Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The family room

When we bought this house, the downstairs family room looked like this:
The most offensive parts of the this room were:
The stupid corner shelves on either side of the fireplace that were meant to hold decorative plates, but were useless for anything else.
The huge gas fireplace itself and the brassy fireplace front.
The awful brown brick accent walls...but at least its real brick fronts and not faux panels. 
The boob light above the fireplace.
The cheap laminate flooring that we knew we wouldn't be able to change anytime soon.
So, with that said, we promptly crapped up the room and then left it like that for awhile.
Then we found out we were leaving, and I had to do something to make this look better.  I started with getting the furniture arranged, and hanging curtains.  Then I spent some time picking a color to paint the brick.  I knew I couldn't do white because it was on the bottom of the wall, so I got a few samples and settled on Benjamin Moore Midsummer Night.
It looked great with the mortar in the fireplace, the dark wood in the windows, and the light fixture and fireplace screen. 
It was still scary to paint it all such a dark color!  Luckily, it turned out great and was just what the brick needed to bring it into this century. 
Due to the lower ceiling, I had to mount the curtain rod on the ceiling rather than the paneling.  I love that ceiling rod holders are available for situations like this.  I replaced the boob light with the same inexpensive chandelier that hung in the entry of our house on Russet street. 
I removed the silly corner shelves and got simple pine 1x8s that I painted with the same flat paint as the brick.  I also got these Rubbermaid brackets from Home Depot because they were cheap and the bronze finish matched the paint almost exactly.  I was planning to do a top coat of poly on the shelves, but the open house happened and I just got lazy, so the new owners will have to do that.   
I love the new painted fireplace! 
It's just high heat black spray, and it looks so much better.  I love how the brick, shelves, curtain rods, chandelier and windows all tie in the dark color together - and how it complements the orangey wood of the paneling.  And the brick wall by the piano even looks awesome!
Much more modern.  If we were staying here, I'd have come up with a cool gallery wall for this nook.
I also replaced all the almond outlets and switches for white.  All together I think I spent around $250 with paint, curtain rods, chandelier, shelf parts, and outlets.  So, that is the very inexpensive family room update.  Not bad, eh?


  1. it's amazing what paint and style will do! you really made that paneling work for you! i am totally impressed.

  2. Wow. You never cease to amaze me! This looks great!!


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