5 Easy Updates to Your Family Room

By now, the kids are all back to school and mostly readjusted to the bus, bagged lunch and homework. September is a hectic time of year for families transitioning from the wonderful chaos of summer to the regiment of school and extra curriculars. But, once the dust settles, parents can find themselves with a bit of extra time on their hands. With said extra time the focus is often - Let’s get this house in shape before the holidays are upon us!!! (This line is screamed in true and deep panic as one suddenly realizes that Thanksgiving is 2 months away)

Today, the 2nd day of October…if you’re counting…we’re breaking down 5 easy ways to completely update your family room. And a plan to get it done before Turkey Day!

Below is a “before” photo from our Hutchins Project. This is the state of many a family room before we got our hands on it - fine. Serving a purpose, more or less.

Gray Oak Studio - Family Room Refresh - BEFORE photo

Below is a photo of the same exact family room after we did a little number on it.

Gray Oak Studio - Hutchins Project Family Room Update

floor lamp / ottoman / brass wall frames

You’ll see that 4 existing pieces of furniture stayed the same: sofa, armchair, rug and media center. Now let’s breakdown what changed.

5 Steps to Updating your Family Room
  1. Lighting

    We added a semi flushmount light fixture, a floor lamp and a table lamp. A variety of light sources allows for multiple activities in a room (one person watching TV, one person reading), adds ambiance (a little mood lighting goes a long way) and creates a wow moment (ceiling lights are masters at creating beauty and interest).

  2. Window Treatments

    Window treatments are the eyebrows of a room. There are definitely exceptions, but as a rule of thumb a room will feel like something is missing without some sort of window treatment. Here we replaced the shorter gray drapes with ivory linen drapes that “just kiss” the floor. When in doubt, white/ivory drapes are always the right choice. They are style chameleons and simultaneously timeless and modern. They cover all bases.

  3. Wall Color

    A fresh coat of paint is an instant refresh to any room. Here we changed the darker puddy color to a crisp, light gray (Nimbus by Benjamin Moore).

  4. Decor

    New throw pillows, blankets, books, baskets, vases and decorative objects are a must of this process. Even if you don’t have time or money for a complete overhaul, be sure to curate a cohesive batch of current decor. Pick a color palette (sticking with 2-3 colors is the easiest way to stay cohesive) and hit up your favorite HomeGoods. We also love Target’s Threshold and Project 62 lines.

  5. Plants

    If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you know that you always incorporate plants in our designs. For good reason. They bring color and texture and height (if you’re going indoor tree style). And, most importantly, they breathe life into a home. They give the feeling of a nurtured, loved home.

The Plan to Get Er Done!

Okay, so, your mind is now bubbling with all the wall color choices you’ve seen on Pinterest (Revere Pewter, Alabaster…could you go dark with Hale Navy?). And you had been eyeing a pillow at HomeGoods last week. But how are you actually going get it done?

  1. Order the light fixture and the window treatments. Anything that needs to be “installed” should be your first purchase.

    - We love these linen curtains and these linen-like curtains. (click links to shop)

  2. Paint the walls.

    - We recently polled our Instagram followers to tell us their favorite white paint color. Check out this post for the results.

  3. Install the light fixture and window treatment. The room is already looking so different!

  4. It’s accessory shopping time. Here is our not-so-secret trick to accessorizing: buy a lot more than you need, bring it all home, mix and match, try this, try that, see it all in the space before you make your final choices, then return what you don’t end up using.

  5. Plant time. If you have a local nursery, we highly recommend going to pick out few plants. The people who work there are a wealth of knowledge and can recommend species that will thrive in your home (amount of light, direction of light, etc.). If you don’t have a local nursery, we have found some awesome, budget-friendly plants at both WholeFoods and Trader Joes.

This is totally doable in 6 weeks - You got this. Happy October!!!

- Leah

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