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Turning the Family Room into a Great Room

Happy Thursday! We are continuing to work our way around the rooms of the main floor today. We have talked about the decorating plan for the entryway, the library and the circle room so far. In this post we will tackle the family room/great room. This room is visible from the entryway, partially visible from the circle room, contains the door to the basement, and it is completely open to the kitchen so the space needs to operate as both a connection point and as the family room.

We are using a sofa that we have had for the past seventeen years in here. The sofa is upholstered in a navy fabric with white stripes and we are not changing it as part of our great reupholster plan for the Sixth House. The sofa started out in our basement family room in Baltimore, then it was in the sunroom of our Grosse Pointe house, and then again in a basement family room in our Holland house. The rest of the room will need to play nicely with the sofa. That being said, I want to go more on the bold side than the neutral side. I played it so safe in our Holland house since I thought we would not be living in it at first and then decided to keep it that way when I found out we would be living in it for only a short time-I didn't want it to be objectionable to potential buyers. I love colorful and/or bold fabrics and I love mixing patterns though and I want that to be on full display in this house. I have missed living in a house like that. To me it makes a house feel happy and welcoming (when the mix is not too overdone).

Alrighty, let's get into it! (Here is the renovation plan for the space and this is the current state of the space if needed). This is what I have to work with:

Starting with the tall chest on the top left and moving clockwise (as much as possible ) this is what is on the board:

  • We saw this tall chest at an antique store this past fall in Maine with dear friends of ours. I loved it, took pictures of it, measurements of it, and came home wondering if I could fit it anywhere in this house. I decided it made no sense to pursue it since we are not sure ultimately what our renovations will produce. Lo and behold, John surprised me and bought it after hearing me talk about it A LOT. We do not have it in our house yet, the antique dealer is storing it for us until we are ready for it. I'm so excited for it to get here. 2023? The sooner the better!

  • We bought this round copper topped table to fit in the banquette of our kitchen in Grosse Pointe and have thought about selling it or donating it many times since we moved from there, yet here it is.

  • This antique side board was purchased for our dining room in Baltimore

  • The sofa

  • We purchased this rug for our dining room in Holland

  • These two square wicker coffee tables were purchased from Pottery Barn for our sunroom in Grosse Pointe. These tables have seen better days and I am on the fence about keeping them.

  • The matching floral chairs are from The Farm and will be reupholstered

  • The chaise is from my Nana and will be slipcovered

Here is the mood board for the room:

I want to find a new base for the copper table. We have never liked the base the table came with. We asked the company to leave the base raw wood when we ordered it so we could stain it or paint it ourselves and instead they sent one with a shiny varnish on the pine base. The table was sent from a small company in Mexico and getting a new base from them was not an easy feat so we kept it thinking we'll do something about it later. Replacing the base has been on the list ever since and now it will finally get done. It better! Etsy has a lot of table bases similar to the inspiration photo to choose from like this or this. My plan is to use this table in the "connection space" dividing the entry hall, circle room, basement, and kitchen traffic from the "sit down" space of the family room.

The room currently has a ceiling fan in the center of the entire space and I want to replace it with a sprawling chandelier that stays close to the ceiling since it will now speak to two separate spaces. I would like to avoid installing two separate overhead lights, one over the "connection space" and one over the "sitting space" because it is money that does not have to be spent (on that). I think with the right light it will be attractive and look intentional. I'm also considering something more modern than the inspiration picture (like this).

The two floral chairs are going to be reupholstered in the blue and red fabric in the top right of the mood board. It is a performance linen from Schumacher. The pattern name is Melograno and it has been discontinued. I had chosen this fabric to reupholster two of the chairs from the circle room for the great room in our Holland house and then decided not to do it because I did not know where those chairs would end up in our next house. That was fortuitous since now those chairs will be in my circle room! The fabric goes well with the sofa, this picture is not a great representation of the color. I am so pleased that there was enough of this fabric left in the Schumacher warehouse for these chairs.

The chaise is going to be slipcovered in a white washable, bleach-able canvas fabric. Yes, I am taking my own advice! I am having two decorative lumbar pillows made from the blue and white fabric in the bottom right of the mood board. One will go on the chaise and one will go on the sofa.

For the coffee table I am going to try spray painting the existing wicker ones to freshen up the black and see how they look. I would really love to have an upholstered ottoman or bench as the coffee table though so maybe those wicker ones will have to go to the basement! I would like to cover the ottoman/bench in a red striped grain sack fabric, similar to this on Etsy. Oh, perfection (to me).

In addition to painting the walls to match the color we choose for entryway, we also need to freshen up the fireplace. It is red brick from floor to ceiling. We took down the mantle that was on it when we moved in and the protruding bricks that held it up are still there. I want to paint the brick the same color as the walls, put a very simple mantle up and add paneling painted to match on top of the mantle. We will need paneling and trim pieces on the sides of the brick facade to keep the wiring to the TV invisible. These are inspiration pictures for the fireplace:

These are both cutouts from a magazine, this is the designer though.

Here are some inspiration photos for the "connection space" copper table:

I envision having design books, blue and white jars, and a few other decorative objects on the table.

Here are some inspiration photos of "bold rooms":

magazine cut out from years ago

An inspiration photo of a white chaise and tall antique chest, both from Amber Interiors:

This is a look at the floor plan with the furniture layout. The majority of the furniture is in the room now and it fits. We will have to see how it all looks once there are wood floors and reupholstered furniture - I think it can only look one million times better!

Next time we will begin to talk about the kitchen. I mentioned in a previous post that I do not think I am ready to commit to the final kitchen decor plan yet. I am committed to the layout, I need to decide on cabinets, countertops, etc. though. Unless I can fully commit by Tuesday, chances are next week we will have two kitchen posts and maybe one more after that. So many choices, all calling my name. See you next week!

Thank you for reading today,





Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

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