Smaller Is Definitely Better

Cozy Cottage Family Room In Progress

Vintage China Hutch for Toy Storage in Family Room

Yesterday we did something that changed my world. We figured out a new arrangement for the family room. A new arrangement that means having new walls.

I suppose that probably seems drastic, but as I mentioned last time I shared a full picture of the family room, I’ve struggled with this room for the entire time we’ve lived in this house.

The family room is a 1980’s add-on to my 1956 ranch, and it’s woefully out of proportion with the rest of the house. Most of the rooms are good sized, but cozy. This room… it’s huge! Not that a big room is necessarily bad, but this room was awkward. It was too big to be cozy or inviting, but too small to have two completely separate spaces.

I think it was originally designed to have a foosball table or pool table or something. It’s got this extra space that’s just big enough for that, but not anything else. We tried having a dining table there, but it was crowded. But when you take it out, and just try to put the furniture in the middle of the room, it feels cavernous. I’ve never liked it.

Big Family Room With Old Furniture

The other thing I didn’t like was that something about rooms that big really invites “big” play, don’t you think? We spend a lot of time in here, and it was so hard to keep a lid on things! I mean, I’m all for good, rambunctious play, but it was always veering on (or over) the edge of out of control.

Until now!

Couch and Daybed in Cottage Family Room

Now the room is still quite large, but not oversized. It’s cozy and inviting. We all know that I’m going to stay that it’s not perfect, that there’s lots of work to do, and there is. I mean, we don’t even have a real floor! But it still has a certain something, I think, and the whole energy of the place is so much nicer.

I also have a spot to feature my twin china hutches.

Daybed with Twin Vintage China Hutches

Mr. Magpie actually found these for me at the Goodwill. But not on the same day! Not even on the same month. He found each one separately, several weeks apart. Isn’t that funny? They’re not identical, but they’re very close.

Yes, I am planning to paint them. Some color. Some time. I don’t know.

So, what has created this miraculous change, you ask?

Fabric Hanging Down to Mock Up Mudroom Wall

Yeah, that would be random sheets and fabric nailed to the ceiling. I know, not very stylish, right? But we needed to do that so we could mock up where the new mudroom / laundry room is going to go and make sure we were going to like, that it would work.

(We’re making a new laundry/mud room because we want to get the laundry out of the pantry, because we all voted together on Facebook for me to work on the pantry. So this is about the pantry. Honest.)

More on that soon, but I’m so glad we mocked it up! Like I said on Facebook, the way we really thought was going to be the best way to put the wall turned out not to work at all, and the way we thought would never work turned out to work perfectly. So you never know until you actually try something.

Eeep. Enough of my scary fabric wall. Let’s play “find the kitty.”

Kitty on Toy Hutch

Did you find her? I actually didn’t notice her until later. She photobombed almost all the pictures. (Go look again… I’ll wait.)

Meanwhile, I know what I’m going to do. Curl up in the daybed and read a book while the sun goes down.

Daybed in Sun

What about you? Do you mock things up or do you just dive right in?

~Angela :-)

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  1. Thirkellgirl says:

    LOVE it! I also have a long, large room which does triple duty (dining room, tv watching room when it’s all of us, reading room, guest room because we also have a large daybed) and it’s hard to arrange. It has sliding doors to a deck, four windows, two doorways (to the kitchen and incredibly small living room). I can’t wait to see how your remodel evolves!

  2. What? That would take, like, planning and shit. You’ve been struggling with this room for so long – it’s good to see you’re close to finding a way to make it work better for you. It looks so good in there!

  3. I like it! It looks SO cozy now.
    Can’t wait to see your new laundry/mud room.
    I like the soft colors you have in this room.

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