A family friendly all white family room.

Since there is very little I can control at this point about our appraisal that seems to be dragging on…and on….and on…. I am going to move forward in my mind with new home design.  I do well when I focus my attention back to something that I can control (this all goes along with my OCD tendencies) so play along folks.

Straight back from the main entrance is the family room.  It is a large space that opens into the kitchen and breakfast nook.  Almost the exact layout we have been dreaming of.  The family room’s main focal point is a large (and I do mean large) stone fireplace.  Not exactly my “cup of tea” so I had to really think about a way to create my vision of a  simple, elegant  space while incorporating this massive fireplace. Anything too much and the space will be overwhelmed.  I also prefer glam over rustic so this  proved to be a challenge in my mind.  I just try to take myself to a french farmhouse with beautiful rustic original fixtures and the modern elegance of a Paris flat and all is well in my world. Yes…that is a white sofa…yes I have three kids…and no I am (probably) not crazy. I have dreamed of all white in my living space.  The color soothes me and the “clean look” makes me extremely giddy.  White can brighten and warm at the change of a simple pillow.  I can take this room from neutral to glam with a few inexpensive textile changes.  It is classic and simple and I AM DOING IT.  The sofa, white chairs (there will be two) and ottoman all have removable and machine washable slipcovers.  Easy to clean and easy to replace.  The pillows that I will start with will be a mix of white, natural and maybe a hint of dark grayish brown(if I can find them in my storage building.)  For now I am not going to add any pops of color to the textiles but the beauty of the all white furnishings is that anything is possible in the future!

The room will be grounded with a custom Shaw  rug (made from a cut of carpet and bound.)  This gives me the flexibility to select the size and the cost is a fraction of the cost of a pre-cut area rug while having the durability and stain resistance of carpet.   I need this rug to be big (probably 12X18) because there are no existing floor outlets and my furniture and tables will “float” in the middle of the room.  I will use some  tricks of the design trade I have learned to run an electrical grid of the most complex pattern under this rug and no one (unless you read my blog) will ever know they are there.  It will just be “magic light.”

In keeping with my white theme, simple white curtains will hang on the four windows along the back wall and continue into the breakfast nook for consistency.  Actually, these same simple white curtains (an inexpensive IKEA find) will hang throughout my entire house.

One of my biggest issues with the house now is the lighting.  It just isn’t my style.  The current light fixture in the family room is a ceiling fan.  I am not a huge fan of ceiling fans and will only use them when completely necessary.  This space is not one of those.  I always think of light fixtures as the great oversized necklace that makes your basic teeshirt amazing.  Ceiling fans are more like a thin chain that no one really notices. The round iron light fixture above gives the hint of “french farmhouse” that I mentioned before and  ties nicely with the rustic fireplace.  I will add amber glass lamps for additional lighting and more of a glam flare.

The coffee table was a Southeastern Salvage find and I have stored it for over a year in hopes of using it.  It has an awesome chrome base with a beautiful unfinished wood top.  Two small metal end tables will flank the sofa and a recent trip to Bassett’s clearance room provided me with an super chic chrome sofa table for a mere $40!

My original thought was to add two chairs to the staircase wall for additional seating an a “reading nook” (yeah right…like I have time to sit and read) but on the same Bassett visit I found this beautiful light gray club chair and thought that pairing it with a ceramic table would be a nice classic touch.

My accessories will be mixes of silver, mercury glass and white and there will be an abundance of candles (flameless, of course.)  I have even planned my Christmas tree and mantle decorations and they will follow the same theme.  Every detail counts.

Now for the biggest challenge.  The piano.  In our current house, we have a room that houses my beautiful baby grand piano.  The new house does not.  I am going to do my best to squeeze it into the family room but I am not willing to sacrifice the entire space for the sake of a piano that I rarely have enough time to play anymore.  It is a sentimental piece and makes a great spot for my Christmas Silhouettes so we will just have to see how great my space planning is when we get there.  On paper…it works…but barely.  We will just have to see what “in person” looks like.

In case you are wondering why I haven’t picked some breathtaking artwork or large mirror for over the fireplace…that’s because as much as I would like to use it my husband has plans for a giant TV to hang.  Lucky me. My only rule is that no wires are visible.  Our current house looks like a flashback from “A Christmas Story.”  I also like that this puts a little pressure on him to think about design details.  Of course, after he visits Smarthomes and my furnishings budget becomes non-exsistent I may rethink this decision.

So that’s our family room!  As long as all goes well.  It may not seem like the most practical space to live in but I can guarantee that just as much football will be watched on this couch as our last and I will not cringe anymore than I already do when things are spilled!  Hey….it just gives me a reason to make changes!


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