BEFORE & AFTER: My Cozy Family Room Makeover

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Who said that a family room makeover has to be extravagant??

Remember what my family room looked like before?

(How could you forget, right??)

I’m sure you were traumatized, especially when you saw the close-ups! LOL



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This is what it looks like today!


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It’s no secret that my home was a huge source of embarrassment.

You know that feeling you get when people come over, and you start trying to explain away the mess: “Oh, I’m in the middle of a project….” {{insert nervous laughter here}}.

But notice the keywords:

Was embarrassed.

Because after this latest 30-Day Room Challenge where I tackled my family room makeover I’m quickly replacing embarrassment with the warmest, most cozy feeling of affection for my home!


How My Family Room Makeover All Came Together!

This is how my family room looked pretty much most days:

…with a badly deflated 12-year-old green velvet sofa….

…an ugly rug that I once thought was the hottest thing since sliced bread…

…and my $5.00 thrifted coffee table covered in sticky dishes and crumbs (click here to see the BEFORE and AFTER of this coffee table makeover)….



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Someone on Facebook blasted me for not vacuuming first before taking these BEFORE pics.

Doesn’t she know I give it to you raw?? 🙂

And when you don’t love a room, you don’t groom it. 

But now….???

I love it and vow never to let it go! (And I also promise to vacuum. HAHA).


I bought some batting and restuffed the cushions, including a good steam clean with my favorite Homeright Steam Machine, which removed a lot of the dirty and stains the kids left (I’ll show you that video footage of the clean-up soon!).

Hard to believe this is the same sofa, right?!


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These are the buttons I made for the sofa after stuffing it to plump it back up! I used some old fabric lying around and cut the buttons. (You can make your own covered buttons by buying this craft cover button kit).





And in case you’ve forgotten, this is what the room looked like when we first bought the house.

1973 was a funky year when builders thought that an entire wall of brick fireplace and wood paneling were suuuuuper hot. NOT!!



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We had hired a contractor to remove the paneling and wallpaper and install drywall instead.

And I also painted the brick fireplace.

But then it sat for 5 years!

(Who else here has DIY ADHD, raise your hand….).


The Rugs

As much as I love hardwood floors, there’s nothing like a cozy rug to make a room feel wonderful.

Because this room is so large, we’d always used two rugs, but the proportion and layout were all wrong.

The smaller 5×7 wasn’t nearly large enough for the seating area.

And the supposed-to-be-white-but-is-gray-from-dirt shag rug in the back of the room came from Craig’s List for $60 years ago.

BEFORE….For 5 Years….

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I heard there was an amazing waterproof, kid proof, and pet proof rug from Carpet One called Tigressa™ H2O, so I was excited to try it out for my seating area (and Carpet One is giving away a 5×7 Tigressa H2O to one lucky room makeover challenger, too!).

I had used one of their bounded rugs for my master bedroom makeover and absolutely loved it, so I knew this one would be great, too.

With my three boys and a family room that gets a lot of use, I am in love with this carpet! We have a pretty thick pad underneath so it feels AMAZING and sooo cozy!



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I really like that the back of the rug has a plastic coating that prevents any water (or pee if you have pets or potty training toddlers!) from going through and ruining the carpet padding or wood flooring.

(Side note: Where was this rug when I had bare-naked babies?!?! LOL)


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The Walls

If you remember, my 3-year old helped me paint the entire room in Behr BayBerry Frost, which is a really pretty light green…..

…but it ended badly because the room doesn’t get much light and ended up looking like the inside of an aquarium!

It just wasn’t the right color for this low-light room.

BEFORE – With Bayberry Frost

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So instead, I used Behr Swiss Cream and loved how it gave just a hint of color without making this  room feel any darker!

I also added some of my favorite pictures of the kids in a gallery of black and white prints along the wall!

I’m nervous about that, because my boys have a way of knocking anything and everything off the walls! LOL. So we’ll see how long these frames last….

AFTER! – With Behr Swiss Cream

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The Windows, Trim, and Crown Molding

If you remember, this is how my windows looked.

These awful curtains were sewn years ago and just didn’t fit with my decor anymore.

Plus, there was no window trim around the windows. Those lack of details really make a room look rejected!


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I did plan to sew my own….

In fact, I had found these pair at Ross and was going to use them when I thought the walls were going to be green.

Nope…not gonna work.


Curtains I was going to choose



I decided that sewing my own would probably be best.

The room was going to be cream so I wanted a pretty print from which I could use for inspiration for the room.

I found some fabric I already had on hand from Online Fabric Store (Richloom Django Turquoise).

I chose to use the same rod, but I moved it up a few inches, and made sure to sew the curtains with lining to give them some weight and thickness.

So pretty! (I’ll give you more info later this week about the curtains).


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I also painted all the trim a bright white.

Oh–but what do my eyes see in my window sill after it was painted??


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Some little 5-year-old in this family thought it would be cute to draw on my windows.

And you know??

I decided to leave it. 🙂 Consider it my 5-year-old’s contribution to the room. LOL


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I wasn’t happy with this long wall.

It spanned 24 feet, and I knew it needed crown molding and some trim around the opening, so I added some. The trim was about $25 for the doorway.



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Wall opening trim


I also added a small gallery to the wall with some of my favorite family pictures!


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Overall, I’m happy with how the front of the room turned out!


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What I didn’t get to do was add a mantel (it’s built; just didn’t have time to hang it, though), and I still need to figure out how to weave the wires through the new mantel.

But even so, I still think it looks nice!


The Back of the Room

This part of the room was just as messy.

There was no trim around the door, and it became the location for massive toy piles!


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Since the walls were cream, I wanted the door to have a pop of color, so I chose Duck Egg by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

The rug I got free at a blogging conference last year! I just borrowed it from my basement. 🙂

And the pillows I found at the thrift store recently. I’ll be slipcovering them, since they don’t really match my decor. But for now, they’ll work as floor pillows for the kids!


Family Room Makeover Back of the Room


I found the blind for free at Habitat for Humanity, although I may decide to paint it or something. For now, it’s not even bolted down! LOL It’s just STUCK up there until I can find the time to fix it.

I had also found this old sofa table at the thrift store years ago and figured it would be a great place for the kids to do writing and art or even eating snacks.

The metal drum stools I picked up months ago from Tuesday Morning.

And that knife block I turned into a crayon holder last year!


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I had found this fabulous secretary desk at the thrift store for about $80 a few years ago, but never really used it. It became a junk collector and a place where the kids would hide their Army guys. LOL


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I decided that I wanted to reclaim the back of this long room for space for me to work when I wanted to be closer to the family (instead of hiding out in my pretty basement office that I made over for another challenge).

The frame, light, chair, and clock are all thrifted! 🙂

I decided not to paint the wood because I actually like it this color. Not everything needs to be painted.


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The Ceiling

The fan was in good condition, but just ugly. I decided to paint it white and put vintage bulbs inside.


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I left the medallion alone because it actually hides the unfinished part of the ceiling. But I did paint it!

Eventually I’ll probably replace it with a regular light. We don’t use a ceiling fan often in this room because it’s usually pretty cool in the summer.

I also painted the ceiling a bright white, although I couldn’t do anything about the swirls. I’m okay with that. They don’t bother me as much now that it’s white and not DINGY! lol


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The Corner

This was another worse part of the room–cord clutter…. old guitar… kids’ chairs…


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Now, it’s a place where someone can at least sit and read under the thrifted lamp I found. I will be reupholstering this chair and painting it, perhaps. I had found it about 4 years ago at a yard sale for $25 and had reupholstered it then.

Now, the kids have destroyed it and messed it up. Are you surprised?? lol

I also decluttered the cords and put everything in a crate. I still have to figure out how to mount the mantel I built, and hide the wires. All in due time…

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How Much Did It Cost??

Since I lost track of exact costs, here’s an estimated breakdown:

Drum stools – $120

Curtain clips – $8

Buttons for sofa – $8

Stuffing for sofa – $18

Window and door trim – $84

Picture frames – $32

Materials for mantel – $45

Additional paint – $43

TOTAL ~$350 – $400

I didn’t pay anything for the crown molding because I returned some unused items to Home Depot and ended up getting enough back to afford the crown molding!

Carpet One sponsored the Tigressa H2O rug (thanks, Carpet One!) and OnlineFabricStore.com supplied additional materials I needed to sew the curtains (thanks, OFS!). Behr supplied some paint, but I had to buy additional paint for my boo-boo mistakes.


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What Really Matters!

I am so excited about this room!

I actually feel like I’ve moved into a new house!

I felt nervous about posting it because I was worried it wouldn’t have much “WOW” factor.

…Like maybe you’re looking for ground-breaking Pinterest-worthy projects that would knock your socks off.

Then I realized, that doesn’t matter.

What matters most how a room makes you feel. Who cares if everything is thrifted?

Or if you didn’t makeover a new sofa?

Or if something doesn’t match?

It it makes you feel wonderful….that’s all that matters!



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Last night Charlie Brown Halloween came on.

The kids and I broke out the hot chocolate.

And I felt soooo “at home” in this room!

I felt like it was a place for family to gather and to feel connected.

We can kick back our feet, free of the stress of a dirty, messy, disorganized room.


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Even my husband says he likes it, and if you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you know that he poo-pooed on my love of thrift for so long.

But as he stood on the stairs last night, taking in the room, he told me that he really likes it.

That’s the biggest praise I could ever have received! 🙂

And finally, I can have friends over and not feel a need to explain away the mess and disorder. That’s cause for celebration!


So what room have YOU been dying to make over in your house???

You should totally join us for the next room makeover and get the motivation you need to complete a room in your house!

Your family deserves a comfy place, too! 🙂

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  1. I love your laid back approach! As a mother of grown children (they’re in their early 20’s) had I seen the doodle of my then 5yr old on my windowsill I would have FREAKED OUT – but I truly admire your sensible reaction to it šŸ™‚ As for your family room – it looks fantastic. Your couch looks fabulous. The button details are really pretty and such a good idea. Enjoy your boys, in a blink of an eye they’ll be grown and every time look at your windowsill you’ll probably get teary eyed~

  2. Love the new mood of the room. Isn’t it amazing what a little “cleaning” can do? The sofa looks so fresh now. I hope your new carpet holds up well. The curtain fabric is wonderful and the drum stools you bought are the perfect balance of color for the space. Looks like your kids are taking full advantage of the stools with the sofa table. I need to do something like that now that I have a white couch so that we can eat at the sofa table instead of sitting on the couch! And yes I did confess that we eat our dinner on the couch…no kids left in our house.

    1. Hey, Karen! So funny you mention eating dinner at the table, too. I miss that!!! We’d been eating at the dinner table, but I just don’t like it as much. I like the comfy and cozy of the sofa! I think what’s important is not so much WHERE you eat but that you’re eating TOGETHER! And for you, if it’s just you and hubby, I doubt you’re making much mess. Go ahead and keep eating there! šŸ™‚

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