun, take some risks, it’s just a tiny little corner.
We made sure to build in some shelving to make this the ultimate reading nook (you need a place to set a drink, maybe glasses…other books). Plus, it doubles as a “nightstand” if you want to use it as an extra spot for a guest to sleep (it’s an actual twin-sized mattress in there covered with Schumacher’s Olympic fabric…Arlyn can attest because it’s where she slept—very comfortably she says—during the open house event this summer).
On the other side of the daybed nook wall is this inset area that would and could easily be a closet but we left it open and used it more as games central with a cabinet.
I highly recommend adding art and creating a “moment” on any horizontal surface you can get your hands on, so we brought in three pieces—the left two from MaryAnn Puls, and the embroidered piece by Annie O’Dorisio—and rounded it out with a brass “small” (as we call little decor pieces like that in the styling arena). I’m not sure what it’s for, but I’d like to imagine it’s a giant coaster that holds your beer while you open this beautiful Room & Board cabinet to grab one of the 438 available ping pong balls or prep for a riveting game of Bingo.
Speaking of ping pong, is this not THE most unnecessarily beautiful ping pong table you’ve ever seen? I mean, the net is LEATHER (as are the paddles…well, leather and wood). I’m sorry, I just can’t. If you’re on the market for an “artisan” games table and have a spare $6,000, I highly recommend this one from City Home for your home (no, seriously).
We are now entering the wet bar area of the room and I’m not afraid to admit that it’s so very beautiful.
It has all the essentials of a wet bar: wine/beverage fridge, ice maker, sink and faucet, easily cleanable hard surfaces (and the added bonus of a dishwasher, keep reading).
While the perimeter of the room uses a really fun cage sconce from Rejuvenation, we opted for a more classic sconce within the wet bar but in the same polished nickel finish. They’re super streamlined and elegant and don’t pull too much attention from some of the other statement pieces here.
Can we take a moment to admire the detail of this sink and prep faucet by Kohler? We could have gone with a traditional sink here, but if you have the opportunity to do something a little extra special, why not? I went with the polished nickel here as I did the rest of the house, which I’m loving because it’s traditional but warm (unlike chrome that can feel very cold).
A beverage refrigerator (which was provided by Build.com along with the other appliances) with side-by-side compartments that have their own temperature control lets you keep “adult juice” in one at some fancy “perfect for rosé or white wine or cabernet” temp I won’t pretend to know, and, well…more “adult juice” in the other…just in canned form…but extra cold! Or of course, a bunch of La Croix or sodas for the whole family.
A smaller dishwasher is perfect for a wet bar area, especially on a floor removed from the kitchen. It’s just roomy enough to throw in glasses, popcorn bowls, plates crusted over with pizza cheese…you know, typically family area things (this one holds 10 place settings). We went with a panel-ready option so the bottom cabinetry wasn’t just a line of stainless steel and we could show off that dreamy blue paint color.
And, of course, like a good tree mural, I can’t leave a room untouched by an ice maker, for all my icy cold water/beverage dreams. This compact guy makes 45 pounds of “restaurant quality” clear ice a day and I don’t know what that really means, but it sounds like you’d never have to make an emergency ice run mid-party again. Oh, and a pretty cool feature is the door is reversible, so you can decide to make it left or right opening, whichever feels best for your kitchenette or wet bar.
A ledge made of the same material as the slab backsplash blends in but also keeps the counters more easily clear (where else will you put the pizza boxes, otherwise?).
And there you have it. The ultimate family party room from soup to nuts (TV to ping pong table?). We put together two Get the Looks, one with all the furniture and styling, and another for the wet bar with all the details of everything we used here. As always, we’d love to hear from you…any questions, comments, concerns, loves, hates (kidding, don’t hurt my feelings)…leave for us in the comments below and we’ll chat back!
1. Maxwell Custom Sectional Sofa | 2. Custom Drapery and Drapery Rod by Decorview | 3. Window by Milgard | 4. Hourglass Stool | 5. Tripod Coffee Table by Ethnicraft | 6. Woven Cotton Rug | 7. Floor Lamp by Rejuvenation | 8. Pender Charme Chair | 9. Metal Tray | 10. Ceramic Salt Cellar | 11. Ceramic Match Striker | 12. Lumbar Pillow Cover by Rejuvenation | 13. Canvas Pillow Cover | 14. Block Printed Pillows by Cotton & FlaxCotton & Flax via Mantel | 15. Tweed Throw by Rejuvenation | 16. Stripe Pillow (fabric available here) | 17. Cotton Throw | 18. Sconce by Rejuvenation | 19. Media Console | 20. Coffee Table via The Good Mod | 21. Wood Containers by Thos. Moser | 22. Vase | 23. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 24. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 25. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 26. Embroidered Art by Annie O’Dorisio | 27. Ping Pong Table | 28. Glass Door Cabinet | 29. Wallpaper | 30. Faux Leather Storage Bin | 31. Lamp Shade | 32. Dipped Ceramic Small Lamp | 33. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 34. Abstract Art by Mary Ann Plus | 35. Abstract Art by Mary Ann Plus | 36. Zoila Fabric by Schumacher | 37. Rania Stripe Fabric by Schumacher | 38. Cusco Ikat Fabric by Schumacher | 39. Olympia Fabric by Schumacher | 40. Ribbed Sculptural Vase via Mantel (similar) | 41. Sculptural Vase via Mantel | 42. Wooden Chest via Aurora Mills | 43. Wood Flooring by Hallmark Floors | 44. Waterloo by Sherwin-Williams | 45. Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | 46. Baseboard by Metrie | 47. Window & Door Casing by Metrie
1. Faucet by Kohler | 2. Tile by Pratt & Larson | 3. Sink by Kohler | 4. Marble Countertop | 5. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 6. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 7. Vase | 8. | 9. Textured Carafe | 10. Cabinet Maker | 11. Pull by Rejuvenation | 12. Knob by Rejuvenation | 13. Sconce by Rejuvenation | 14. Serving Bowl by Rejuvenation | 15. Napkins (set of 4) | 16. Marble Tray | 17. Ivory Knives (set of 6) | 18. Bronze Bottle Opener | 19. Wine Glasses (set of 4) | 20. Textured Lowball Glass | 21. Trapeze Glassware (set of 4) | 22. Beverage Fridge via Build.com | 23. Ice Maker via Build.com | 24. Dishwasher via Build.com
***Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD