Our family room (which was an office, which was also a guest bedroom, which was also a storage room) has been a room that I’ve struggled with since we moved into Crhacienda. It was such an awkward space that we didn’t know how we would use it. Without a purpose for a space it’s very challenging to design it.

In the last few weeks we decided that we finally wanted to make the room a den/family room for us to just relax and watch T.V. Our living room in the front of the house just isn’t working because the T.V. is always competing with our picture window as a focal point. I’ve tried every layout for our living room, but we can never find the sweet spot to watch T.V., entertain, and enjoy the view of the front yard. Once we figured out that the T.V. was the easiest part of the equation to remove the family room started to come along fast.

First, you may want to remind yourself where this room is and what it looked like when we bought the house by revisiting the Full Crhacienda House Tour.

Super weird room, right? Not only are the two closets weird, but then you have all the wasted space for a hallway that just goes right into the Jack-and-Jill guest bathroom. If we go back even further you’ll see how the room looked when the previous owners (the flippers) started construction.

Our third bedroom started life as the house’s original bathroom and part of a sun room/eat in breakfast room that adjoined the kitchen. Oh my, those tiles. It was smart of the flippers to create two bathrooms in the house instead of just this one. Previously there was a sunroom in this area of the house too, so creating a proper third bedroom (albeit awkward and small) was also a good decision. Anyway, back to the new family room as we have known it.

Ugh. First of all, the gray paint didn’t do any favors for the room since the main light comes from North facing windows. Also, whenever you have odd architecture the last thing you want to do is highlight it with color. The gray paint wasn’t that dark, but we want our entire house to feel cohesive and bright so the walls are going to be painted white. White walls just work in a Spanish style house (most houses for that matter).

Two weekends ago we painted the family room Whisper by Dunn-Edwards and I’m not kidding it made the room instantly so much happier. The house let out a sigh of relief. I love Whisper because it’s a white, but not sterile. There’s a bit of a warm undertone which is perfect for our old house. Now the space feels airy, relaxed, and bright.

Two of the rooms that inspired me fit the bill perfectly. Casual without feeling frumpy, and energetic without making you tired.

Amber Interiors Family Room

Amber Interiors

When working on the mood board for the room I had to remember that the room is small, so it can’t really accommodate a lot of things. By making the main purpose of the room focused on the T.V. we can narrow down what’s needed. The sofa I like from Ikea is just the right amount of comfort and durability we need. Would I have loved to have a down-filled, linen slip-covered, sofa? Absolutely. But I’m not spending that kind of money right now. The large single seat cushion means no one ever has to straddle two cushions while binge-watching and it’s deep enough to get cozy. So many boxes were checked with this sofa. Oh, and another one! The matching ottoman has storage inside. So good.

It was important that the window coverings in this room achieve two things, 1) light control because no one wants glare on their T.V., and 2) heat control. Both of these will kill a room. The morning light on the East side of the house has already faded the lining of our curtains. We even have double paned low-E glass. So let this be a lesson to everyone, sun damage is bad for everything. Your furniture and rugs will thank you for their longer lives because you protected them from harsh sunlight.

For the family room I’m layering woven shades with curtains. It’s a great way to get multiple levels of light control and privacy. The fabric curtains will help to soften the harshness of the shade and make the room feel less formal. I also love having the option to drop the shade and block as much light as possible. Sometimes you want to hibernate in a dark room like a vampire while binge-watching Handmaid’s Tale.

One of the things I always try to avoid in design is everything looking too new. A mix of vintage and new helps add to the personality of a home. It’s challenging too, for those of you who moved from a small place to something bigger you want to get all the pieces you need to fill it so it doesn’t feel empty. One of the worst design mistakes I see is a house that looks like a design showroom because everything was bought at the same time. Sometimes this can feel cold and impersonal, so I’m going to layer in vintage items like some vintage fabrics on the pillows, the Turkish rug, and the Danish credenza to add depth back to the design.

Check back in a few weeks to see the full reveal of the finished Crhacienda Family Room!