Freshened Family Room

August 4, 2010

Picasso went through his monochromatic blue period ~ clearly, I am going through my own blue phase.  I went through my first blue period when I was first married over ten years ago, but it was more of a cobalt blue fixation back then.  Then I rejected blue altogether and banished it from my house.   Blue was forbidden for years!  But being a fickle and forgetful gal, I’ve returned to yet another blue and white phase, this time I’m drawn to soft gray blues, robin’s egg blue, soft turquoise, and intense hues like peacock blue.   

My home office?  My living room?  My master bathroom?  Yep, they’re mostly blue.  I make no apologies, I happen to find the shade is extremely calming, and complements just about everything.  Think about it.  Soft blue works with chocolate brown, red, pink, orange, gray, green, white, everything !  So I prefer it over other colors, as long as it has plenty of gray in it. 

Now I’ve gone and saturated the family room with blue too, but more by force than by choice.  Allow me to explain.   


   cg sofas


Here’s our family room two years ago:

family room before

Let’s just pause for a moment and soak in its ordinariness. 


Now let’s look at it today:

cg family room after switch

Much improved.  Now, we’re getting somewhere, whew. 

The dark olive green couches we’ve had for a decade, but the fabric is waaaaay too dark and drab for me, hence the reason I’ve never photographed our family room.  To reupholster the green monsters in my fabric of choice will cost me muy moola  so that’s on the back burner.  But then I had a middle-of-the-night genius! idea to switch them with the slate blue PB slipcovered sofas from the guest space.  Now why didn’t I think of that months ago???   The room was instantly lightened by making the switch. 

The family room lacks its own window, so we moved the family photos to another room, then added mirrors above the sofa instead.  The power of mirrors to pull light into a room never ceases to amaze me.  This trio mimics the divided white panes in our kitchen’s garden window which is directly across, and also lightens and enlarges the space. 

kitchen window fr mirrors

I had a pair of these Grand Palais mirrors from Ballard sitting in my garage for over a year ~ they were ordered for the living room last year but ended up being too big to fit above the living room mantel, so I ordered a third, then spray painted them with Rustoleum’s ‘Heirloom White’, a favorite shade.  

cg family room in blue


Since the kitchen is all white, and the adjacent dining room is very neutral, I felt the dark family room was in need of a splash of color, so I started with this $5 dollar brass lamp from the Goodwill.  It got a dose of Rustoleum’s glossy ‘Night Tide’ spray paint leftover from my laundry room makeover, which is a gorgeous  shade of deep teal or peacock blue.  So did the satin ribbon that trims the drum shade ~ oh yes you can spray paint fabric ribbon !

brass lamp before and after

Just a little hot glue to trim the linen shade with the ribbon did the trick.

 hot glue ribbon


So I admit these colors all all very summery ~ if I had my act together, this all would have been better timed and I would have made these changes back in May, but I’m so easily distracted. 

The peacock blue velvet throw pillows and white tray are from Pier One. 

 cg glass bottles on tray


Although these are summery colors, they still make sense for August.  I’ll tweak the room for cooler weather in October.  As I mentioned here, deep blue and dark orange can look incredible together, so for fall I’ll mix it up with a pumpkin throw and other earthy tones, and I’ll bring out the fall candles.

I’m desperate for a new rug for this room, currently loving these, the first from Overstocks, the second from Dash & Albert. fr rugs

Maybe Santa will be generous this year.  

So there’s the new ‘summer’ look for our family room . . .

cg sofas

. . . just in time for all the fall decor in all the catalogs.  


Spruced up any of your spaces lately?



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