{Before & After} The Family Room

We try to abide by one rule at our home when it comes to decorating: make people feel at home.

Once upon a time, a dear priest friend of ours came over for a glass of wine, after the children had gone to bed. As he settled down on the couch, he commented, “Your house just feels like a home.” I have never been given a greater compliment. Scott and I don’t own flashy cars, go on exotic vacations or even buy fancy clothes. Truth be told, we’re really homebodies and you know what these homebodies do? We try to make every square inch of our house a home. Because I think there is a big difference. What can I say? Hospitality is my charism.

Behold, the family room before. As in, these were taken when we toured the house while it was on the market. Let me be clear. I would never own a fringed couch. A shirt, yes, but not furniture.

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Oh what, you can’t see anything because it is ALL WHITE? I know. I kinda felt like I had fallen into no-color hell. The first thing we did was recarpet. I have this thing about living on other’s people’s carpet. I can’t do it. I have to replace the toilet seats, too. Hi, OCD.

Anyway, back to the room at hand. Here is your after!

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For 13 long years we had the same couches. They cost us about $500 and took us two years to pay off when we first married. They were awesome and then we had kids and they got totally trashed. Two years ago, when the busted spring began poking through the cushion, we posted them on Craigslist and never looked back. We bought these beauties in East Texas, along with the chairs and fabric ottoman. The beauty of having a game room is that the kids trash those couches and not these! Originally, we had a wooden coffee table in this room, but $350 and an ER visit later, it got donated.

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We also re-worked our DVD/blu-ray collection. As in, I donated most of it. We whittled it down to two baskets: big people movies and little people movies. When we run out of space, another movie gets donated. Perfection.

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When I shared our fireplace reno, several of you asked about “the artwork.” Here’s your Paul Harvey rest of the story. When we moved in, there was limited wall hanging space with all that wall molding and we didn’t have anything large to hang above the mantel. That is, until our dear friends moved to Washington state and asked if we wanted their Jesus artwork. Um, YES. I love that every time I look at that beautiful piece of art, a composition of music notes, of Jesus hanging on the cross, I am reminded of a beautiful friendship. It is my absolute favorite thing about this room.

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We also painted those walls. They are a bit tricky. From the front of the house to the back, there is no real break in the wall painting area, so we had to commit to a color to pretty much the entire downstairs area. We chose something neutral and then took advantage of the one wall we could accent and painted it a dark brown. It really sets off the curtains and makes the room feel a bit more cozy and not so huge, a tricky feat in an open area with such high ceilings. Scott was the master DIY painter for all this space and he is absolute rockstar. Those are 20-foot ceilings! He did tell me to choose wisely because he was only painting this space once.

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Here’s one more “before and after” from the catwalk upstairs.

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Here’s your final white vs. hello color. I think color wins.

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Paint colors:
Corkboard by Valspar, accent wall
Vanilla Brandy by Olympic, downstairs area

For more home renovations, click on over to theย Before & After page!


  1. Carolina on January 29, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Love it!! Feels so cozy!!

  2. Shandra on February 6, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Beautiful! You have such great style!

  3. Beth (A Mom's Life) on February 6, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I love a good before and after and this one does not disappoint. It really does look like it feels like home!

  4. Laura on February 6, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Love it! You’ve given me some good ideas! We have a similar couch but not the love seat, which I’d really like. Our curtains are red but I like yours and how they tie in the throw pillows to the rest of the room.

  5. Nicole on February 6, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I love it. It looks beautiful and warm. Cozy. Well done!

  6. HMC on February 6, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I agree about the carpeting. We’re house shopping right now and I figure the cost of replacing all of the carpeting with every home I see. It doesn’t matter how “clean” it looks. I definitely MUST replace toilet seats- especially wood ones, too. Heck, I wouldn’t mind replacing all the toilets with the $80 toilet that costco is selling!

    Your living room is really pretty and homey. I love it! I love what you did with the fireplace. It makes a beautiful focal point. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Bonnie on February 6, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Wow! Yes, color wins! It’s so lovely!
    Have you featured your game room? I’d love to see that.

    • Kathryn on February 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      That’s our work-in-progress room, Bonnie. Maybe by the time you come in July it will be done? A pregnant mom can hope, can’t she?

  8. Alexis on February 6, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    nice! i think I need to have you come over and help me a bit…in all your free time ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kathryn on February 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Holler anytime Alexis. I love a good redesign project!

  9. dweej on February 6, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Oh my goodness….gorgeous. Love it. I am partial to red sofas, as you know ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kathryn on February 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Well, I’ll save you a seat. It will be prime for a gaggle of girlfriends and some bottles of wine, come say, JULY 25-27??

  10. Mary on February 6, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Kathryn you have incredible taste!! WOW! What a change. I love the addition of color. Beautiful palette. I love it!!

  11. […] this week, I shared our family room transformation.ย I love a good before and after, don’t you? If only it happened as quickly in real life as […]

  12. stella on February 9, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    beautiful before and after! do you have any details about the art piece? i absolutely love it and would like to find out where i might be able to snag one for our house.

    • Kathryn on February 9, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Thank you, Stella! It was a one-of-a-kind piece found on 6th Street in Austin.

  13. Aileen on February 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    I LOVE your house, Kathryn! So beautiful and homey, so cozy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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