My Family Room Could Actually Be Cheery (Who Knew?)

Family Room Fabric Options

Closeup of Vintage Quilt Hanging in Family Room

Remember how my family room changed when we started mocking up where the mud room would be. I can’t tell you how much better that room feels now! Every child who used to come into that cavernous room would get so wild, and now… well, things still get wild and out of hand, but it takes a lot longer to get there! We actually have peace and tranquility in our home on a daily basis now. Who knew that such a simple change could have such a profound impact?

It’s so funny, too, that what finally made me have this huge leap forward was the fact that we (collectively, with your help) decided to renovate the pantry. The pantry lead to the mudroom, and the mudroom lead to the family room, and BLAM my world is different. Amazing.

So, recently I had my friend Krista from See Mommy Do It over and I told her how I kept envisioning yellow curtains in my family room because her daughter’s room has yellow curtains and they just make the whole room look like sunshine. Next thing you know, we’re dragging all my fabric out and spreading things all over and coming up with a plan. This seems to happen when we hang out. Krista is also the person who helped me figure out the living room on an Magna Doodle.

(Hmmmm… Maybe it should not be such a mystery as to why our daughters routinely empty every single closet, drawer and cubby when they are together.)

Anyway. So this is what my family room looked like when I did the big switcheroonie last week.

Family Room After Blocking Out Mud Room

And this is what it looked like after we hung fabric all over the place.

Family Room Fabric Options

I just love the happy yellow fabric for curtains, and how the yellow and aqua look together. That and the bits of pink and orange and green and it just makes me smile every time I see it.

Family Room with Fabric Samples Hanging Up

Closeup up Family Room Pillow Fabric Options

Closeup of Yellow Curtain Fabric and Aqua Paneling

Family Room with Fabric Samples Hanging Up

We also tried some wainscoting and paneling options. We tried every height I could think of. I had originally envisioned this room with floor to ceiling painted paneling, but when we propped something up, it made the couch feel really small and unwelcoming. Then we tried the 5′ height idea, because I love that in other people’s homes, but again it just felt like the furniture was dwarfed and uninviting. Turns out that the best option is plain old boring standard wainscoting. I guess I just like things boring! Ha!

It was Mr. Magpie who came up with the idea of the wainscoting being aqua. I was thinking it would be white. But he wanted me to flip the panel that we were using to the other side (so the cross-cross braces wouldn’t be distracting), and I had painted the other side aqua for another project, and WHAM. I love it.

I’ve already started doing the projects to make this vision a reality, so that soon I can take this room:

To something like this:

What fun!

What about you? Have you ever gotten to a really great place with a room by accident?

~Angela :-)

If you enjoyed this post, I would LOVE a comment. I read every one! If you want to keep in touch, consider subscribing to the RSS feed to receive updates in your reader.


  1. Hi Angela, I love the yellow curtains. I think Wainscoting is a wonderful choice, because of its versatility. I would not have thought of painting it aqua either, but it works with the colors in your living space. Looking forward to seeing it finished. Thank you for sharing your process!!!

  2. Love the yellow curtains, Angela! And the wainscoting in aqua will be gorgeous – your room will be so bright and cheery that you won’t want to leave it.

    • 🙂 Thanks Claudia! I hope so. I almost never leave that space as it is (except when I’m in my office / craft room), so it will be nice to enjoy being in there. ~A

  3. Your room looks cozy and cheerful. To answer your question, yes, I have stumbled upon happy accidents in the decorating world. Some rooms are just difficult to decorate. A few years ago, I decided I was going to redecorate my living room, something I was really excited about. I soon realized that just because I had the money and the motivation, the room wasn’t just going to happen magically. I couldn’t find what I needed to make the space look good. It’s hard to find quality, well made, new home decor so I started looking in antiques stores and then I ended up discovering thrifting!!! That opened up decorating opportunities that I didn’t normally have to try things in my home. And I learned so much in the process. A room needs a balance of upholstery, wood, painted pieces. You need high things and low things and texture. I just know all your decorating dreams will come true, just hang in there and keep at it—your room looks wonderful.

    • Thanks so much, Mary! I love your list: upholstery, wood, painted pieces, high things, low things and texture. That’s like the perfect list ever! I’m going to write that down and pin it up so I don’t forget. ~A

  4. and i am cheerier {cheerio?;} just from seeing it!
    totally has that effortless english style!!!!
    m ^..^

  5. Hi Angela,

    I don’t where I have been that this is my first time over here! I love your blog and your stye. It is so nice when I happen across a fellow color loving soul. Our family room (our only living room) has a brown leather sofa and recliner that are not in the budget to replace so I loved seeing happy colors splashed around your room. You definitely got the decorating wheels turning. Even though I won’t be able to make real changes until after Christmas, that won’t stop me from pinning pictures and making a nice long, happy list. I am off to explore more of your lovely space.

    • Oh Patty, that is so sweet! Thank you! I have to confess — even though I have always loved color, I have been afraid to use it my home until recently. Some bad experiments from the late ’90s left me scarred! Ha! But I do love color and I’m excited to start living it in my home. Thanks for stopping by!


Speak Your Mind