Family Room Makeover

June was a busy month. Our daughter graduated from high school, we threw a grad party, school let out and summer swim team started up and for some reason I thought it would be a good time to do a family room makeover.  Silly me!

The salmon color paint that was on the walls since we moved in 16 years ago was getting on my nerves and I was constantly searching for a good backdrop to shoot photos of the furniture pieces I had redone. I thought I could probably use the family room if the walls were a neutral color.

So I leapt into a painting project just weeks before the big party.

Here is what the family room used to look like.



The color on the walls absorbed a lot of light, making the room always feel dark.  I really felt drawn to do something dramatic and go for a white wall even though I’ve always had a stigma that white walls meant “builder grade”.

When Doug and I were newly married, we bought a townhouse and every room was white.  We lived there for five years and never did get around to painting many of those walls.  So when we bought our current home, which had one previous owner, I thought, “wow, this home is so colorful!”  Every time I suggested changing the color, my family would say, “but we like it.”  So I didn’t really announce what I was about to do.

I had my teenage daughter help me.  We moved everything to the center of the room, covered it with drop cloths and drove to Benjamin Moore.  I bought 1 gallon of Regal Select “Simply White” in a matte finish and a small can in pearl finish for the wood work.  Buying one gallon was a mistake!  I went back two more times and ended up buying a total of 4 cans! One is still pretty full and I may use it on another project.

Turns out that wouldn’t be my only mistake, I had never painted a ceiling before and my son offered to help (he had never painted a ceiling either).  So he put on goggles and went to work, while I started cutting in near the baseboard.  We were getting in a time crunch, this makeover project was moving slower than I thought it would.  When he said, “I’m having trouble with the roller”, I looked up and didn’t like what I saw. So I grabbed the roller, but forgot that I didn’t have goggles on.  You probably already guessed – this was my second big mistake!  Yes, I got paint in my eye.  I’m fine, but lesson learned, the hard way!

Even with these setbacks, I love how everything turned out.  Have a look.


When I rehung the gallery wall I omitted a few prints just to change things up.  I had some prints of blue sea coral that I had gotten off Etsy a couple years back, I’m going to be putting those for sale in my shop at Sweet Clover Barn in July.

I also decided not to rehang the mirror over the fireplace, I instead moved it to the gallery wall.  I had an antique framed chalkboard for sale at the barn that I grabbed and just propped it on the mantel with some transferware, a piece of coral I got at an estate sale and a wooden Pottery Barn sail boat.  I love how this display of curated objects came together and can easily be changed with the seasons.

I was a little worried as I saw the room go from such a strong color to white that it would feel sterile, but as I placed the furniture and smaller pieces back in place, all the wonderful color on the pillows, blankets, even something as small as books jumped to life.

Simply White is a warm toned white.  I love how it brightened the room without making it feel sterile.  It created a nice neutral background for my shop photos.

I have one more funny story.  One week before the party, I was in my painting cloths, no makeup, goggles on, rest of the house equally a mess and the door bell rang.  In walks an old friend of mine with a shocked look on her face.  “Isn’t the party today?”, she exclaimed.  “I certainly hope you showed up a week early and I didn’t get the date wrong!”, I cried.  We both had a laugh, because we know I could do something like that!  But thankfully I did still have a week to finish my project and get things ready.  I loved how the family room makeover turned out and by the way the party was a success too!

Thanks for stopping by.

Fondly, Michelle

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