The Family Room Makeover in My 1850 Farmhouse

Well, we did it! The family room makeover happened and I can’t wait to show you the before and after.

If you’ve been following along our journey here at the new house, we started renovating rooms shortly after moving in.

We moved just before the holidays and are painting rooms on the main floor to lighten it up.

The prior homeowners decorated with lots of dark heavy faux finishes that were very well done, but a little dark for our taste.

So we’ve been doing a lot of painting!

First, I painted the sunroom.

Then we renovated, primed, and painted the entire dining room.

And now, we wrapped up the family room.

IT LOOKS SO GOOD!!!!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is AMAZING what a few cans of paint can do.

This room went from feeling very dark and dingy to a lighter, brighter space we actually want to hang out in.

And taking down the cabinet in the kitchen helped move this renovation along.

Wait until you see how good it looks now!!!

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Before the Family Room Makeover

Although the walls had a dark heavy faux finish on them, they weren’t all that bad.

They did a Venetian plaster on the walls and ceiling.

And even faux finished the trim.

The problem with it was the room felt very closed in.

before and after room makeovers

In fact, the huge windows were covered with these gorgeous plantation blinds.

But we removed them shortly after moving in because they weren’t staying open and we wanted to see the exterior gardens from inside the house.

The former homeowners had lots of beautiful artwork that I’m sure they wanted to protect from all the natural light spilling into the home.

vintage farmhouse living room

But we don’t have that, so we want to open it all up, brighten things up and bring the outdoors in.

Because the gardens here are seriously amazing.

Have you seen them yet? If not, CLICK HERE.

kitchen reno after cabinet removal
This photo was taken after we removed the cabinets above the breakfast bar in the kitchen. We love the open feel of the space now!

What is a Family Room?

The family room is a casual, all-purpose room where the family gathers and spends time.

And it’s a space that is a haven for family activities such as reading, watching television, or playing games.

living room vs family room

Living Room vs Family Room: Which Is It?

Have you ever considered what the difference is between the two rooms in some ways, they are pretty much the same.

I know back in the day the living room was and probably still is a more formal, proper living space that is reserved more for guests than every day living with the family.

Living rooms were places where special items like statues and furniture that were special and required extra care were maintained.

living room vs family room

However, in today’s world, many of us don’t decorate that way anymore and instead treat these spaces much more casually.

In our old house, we did not have a formal living room and a family room, and truthfully, we didn’t miss it.

We only had one living room. You can see it HERE.

We just kept our home very casual with things the kids couldn’t do too much damage too.

living room vs family room

But now that my kids are older and we moved?

I’m still not about stuffy living spaces where people can sit, but I do love have both a living room and a family room.

How do you use your living room vs. family room?

Let me know in the comments.

Family room renovation is underway - bye bye faux finish

How We Updated the Family Room

We are renovating the family room in two phases: 1) painting the walls, ceiling, and trim, and 2) painting the built-in cabinet.

For now, we wanted to lighted up the whole room, step back and see how it looks.

So we fixed the walls from regular wear and tear, primed and painted the room.

Oh and we also removed the big circle mirror that sat above the archway to the kitchen.

I knew this room would look good with a coat of paint, but I didn’t know how much.

Gah!

After the family room makeover

After the Family Room Makeover

So again, this is only after part 1 of the makeover.

Please don’t comment below that you think the built-in should be painted too, because I know it needs to be painted and it’s on the list for winter 2023 with the kitchen cabinets.

We can only do so much in a short period of time and have a LONG list of things we want to do here.

So we are prioritizing the projects.

After the family room makeover

If we get to it sooner, we will but for now, I can live with this while I start working on other projects, like the gardens outside.

Anyway, can you believe how much better it looks all painted????

I mean, shut the front door, right???

Chris added some moldings around where the kitchen cabinets used to be so we could make that look OK for now without damaging the walls.

To do it right, we’d have to remove that whole cabinet unit and we did not want to get into it right now if we could make it look good for the time being.

We are still working on this piece of the room to make it look a little more finished and eventually want to add stone veneer to this whole wall in both the kitchen and the family room.

Wouldn’t that look beautiful?

I’m also on the hunt for wall sconces that flank the arched opening.

But I’m not sure what I want to do yet because I’m still shopping around.

after the family room makeover

The Family Room Coffee Table

Do you guys recognize the coffee table?

I shared it with you a few weeks ago in my Friday Favorites.

It’s really beautiful and looks so good in my family room because it picks up the grays and adds a lot of texture to the room.

CLICK HERE to get the details on the table.

before and after family room

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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22 Comments

  1. The difference is incredible! So light, clean, and airy feeling now especially painting the ceiling. You’ve worked non stop to get so far in such a short time and it’s beautiful. I like to work with the seasons on home projects too although our indoor days are during Florida’s hot summers and gardening season is winter. I love having separate living spaces and use the living room to greet guests, have a glass of wine, throw a wedding/baby shower, morning cups w/my husband. The furnishings are dressier but not formal and more for comfortable extended sitting plus it adjoins the dining room so gravitating there for coffee after a meal is natural. It’s almost always tidy. The family room is used more like a den and can have my work out mat or ironing board or projects left out for days w/more lounging furnishings for watching a big screen tv. It’s usually messy with sewing projects, puzzles, papers and guests don’t see it unless I invite them too.

  2. What a beautiful difference!! The new paint and removal of the shutters really makes the room seem more in touch with the gardens…which is so much your thing. I can’t wait to see what that neat built in looks like painted.

  3. Hi Stacy = Once again, you and your husband have applied your wonderful taste to this room. It’s friendly and inviting. I’m so excited to see more of your journey which I know will be wonderful.

  4. Stacy everything looks so pretty and clean. I know what you are going through with the paint and basically redoing every wall and all of the trim. We bought a house in 2003 from an elderly man who had been in the Navy. We bought the house for the land and the garden and grounds outside. BUT, he had decorated the entire house in Navy themes! There was even and huge Anchor light and huge fish tank! It took me 2 years to take down wall paper, then repair walls and paint them and repaint every piece of trim and repaint every door. We kept the house for 10 years and my hard work paid off because when we sold it, we had three contracts the first day, one of those $25,000 over the asking price.

  5. Wow! This must feel fantastic! Suddenly your furnishings also look so much better now in this room as well. I like how your sofa compliments the darker tiles in the floor and the whole room seems more balanced and defined. Clean and crisp. Love it! Do you mind sharing what color white you used on the walls?

  6. I love you decorating style and the family room looks great. Where is your sectional from? I love it and we have 3 dogs so I need something big and durable.

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