Family Room Rewind – A Comfy Place to Hang

Remodeling & Design / Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Our mid-century ranch had a wealth of living areas: a “formal” living/dining combination the size of a small ballroom, a less expansive room right in the middle of the house that we ended up using as a library, and the room you see below that we designated as the family room – a place to hang out, play games, watch TV.

6844 Brants 008The family room certainly had the space. The light flooding in from the big windows and the 10′ ceilings (not a standard feature in a mid-century ranch; a sure give-away that this was an add-on)  were a great start for a bright, inviting space, but the floors and finishes didn’t say cozy, warm, and comfy. (If you read the second kitchen post, you already know how we felt and what we did about the floors.)    The next picture was taken from the fireplace wall looking toward the kitchen on the left (where the pass-through is) and the doors to the laundry room and garage on the right.

6844 Brants 011
Effie posing in family room before

See the low-slung wet bar with green Formica counter tops? Remember Debra’s vision for the kitchen (and how it turned out)? We demo-ed the bar right away. And see how the wall on the kitchen side, behind the bar, juts out into the room about 6′ further than the wall on the right? We opted for some symmetry and incorporated that 6′ into the laundry room, which is just on the other side of that wall. (Sorry – I didn’t take pics of that, but adding 6′ to a cramped laundry room makes a world of difference.)

Here is a shot during construction from roughly the same vantage point:

6844 brants 030 (2)You can see how the pass-through to the kitchen has been widened (and the support post beefed up) and the balance created by taking the extra space into the laundry room. (That’s the old kitchen island on the right. It made a pretty good work table.) We had to prime the walls because the existing, pinkish paint actually bled through our “swatch” spots. Very strange.

6844 brants 029This shot from the other direction shows the swatch of paint that we actually used on the fireplace wall – including the brick surround – and the interior of the shelves. We wanted those areas to be dark, each area for a different reason. On the shelves, the idea was to showcase the items displayed. Darkening the background heightened the contrast. Since I wanted to put a 70″ flat screen TV above the fireplace, we wanted a wall color that would blend with the TV, making it disappear when it was off and pop when it was on. The color we used, and which I believe worked perfectly, was a very dark grey in the green family called Sherwin Williams Andiron.

The wall color that we chose was another Benjamin Moore color, Sea Haze.

So, here is the finished product:

Family Room 2-2
Photo by Trey Freeze

Bob the builder (see Debra’s guest post) built a new mantle, based on the design of the coffee bar (which he also built), sturdy enough to hold the TV. We actually bought the Persian rug (online) for another room. When we rolled it out here to look at it, we liked it so well that we left it.

Family Room 4
Game table – Photo by Trey Freeze
Photo by Trey Freeze
Photo by Trey Freeze

This picture above is taken standing at the game table and looking toward the kitchen, etc.

Photo by Trey Freeze
Photo by Trey Freeze

Cozy, warm, and comfy can be small and dark. But it doesn’t have to be, does it?

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