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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help choosing paint and carpet color for weird family room

jessibruNovember 17, 2012
We are trying to redecorate our family/TV room. Here is what we are doing: recarpeting, painting, replacing dumb light fixture, selling couch, converting closet to bookshelf, adding wall mounted flat screen TV, getting rid of media table. Unfortunately the brick hearth and stove need to stay for now, as well as the ridiculous "upstairs" room and staircase (which lowers the ceiling and makes for a bizarre space). For right now we need to make the space liveable as we have an almost crawling baby. We are thinking neutral carpet (tanish or gold) whitish walls with red accent wall behind where couch is or opposite wall. Not sure what furniture we will eventually get. I also don't want this room to clash with kitchen and front room which have a green/turquoise/red accent theme. Our house is a 1959 ranch style. TIA! Also, thoughts on what color to paint coffee table?
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If you have an 'almost crawling baby' the first thing you need to do is to get rid of those stairs or make them safe with some form of barrier!!! I will think about your design and get back to you.
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:35PM
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Have you thought about hardwood or laminate and just adding a rug? I have two kids under 3 and I prefer hardwood as it is soooo much easier to clean up and looks better IMO. Kids get carpet sooo dirty! As for the stairs...some type of round child gate would work...not the best looking, but will work in the short term...you can find linkable ones. Someone else may have a reasonably priced better looking solution. I personally think the fireplace is interesting, can completely understand getting rid of it too, but if keeping it for now why not paint it? I'm sure there is paint out there that would work for a wood stove...maybe painting it in the same color as the brick behind it. I would either replace the coffee table with two very small side tables on either side of the couch or a plush storage ottoman (there are also slipcovered versions--IKEA has some). Slipcovered furniture is your friend when you have young kids!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:53PM
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I would also go for hardwood or laminate... I've had my hardwood floor down for 10 years now, and only now is it ready for a sand (has up to five sanding's in it's life)... two kids later (one almost 9)... and I've swept up all sorts of rubbish from the floor and every time think "thank goodness we didn't get carpet!".... worth the money in the long run... my creamish carpets in the front room have had juice kicked over, sweet stuff trodden in and looks awful... you can also match most wall colours with it... so go for your red, and match with cream to soften but keep it light... I'd also think about a toy box or ottoman to keep the ever growing kids toys in when they've gone to bed you'll be sick of looking at them... good luck!
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:30PM
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Don't get rid of that fireplace! It is super cool and 'modern" -think Scandinavian. Yes you can get fireplace paint, I would even Paint it a reddy-orange, put down laminate -something light. Hate to say it but dark floors only look great 5 minutes after you've cleaned them, for some reason - dirt is white - who knew? Also are those actual stairs or just an old design feature? Paint all the walls white an accent wall will make it look very narrow, slip cover the couch in white denim (you can bleach out the mess) and add bright red cushions, paint the table white/grey......Still curious about those stairs..
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Man, I was set on removing the stove...Thanks for all the suggestions, here are some answers to your questions.
The stairs: they actually lead up to a weird little add-on room. We use them occasionally. We are going to get a gate to go around them.
the stove: we have only used it twice because it smoked up the house and we have a second stove in the adjoining room. Also not sure I like the brick hearth and the tile on top totally needs redone. Not sure how to tile a curve.
Carpet vs. wood floor: we have wood in other parts of the house, but I have no idea how to put wood on the curved steps leading into and out of the room.
The couch: we were going to get rid of it because I don't like it. Not sure what to replace it with but hoping to find all natural/organic furniture to avoid flame retardant.
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Not sure how deep your closet space is but perhaps you could convert it into a "reading nook" with a low bench seat and cushion (it could have a hinged lid or shelves underneath to put toys in as well) and some book shelves higher up with a downlight for reading. Little ones love to have a space of their own and it would really encourage a love of reading. You could use a light weight curtain to make it even cosier. There are some great reading nook pictures on this site if you need some ideas...
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:36PM
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To tile a curve, use small mosaic that comes in sheets..
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:57PM
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I agree that the stove is a great feature in this room (although it does take up a lot of space) and given that you have mentioned red I think a Scandinavian style would be ideal and work well with the age of the property - think simple furniture shapes with fresh red and white. The room appears quite narrow from the photos so I would advise against using a different wall colour behind the sofa as this will bring the wall in too much. You can enliven the wall with colour in artwork. White/cream sofa (washable covers or Scotchguard) with red cushions and coffee table.

From your comments you are clearly not keen on the loft room structure so I would be reluctant to make expensive changes such as flooring until you have been able to resolve structural issues such as this and the curved step and/or hearth if you do decide to remove the fireplace. Can you live with a good steam clean of the carpet and a nice big rug on top? Or do you have decent floorboards that you could paint? Once you have invested in new flooring it will be so much harder to make these changes.

When buying new furniture look for items that maximise storage potential as kids seem to generate an awful lot of stuff that you will want to be able to put away easily. If there is an IKEA near you they are a good source of well designed inexpensive storage solutions. Keep to just a few colours in your furnishings as by the time you add a layer of kids stuff it will look very different!

If the fire smokes and you have a small child crawling around you clearly won't want to be lighting the stove so why not fill it with a big bundle of 'warm white' LED Christmas tree lights to inject some light and fun into the space. We did this one very mild winter when it was not cold enough to light a fire but the fireplace looked so dark and empty and it was really lovely.

If you are getting rid of the light fitting can you change it for something on the sides of the floor above? This will help with the low ceiling in this area.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:47AM
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I would close in the stairs on the couch side with shelves. The coffee table would look great in red....Get rid of the carpet- it's a catch-all for all sorts of things, esp. with kids! Wood, Marmoleum, cork.....I agree with removing those lights from that area to the sides...
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:55AM
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What bout an orangey-red wall around the window (and on the other end of the room)?
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 2:56PM
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Dar Eckert
Try putting the sofa in front of the curving stair so it faces the window and get a couple of smaller chairs. An L shaped sofa would look nice here but they limit your furniture arrangement options. Wooden blinds on the window would add to the room. Maybe a bench under the window for toy storage.
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 2:57PM
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By the way, thank you for all the great suggestions. I am going to look into fixing the stove and maybe putting in a bamboo floor. I can post photos as I update the room if anyone is interested.
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:05PM
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