I’ve shared this view of our most lived-in room of the house a handful of times:
But what I haven’t shared are the other sides:
We call this room the Family Room which sits off the kitchen and is the place where we do most of our hanging out. We chose the cushiest, deepest, most comfortable sectional (more about it here) for the corner to fit our whole family for movies and lounging. It has not disappointed.
What does feel pretty meh is the rest of the room. It is the one room besides our master bathroom and the kids’ bathroom that we have not yet touched in the house … until now.
Before I got started, I took a quick video for you:
So like I mentioned in the video, we have bigger plans for the room – think wood floors, new wider baseboards and window trim (like we did upstairs), planked walls or ceiling and a wall of builtins along the wall that currently houses the tv. The problem with our big plans is in order to do one part, it requires another part to be done at the same time. It’s like a massive chain of projects and we just don’t have the time, budget or finished plan totally figured out quite yet.
In the meantime, we’re giving it a PHASE ONE makeover, like we’ve done with almost every other room in the house.
What’s a phase one makeover? Well, I say it’s just doing the small things that don’t require much time, money or tearing out of walls. Things like paint, changing out lights or hardware, improving upon what you already have.
For the family room, phase one looks like fresh paint on the walls and trim, replacing the can lights with lower-profile white ones, taking down the ceiling fan and adding a new light fixture, removing the sconces and switching out some furniture.
First up on that list was paint.
After posting an in-process painting picture to instagram, a sweet reader said this:
“Can you (or have you already) do a post on tips for painting interiors? We’re getting ready to tackle our house and we both literally sat and looked at each other and said, “sooooo just paint…?”
That one made me smile. And my answer is basically, yes. Just paint.
But with a few pointers.
First, choose your paint. For walls I prefer a slight sheen (called eggshell or satin, depending on the brand), ceilings in flat and trim in semi-gloss.
We are carrying on with the same white we’ve used in most of the rooms and hallways in the house – Shoji White by Sherwin Williams. For more tips on choose a white paint, read this post about our old house and this one from the new house.
Then, grab your supplies. You’ll typically want an angled brush for cutting in the edges (like this), a roller and tray and painter’s tape.
Next, prep the space. We pulled all of the furniture to the center of the room and covered with thick plastic. If you’re taping off areas where you don’t want paint, now is the time to do it.
Finally, start painting! If you have two people, have one cut in the edges and the other follow behind with the roller for the main surface of the walls. If you’re painting solo, I usually cut everything in and then move to the roller.
We will eventually move the tv to a different wall, but for now it will stay – the cable is on that wall and it just felt easier to leave it for now :)
Once the walls had two coats and time to dry overnight, I went to work on the trim.
We painted the trim in the kitchen with the same deep charcoal as the cabinets and have just continued that downstairs – at least for now. Like I mentioned before, when we put in hardwoods we’ll switch out the baseboards and the window trim (just like we did upstairs) and it will go white, but in the meantime it feels fun to try something a little different with the dark trim.
For the trim, I did it just the same as with the rest of the downstairs trim (read my full post about painting out orangy-wood trim and doors here). I taped off inside and outside the windows as well as above the trim on the wall and on the edge of the carpet. So much tape!
I actually don’t like painter’s tape – it always, always bleeds. Sure, I could try the whole paint the background color first trick, but that seems so time intensive. So instead, I just tape it off, press firmly, then paint the trim.
When the tape comes off (after the second coat, but while still wet-ish), there are always areas where the paint bleeds under.
I’ve just learned to deal with it and I go back over with a tiny artists brush and wall paint to fix the smudges. It takes precision and a bit of time, but it’s not terrible. Just mildly annoying.
But, hey! Look how pretty that trim looks now!
When we first painted the kitchen window trim it felt like we put eyeliner on the windows. Suddenly they became focal points and directed your vision to outside, which is truly so beautiful. I am typically a fan of simple white trim, but this dark is quite eye-catching.
There is still one more patch of paint way up high to finish, then we’ll switch out the light fixtures (can’t wait to share what we’re doing!) and move some furniture around.
So far, just having the walls freshly painted and trim that striking charcoal has really updated the room. All for a few days of painting and about $100 in supplies. Not bad!
If you’re debating about whether or not to paint a room or paint out your trim, do it! It truly makes such a big difference.
I’ll keep you posted as we continue to work on Phase One of the Family Room Makeover.