I recently had the pleasure of working with Mary Lou of Marmielu's Nest, one of my readers and a fellow blogger, on her family room. She was so sweet when she sent me an email asking for my help, along with pics of her family room. I was so excited to work with her and come up with a plan to lighten up her room on a budget.
Mary Lou was looking to lighten up her family room, as well as declutter it to make it feel more cozy and inviting. I gave her a very detailed note advising her of several things to do in here, so she will probably take her time and get going on it a little at a time. The wall color is a pretty gold, so for now that will stay. She really wanted to lighten up her sofa and chairs and wanted to do white duck slipcovers on the 2 burgandy chairs, but realized that with pets in the house, that would not be practical for her at this time. I mentioned blue denim for the sofa and I think she will do that for a slipcover.
Her hubby really likes blue, so we are going to go for more of a blue look in here with lighter accents. And we have to work around her hubby’s likes and tastes too, so had to keep that in mind.
Love her creamy white armoire, so that is definitely staying. I advised her to do some simple and inexpensive panels on either side of these windows above to soften the windows and give them a more up to date look, so the valances will go. For now, she will keep the shades that are up there, but for future might think about bamboo blinds eventually, which I advised and love.
I gave her some suggestions on breaking up the lamps and adding 1 or 2 different ones in here, since they all look alike. I don’t really like matchy-matchy lamps all the time and prefer to have different, yet coordinating lamps in a room. The only place I have matching lamps is in our master bedroom on the nightstands and do like that look.
We’re going to lighten up the rug and go for something a little more casual. I suggested a striped jute which would look great in here.
A big brick fireplace is always something to decorate around and I suggested she paint this out the same as her trim or the wall color, but since her hubby is totally against painting brick (most of them are!), this will have to stay too.
Mary Lou has some really nice pieces to work with. I suggested she lower the old sign (love it!) and take away the mirror that’s on the chest and make that a focal point with a lamp too.
These vertical blinds will have to stay too, but additional panels could be added to the sides to soften it up a bit also. Both of the reddish chairs will eventually be slipcovered with something lighter, but probably not the white cotton duck that she had originally thought about using. Even in decorating, we have to think about what is practical to live with everyday too, in spite of the pets that share our homes.
So, after a few suggestions, I think that Mary Lou will be able to get a lighter and brighter room once she makes some changes. You can see from the board that I am using the colors of creamy whites, blues, a touch of yellow with a punch of red in here to bring some warmth and life to the room. It’s going to look great! Mary Lou recently sent me an update and she has decided to slipcover the sofa and chairs in denim and will start working on that this summer.
Thanks Mary Lou, for letting me work on your room. Mary Lou wrote me back with this after I sent her the Inspiration Board and detailed notes:
Thanks so much for all you've given me. I have really enjoyed reading your notes and looking at the inspiration board, and there are some great ideas for updating my room. I think it gives me some practical steps to take going forward to change the room to something I can enjoy more. I think this is a terrific service you are offering. I have appreciated being able to get another perspective on my room. When you live with something, it can become difficult to really see the possibilities.
If you'd like to get a Decorating Consultation of your own, click here for details!
And click the board for all the info on each item and where it came from: