Room Refresher: From underused office to fab family room

Room Refresher:
From underused office to fab family room

We have a strange layout to our home, and somehow we have two bonus rooms. We currently have one of them set up as a playroom and one was set up as our office.

Our former office

It was a beautiful office but we never used it. Entire weeks would pass without us even setting foot in the room. We decided the office would better serve us as a family room.

We eventually plan to put new furniture in this room, but after buying new furniture for our living room, we need to wait a bit before buying more. In the meantime, we need to save some money and decide what we want to purchase. We just moved our old furniture to the family room.

Our new family room

It’s not perfect. There are things out of place and there is a mess in the corner. But it’s a room where we can hang out and be comfortable. It’s a room we can relax in and not worry about messing it up.

Our eventual plan is to add new furniture, a new light fixture, new flooring and an entire wall of built in bookshelves on the back wall.

We have used this room a thousand times more since it became a family room than we ever did when it was an office.

What changes have you made to add function to your home?

Room refresher: refresh your living room

When you saw it last, our living room looked a little like this.

In desperate need of new furniture and with a focal wall that was a big, blank slate.

I tried to liven it up with this gallery wall, but it still felt a little bare. I knew we wanted to make that focal wall a real focal wall, so I convinced my husband to help me build a faux fireplace from an antique mantle we bought.

And once that was finished and it established the focal wall I wanted, we started shopping for living room furniture.

I found these adorable chairs on Wayfair. They were very affordable and were delivered within a few days. We had to put the legs on the chairs but that was all.

We also bought a couch, an area rug and a matching rug runner.

Our couch arrived and while there was nothing wrong with it, the color wasn’t what we imagined it’d be.

We called Wayfair and arranged a pickup. They even loaded it back up and carried it out of the house for us. Wayfair has awesome customer service.

We ended up picking this couch up from a furniture store in the Raleigh area. It goes perfectly with our rug and chairs we got from Wayfair.

It matches so well it’s like we bought them as a set. We then arranged the furniture to face the fireplace.

We still need to find a new coffee table, new end tables and two new lamps. All in all, I am so excited about all of the changes we have made. I can’t wait to show you the finished room.

Have a great week!! We have some Valentine’s Day goodies headed your way.

Building a faux fireplace mantle, part 3

When we last left you, our beautiful antique mantle with its faux firebox looked like this:

Nothing was painted, no stone was laid. Things were kinda bare. And unfinished.

Our first item on the agenda was to paint it.

First, we caulked any cracks or areas we felt needed filling in. We painted the mantle and the adjoining boards behind it with white paint in satin finish.

Next, we installed Airstone to the surround and the bottom of the hearth.

This stuff is amazingly easy and fun to work with. Simply spread the adhesive on the back of the stones like you’re frosting a cake and press into place. You can also cut the stone with a hacksaw or circular saw.

We then laid faux slate vinyl tiles across the top of the hearth. We may upgrade it later to real slate but I am loving how this looks, and how little it cost.

We then painted the faux brick paneling with some matte black chalk paint. I just like the finish.

We still have a few areas to fill in and some trim to add, but all in all, I am loving it!

Stay tuned! The rest of our living room is about to change in a big way, and I can’t wait to show it to you!!

Have a great Monday!

Building a faux fireplace mantle

Building an antique fireplace mantle

Last month, I told you all about how my husband and I purchased and antique fireplace mantle.

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We have a long, blank and boring wall in our living room, that unfortunately is our focal wall when you walk in the door. I’ve always wanted a pretty fireplace on that wall but knew we couldn’t afford a real one. A faux one was the next best thing 🙂

Using a plan from Bless’r House as a model, we decided how large the mantle and hearth would need to be and we purchased the wood.

Here is a list of what we used to build the fireplace:

  • Antique mantle (found through local antiques dealers)
  • 2 plywood sheets
  • Faux brick panel
  • 11 2×4 boards
  • 2 1X12 boards
  • 1 2×12 board
  • Finishing nails
  • Deck screws
  • Drywall screws
  • Tape measure and yard stick
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Power drill

We began by deciding how large we wanted the hearth to be and we cut two 2X4sat 64 inches long. We chose 64 inches because this made the hearth a tiny bit wider than the mantle itself. The cross pieces and sides are 24 inches.

fireplace hearth 1

We then cut a piece of plywood to fit the top of the hearth, but we did not hammer it down yet.

Copy of fireplace surround 3

We then carried the hearth into the house, placed it where we wanted it, and attached it to the baseboards. We then attached the plywood to the top of the hearth.

finished hearth

We then attached plywood strips and two by fours to the back of the mantle.

fireplace surround braces

After attaching the two by fours to the side, and the plywood strips, we cut out a surround from one of the plywood sheets. I attached it using small wood screws.

fireplace surround 2

I then attached 2X4s to the wall at the correct height to the wall. Be sure to hang these on studs, but if you can’t, make sure you use drywall anchors that can accommodate heavy weights.

Copy of Copy of Copy of fireplace no brick

I then attached the 1X12s for the side braces to the 2x4s.

Copy of Copy of fireplace no brick

I then put the mantle up beside these braces, and attached the two by fours on the back of the mantle to the braces. I used decking screws to do this.

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I then realized we had about an eight inch gap between the mantle and the wall.

Copy of fireplace no brick

Attaching a 2X6 to this space covered the gap and laid flush with the back of the mantle.

Untitled design (11)

We then cut and added faux brick paneling to the wall behind the mantle and on the sides so that the inside of the mantle couldn’t be seen.

fireplace almost finished

We have nearly finished the mantle. We now only have to paint, add the stone, and fill in some nail holes. Our living room looks so much better already! Can’t wait to share the finished product with you all!

fireplace almost finished

Living Room Toy Storage: How to have a beautifully organized living room when you have kids

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We all want living rooms that look incredible but that are still for, well…living. I want my living room to be a place where my family can be comfortable, but also a place that doesn’t look like a playground or a toy store. With a few easy tricks, you can have a stylish, functional living room with children.

storage

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1. Use stylish storage furniture to hide toys

A cute chest or footlocker looks nice and provides a place to store small toys. This chest could also double as additional seating as well.

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2. Create a small “playroom nook” that melts into a corner of your living room

This tiny playroom nook is cute and takes up such a small amount of space in your living room. It’s literally a corner. You could do book ledges like this one, or your could use cube shelves and baskets. There are so many different ways to customize this to make it work for you.

toy closet

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3. Use an extra closet to store toys

What better way to hide toys than behind closed doors? If you don’t have a playroom, but you do have an extra closet, fill it to the brim with organizers and attractive storage for your kids’ playthings.

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4. Repurpose an old bookshelf to hold toys or art supplies

I have a few old shelves at my house that I could use for this. I could paint and modify them, then add some color-coordinated storage to corral those wayward toys. This would only take up a small amount of space, too.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup! Our playroom is about to undergo a major revamp in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to share it  with you!

Stay tuned for more DIY, parenting, and housey-goodness!