Looking around our home, it became clear that over the last five years the aesthetic appearance of our family room was not a priority. There was the rest of our house, in all of its lovely beige shades (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), then there was what resembled a daycare that we called a family room.
The kids’ toys covered the floor. Games and books were out of place and the craft area was slowly becoming the place that we put stuff when we didn’t know where it went.
But there comes a time in every parent’s life when they look around their family areas and snap. Our kids are growing up, they are more responsible and mommy wants nice things.
If you’ve reached your limit and are ready to update your family room, I’ve got some tips to help you update your room’s look while keeping your kids happy as well.
Change the colour
One of the quickest ways to update your space is to paint it. A fresh coat of paint brightens the room and hides years of scuff marks and fingerprints on the wall.
Ask an expert
The new CIL Ask An Expert service is a free resource that you can use to ask for design and colour advice. To use the service, just fill in the form on the CIL website, upload a photo and a CIL expert will get back to you within 48 hours. You can even tell them what type of ‘feel’ you want the room to have (eg. relaxed, playful, mature, etc).
I recently used this service and Susan, my CIL expert suggested that I consider Charred Clay (30YR 17/3410) for a feature wall with Pewter Grey (50YY 47/053) for the rest of the room. Prior to her email these colours were not on my radar at all.
After considering the advice from the free CIL Ask An Expert service, I spent a full week looking at paint swatches and holding them up around our family room. I looked at them during the daytime, at nighttime, with the lights on and at different angles. Then we made our decision. (Well, I made the decision. My husband is still colour blind and thought the grey was pink.)
We painted our feature wall Charred Clay (30YR 17/3410). I really liked the suggestion of grey for the rest of the walls, but once the swatch was in the room it looked too cool to be the main colour. I ended up compromising and went with CIL PLUS , exclusively available at RONA, in Toasty Grey (30YY 51/098), which is a warm grey, and chose to use the cooler grey tones on the accessories. The paint was great because it was a paint and primer in one, was easy to apply and best of all, virtually odourless.
After the painting was done, we made a few other changes to create a family room for everyone to enjoy.
Make a toy list
List all of the games and toys your kids play with in your family room. Can any of the games or toys be moved to a child’s bedroom or basement? Are any toys completely ignored and can they be put into storage or donated/sold?
Look at the toys that remain. Can you add some stylish storage containers to organize and hide the toys you have left?
Create a kids area
Adding an area that is just for the kids organizes them too. Create an area where they can draw, play, create and add in a space to display the art they are most proud of. You can use clips or hanging picture frames to add their creativity to your room so it is theirs too.
The final result
The family room is both my husband’s and my favourite room now. It is inviting, comfortable and grown up. The fireplace that I once disliked fits in to the updated design nicely. The grey wall and accessories balance the warm colour of the feature wall.
After the final reveal to my husband, I caught him walking through the rest of the house. He still sees our home in terms of the family room and ‘the rest of the house’. Except now he wants to update the rest of the house to bring it up to the level that the family room has now set.
I see a lot of painting in my future. I hope Susan and CIL paint are ready for me.