The room that has already paid for itself a few times over since the end of our renovations is the Family Room.
This is a new space for us as a family as before we only ever had a lounge, and a rather small one at that!
As we are heading closer to the teens (the pre-teens are definitely upon us!), we realised that we would need to find a way to create more space in our home for our own growing kids… and their friends. We love the idea of being a home that welcomes our kids friends. A safe space for them to hang out together rather than head off into the perils of youth.
When we started planning our renovation we specifically didn’t want to steal any of our garden space which is quite sizeable for most surburban homes thanks to the clever positioning of our home further back on the corner plot. We only have one garden – no front and back yard – but that makes it a good size for a game of garden cricket plus a pool and we didn’t want to lose that which meant that we had to be clever with the way we used the space at the back of our house.
And this is where the Family Room came from. Our old single garage aka workshop, laundry, store room, dumping ground.
We decided to join the old kitchen to the garage via the grotty undercover back yard, effectively doubling the size of our kitchen and adding a whole new aspect to our home: A family room.
Since we moved back in at the end of last year this room has been the most well used! We definitely made the right choice to add a family room to our living space. We’ve all been loving it!
On the first weekend back in, just hours after the plush new carpet was fitted, we hosted a dormitory style sleepover birthday party for 10 10-year-old boys! Madness 😉
Every braai we host finds the kids curled up on the couch enjoying a movie or Netflix with their friends at the end of the night.
My kids have made endless tent houses with the cushions and blankets and old mattress – on their own or with their friends.
We’ve also enjoyed playing board games round the table or watching our Sunday evening nature programme together as a family.
It’s great to have a second space where the kids feel like they have their space and the adults can retreat to the lounge or patio to enjoy adult conversation.
And when the kids finally vacate the space my husband and I can settle in to enjoy our latest series or a gripping movie. We have yet to enjoy a winter in our new space but I’m almost certain that this will be a very popular spot on rainy, windy, wintery days. I know I’ll be curling up on this comfy couch as often as possible!
Initially I had planned to buy a corner couch for this room as I loved the idea of the extra seating they provide but unfortunately I couldn’t find one that would fit the rather narrow width of a room converted from a single garage. And so I opted for this 3 seater Lodge Couch in Annabelle Steel fabric from Coricraft and added in an ottoman from the same range and fabric. It’s been a real win! When it’s just the two of us we can lay out with the ottoman in front of us and when we have a room full of kids they can pop a pillow behind their back and use it as extra seating. We’ve never owned an ottoman before but friends we visit for movie nights have always had one and that inspired this idea… it was a great one!
The cushions on the couch are ones I had lying around at home. The turquoise ones are from Mr Price Home and the textured orange one is from Woolworths as is the super soft fleece coral throw. I love how you can change the whole look of a room by changing up the accessories and with the couch being a neutral light grey I plan to do this as often as my home makeover budget will allow… I’ll have to wait for a bit 🙂
The coffee table is also one we had in our lounge area before – originally it was yellow pine but a friend with some great painting skills transformed it for me a few years ago. It looks MUCH better. Try it yourself with some Annie Sloan paint!
The carpet is Heather Twist in the Higgins colourway from Belgotex’s Lifestyle range and it’s made this room so live-able. The rest of our home is carpet free for allergy purposes, but I decided I wanted at least one space where the floor was comfy enough to lie on. We wouldn’t have had sleep overs, or tent-making, or board-game playing, or yoga-practicing on a cement floor. You just can’t do any of those on a hard surface! And carpet does feel soooo lovely under bare feet, esp this cut pile one!
The TV is the Super UHD TV from LG which I won in a competition about 18 months ago. We’ve been waiting for months to be able to use it in our family room and it really is enhancing the way we enjoy our entertainment!
The Plasma unit is the Cresthill unit from Coricraft. I wanted something that would fit under the TV, that would have a few open shelves as well as closed storage to keep our DVD and Xbox game collection under control and packed neatly out of sight! The open shelves are not only useful for the actual DVD player and Xbox consol but they are also great for packing away our frequently used board games as well as a few books and my beloved Home magazine collection. A scented candle from Cotton On Home and a few family photos are placed on the top. I could probably enhance this space a bit more but for now I’m quite loving keeping surfaces fairly clear as I feel it helps my own headspace to keep clear!
One of the biggest questions when re-decorating our renovated space was what window dressing to install. My kids both struggle with eczema, my husband with hayfever and myself with a dust mite allergy so many of our choices were led by trying to lessen the dust in our home. It was for this reason that we opted out of using curtains again on our windows (take down a set of curtains that have been up for a few years and you’ll realise why!) To be honest I was still quite partial to curtains as I felt they made a space more cosy, but my husband was adament… and for a few weeks we lived with bare windows as we tried to figure out what our option was…
Finally I had an epiphany. What about wooden blinds!? We’d had small aluminium blinds before (in addition to our curtains) but those weren’t the look we were after. As I’ve mentioned before I’m going for a Scandi/ Moroccan/ Beach House vibe! We finally opted for the white (Blanco) wooden blinds from Taylor Blinds and had them installed in almost every room in our home (minus the bathrooms with frosted glass) It was a great decision! I’ve been so happy with them. Not only do they give us the privacy we need while still allowing light into the space, they also look really great and totally suit the look I was going for – clean and minimalistic! I feel they definitely work in all our rooms – family room, lounge, study, kids & main bedroom. What do you think? Would you opt to use only blinds throughout your house to minimise allergies?
Behind the couch is a small area where I’ve created a reading corner. The two tall book shelves are some of our oldest furniture. They are both from Ikea and we bought them over 10 years ok in the UK. I still recall the drive home from the Ikea to our 3rd storey flat, attempting to get them up the stairs and then assembling them. They are part of our heritage now and, even though my husband isn’t as keen on them, they are here to stay! I LOVE the look of books on a shelf and these make me very happy. Plus I have a huge collection of books (even after numerous clear outs!) and these keep them all in one place!
The rocking chair is also a heritage item – one I inherited from my mom, who got it from her mom before that! I had it reupholstered 11 years ago when I was expecting my oldest and it was my feeding chair twice over. It’s now been reimagined as a reading chair in this cosy corner. The cushion is from Woolworths. I can’t recall where the throw is from… it’s on it’s way out to be honest 😉 The side table is one we had repainted in white as is the lamp stand. The lamp shade I found on a Woolies sale! I love those!
Finally, our wine rack! To be more specific, my husband’s wine rack. He is very precious about his wine…. I helped myself to a few bottles on a recent girl’s night in and he was a bit put out!! Haha
Wine is a new passion for him but he’s been taking it very seriously which is why I bought him these two stackable wine racks for his latest birthday from Wine of the Month Club. I searched high and low for something that was affordable and stackable as he is planning to grow his collection and these were the answer. Ideally he would like a wine cellar or a temperature controlled wine room BUT the corner of our family room will have to work for now…. come to think of it, we might need to build a lockable wine room once we really hit the teen years around here 😉
I hope you enjoyed stepping inside my family room today. I enjoyed showing you around! Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments or questions in the comments below.
Coricraft (for couch & TV Unit)
Belgotex (for carpet)
Taylor Blinds (for blinds)
LG (for TV)
Mr Price Home (for scatter cushions)
Woolworths (for scatter cushions & throw)
Nevada Furniture (for Ikea book shelves)
Wine of the Month Club (for stackable wine rack)
Loot (for books & games)
Disclosure: 1 – Carpet, Couch & TV Unit
Images: Kathryn Rossiter