Once Upon A Blue & White (Family Room)

This family room made a family not so happy. Though they were lukewarm on the room in total, I was called in to give it a shot of Botox only, replace the sofa due to an allergy to feathers, facelift the fireplace they passionately disliked, and design an adjoining parent & child library/office.

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1) Extremely long narrow space

2) The only window – a floating bay – sits at a far end of the room, separated from the seating area by the door. Room feels windowless & this couple clearly loves light & glass (window).

3) Room has a green and pink color palette, which would dictate the adjoining library color plan. One review of their inspiration images and my brows furrow. No sign of pink. No sign of green. Blue and white is everywhere. $%$#! This will break the budget – stomach now in a knot. Do I speak up and make them unhappy (on budget) or forever hold my tongue, do as I’m told and make them unhappy with more pink & green?? Two nights of interrupted sleep, drive husband crazy talking about my dilemma. “Talk to them,” he groans at 3:15 a.m., “and go back to sleep. You’re making yourself crazy. You’re making me crazy.” (Hey…for better or worse, Bub…that was the deal…)

4) Brick fireplace overpowers the room. It’s painted cottagy white and has out of proportion country bookcases flanking it. Clients hate the painted brick; I see no sign of country in their inspiration images.

So here’s where we went.

Fabric color palette.


Early fireplace facelift thoughts – shore up proportion of bookcases and fireplace; lower mantel for correct TV viewing comfort.

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Glass feature in cabinetry to create the feeling of more windows in the room. Repeated detail into the library draws the eye across the family room and the room feels larger. Even though we are structurally unable to continue the library cabinets at the same height as the family room, the look is gorgeous.

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Increased seating with some moving ottomans and a flash of grounding navy. Check out stunning rug – custom all the way – in color and size.

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And so, this family – and family room – lived happily ever after. The end. (Sort of – now I’m designing their dining room and foyer….)