Thursday, February 17, 2011

Family Room Makeover

Our family room/great room hasn't been painted in ten years. I'm tired of the yellow and the stencils. The ceiling is painted the same color as the walls so painting this room was a little inconvenient. The fireplace tile is gone but I haven't finished the mantel or the new tile yet. To see the fireplace demo. click here. I slip covered my couch. To see that part of the re-do click here and here. I reupholstered my ottomans here. I also ripped out the carpet and painted the concrete floors. I'll show you the floors and how to paint those in a later post.

Here are some before pictures during the room prep for paint.

The stencils are going bye bye.

See the paint samples to the right of the fireplace? I always paint several large swatches around different parts of the room before I go out and buy paint. I live with the color for at least a few days (in this case a few months) to see how the swatches look in the morning, afternoon, evening, cloudy day, and sunny day. It's well worth the cost of several quarts of paint.

I recently painted the TV armour too. To see that click here.

These windows are south facing and we get bombarded with major sun year round from sunup to sunset. I faded the arm of my slip covered couch while working on this project while the blinds were off the windows. This has created a big design challenge. How to get rid of the blinds while protecting my furniture and the view? If I lose the blinds and just use curtains, I would need to leave them closed all day long. We would lose the view of the backyard. I would love bamboo shades and they are on sale at Lowe's right know as I type, but I would need to mount them outside the windows which I don't really like, or special order the shades which is very expensive. These windows are 70.5" wide and standard shades are 71" or 72" wide. I would also need to keep them down all day to protect the furniture. So for know I have to live with the blinds. The blinds are great for light and heat control. I can tilt them so we still see the outside, but the light doesn't shine on the furniture. I haven't checked into getting UV protection put on the windows, maybe that's an option?

Any ideas out there? I would love to hear them!

I picked out the new color six months ago. I just didn't have time to paint this room. In the back of my mind I knew it was going to blow up to be much bigger project than just painting the walls.

Bye Bye yellow.

Before I painted I re-textured the walls with joint compound and primed the re-textured areas with Zinnser primer. Click here to see how to do that part of the project.

I painted the room with my favorite paint Benjamin Moore. The color is 75% of OC 10 White Sand in a flat sheen. The eggshell finish looked weird on the ceiling so I just painted the whole thing in flat. The old paint was flat and it held up very well even in the kitchen. I don't tape off the room when I paint. I just use an angled brush to do all the cut in work. The color looks like a very cool gray in the morning and afternoon and more beigey and warmer in the evening. I like it because it's very calming and fresh.

I raised the curtain rods up about six inches to the bottom of the molding and moved the brackets out wider past the windows to make the windows look even bigger. I got rid of the finials in between the windows and extended the rod all the way across the narrow wall separating the two windows. Now the windows looks like one giant window. They are difficult to photograph because they are always back lit by the sun.
The blinds are back up again. I wasn't sure the drapes were going to work with the new paint color, but I love them even more now. I made them out of paint tarps several years ago. They have great weight, a nice texture, and drape nicely. You can't get much cheaper fabric than paint tarps.

I also painted the brown curtain rods with a gray wash. I bought the finials years ago on sale for $5 a pair at a fabric store. They are made by the Antique Drapery Rod Company and usually are around $35-$45 a piece. Most of the curtain rods in this room are made out of closet dowel painted to match the finials. Closet dowel can be found in the molding section of any hardware store. It's so cheap compared to an actual wood drapery rod. Just paint it and drill holes in the ends for the finials.

My dad helped us do the molding when we moved in. It's actually two separate pieces of molding. We painted the wall board in between the two pieces to make the molding look bigger. We have ten foot ceilings and skinny molding looked out of scale in the room. Wider molding is more difficult to miter the corners and more pricey. This was an economical solution. Painting the ceiling accentuates the molding.

Here is the new paint in the kitchen with my black cabinets. I painted the kitchen cabinets a few years ago and they have held up AWESOME! Someday I'll get around to doing a blog on how to paint kitchen cabinets. I used an oil based paint designed for metal not wood. It wears like iron.

Here is a sneak peak of the new concrete floor. The base coat is the same color as the walls. I love the color, but I'm not sure if I like the maintenance? It shows every speck of grass our dog brings in the house and I can't have anything in my house that high maintenance. I don't have time to sweep everyday and right know that's what this floor requires for up keep. I might have to adjust the color a little darker? Still thinking about what to do.

The ceiling is the same color as the walls, but see how it looks more gray than the wall color? I almost always paint ceilings. The ceiling is the fifth wall. In smaller rooms I paint the ceiling a couple shades lighter than the walls or I paint them a pale blue. Remember that paint will almost always look darker on a ceiling than on the walls. I know it's a personal preference, but sometimes when I walk into a large room with a white ceiling, I feel like it's being covered with a big white sheet. Painting the ceiling really shows off the molding too.

I also took the shades off the chandelier and lightened up the paint color. It's not done yet so I'll show you later how it turns out. The large wood scroll over the mirror is new to this room too. To see how I painted it click here.

I just noticed while watching the Nate Berkus show that the color of the walls on his set looks almost the same as my wall color. It looks more blue in this picture than it is on TV. If you watch the show check out his walls.

I'm so happy with the color. Walking into this room now makes me relax, just what I was trying to achieve. Who knows, I might be sick of it in six months and want to paint it all over again, but for now I'm loving it.

I still have a lot of work to do. The fireplace needs to be finished. I need an area rug, some lamps, I want to refinish my buffet, complete the chandelier, the list is bigger than the bank account. The major messy work is done for now. I'm addicted to change so I never know what I'm going to do next.

Thanks for checking it out!


  1. Wow. Love the cool tones. Looks great. Did you know I am currently in love with gray (the color of our entire townhouse).
    I especially love the twin ottomans in front of the newly slip covered sofa.

    Truly love the neutral palette with great shades of white, with your pop of animal pillow. So much to take in...Wish I could sit at the island and share a glass of merlot to take it all in.

  2. Looks great Shannon!! No wonder I haven't seen you much haha!!

  3. It looks fabulous Shannon. Love your tip on the crown moulding. The new color really makes it pop and show up your pretty things, especially the wood scroll over the mirror (great tutorial btw).

  4. REALLY want to know what paint you used for the kitchen cabinets. I'd love to paint mine over spring break and I love how yours look!

  5. I'd REALLY like to know what paint you used for the kitchen cabinets. I'm ready to makeover my oak ones!


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