Here are the "before" pictures:
Aside from the hideousness, this space presented a serious layout problem. I'm not sure how it was used in the past, but if you notice the staging, it is completely impractical for real life use. The gigantic stairwell takes up half of the room, and then the sofa faces the fireplace while the TV is far over to the side. There's nowhere practical to sit and watch TV and hardly any floor space for play. The first thing we did was tear out the stairwell and left the loft unused (because there was no access) for several months. This at least allowed us to fit our sofa in the room so that we could comfortably watch TV and at least use the space. We also tore out the old carpet right away (cat allergies) and then had new carpet put in. Once we finished the kitchen and other projects, Josh built a ladder to the loft. We considered other options, like a spiral staircase, a stairwell addition on the outside of the house, and a sliding ladder, but we decided this was the quickest, least expensive, and simplest solution. After that, it was just a matter of new drywall, paint, and design elements. I used this photo from design seeds as my palette inspiration.
Now for the "after" pictures.
The first picture is taken from the doorway to the dining room. All three of the other walls are exterior walls, so this room literally just juts off the back of the house. Then we'll move clockwise around the room. The giant windows look out on our backyard. The white ladder on the left leads up to my sewing room.
We painted all of the window seats and bookshelves white to give a bead-board type look. We would have loved to replace the dark green countertop, but it would have cascaded into replacing all of the bookshelves, and we didn't have the energy, so we live with it.
The decor in here is definitely minimalist at the moment–I just kept it simple with a couple photographs and such. I sort of like the simplicity, but we'll see. It's kind of nice to have the space to display some things if I decide to add more decor on the bookshelves or mantle.
I made these sweet little pleated curtains using a modified version of this tutorial, but I did not use the peek-a-boo pleats with contrasting fabrics. I was actually inspired by the curtains in Susan Delfino's kitchen on Desperate Housewives if anyone happens to remember what they looked like! Then I found that tutorial after I knew what I wanted. I also lucked out finding this fabric that tied in many shades from my color palette.
We put new drywall over all of the old paneling and horrible rock fireplace (it's all still back there somewhere!). We joke that in 30 years someone will tear down this drywall and find the old paneling and say "Why would someone cover this up?!" Oh, how styles change. Josh built a new plain mantle and covered the fireplace with simple (and inexpensive!) white subway tile. We might put a gas insert in next winter, as now it's just a wood-burning fireplace that we never use.
Here you'll see shots from our recent family photo session. These were our favorites that we had blown up to 20x30 canvas prints that we got through a groupon. I love how huge, colorful, and gorgeous they are.
I lovingly spent an entire naptime making adorable little cards to label Penny's different types of toys for this toy bin... and then it took her about 5 minutes to pull them out of the slots and destroy them. Lesson learned. I will have to use a laminator if I attempt a re-do. Although, at least the toys are still organized. I usually pull out one drawer at a time for her (i.e. puzzles or blocks or animals), and then we clean up each night before bath/bed.
I also made these pillows to add a little more color. The blue one is my favorite. My mom bought that huge button for me when she went to Mood in NYC last summer. I had no idea what to do with it until this inspiration struck.
We used the wall behind the couch as an accent wall, painting it chocolate brown for a little more interest and contrast.
I also knitted that green afghan years ago, and it fits perfectly with the color scheme here.
And, this is where you can see where my sewing room is– hovering above half of the family room. If you compare to the before pictures, you can see that we closed off the railing with drywall to make the sewing room more of its own space. The other half of the room has vaulted ceilings.
I hope you enjoyed this reveal post. It is probably my last one on this house for awhile. A new room for Penny might be on the horizon, but nothing is really in the works yet. Of course, now that the house is done, we will probably get transferred somewhere new! I wish I was kidding.