July 13, 2011

The Ugly Duckling Files-Great Room Design

by Shelly

Hello there friends!  Hopefully you’ve all been enjoying your summer as much as we have at the Van R house.  This is by far my FAVORITE time of the year!  We’ve had an event filled first half of July which has included concerts in the park, bbqs, beach days and swim parties.

{our ellie girl at her summer preschool 4th of July parade}

Our little girl and I also had our birthday on the 6th and of course it has now totally turned into her day.  She and I share a birthday and I was convinced that it would still remain my celebration as well.  Nope.  Not a chance.  I had a pretty busy work day and managed to squeeze in time to take over cupcakes to Ellie’s classroom.  That evening we had dinner at her favorite (ok it’s mine too!) restaurant, Taco Surf in Sunset Beach.  I celebrated by having way too many margarita refills. Ha!

{the birthday girls about to go to dinner}

But the rest of the month has been continuing work on the new house and knocking projects down one at a time.  Boy, are there still SO MANY projects left to do. Argh!  Our master bathroom shower should be finished this week however, so I’ll be showing you that project very soon!  What a transformation…. no more bathroom island. HURRAY!!!!

Now I’m turning my focus onto the main room of our home, the family room/great room.  My husband cannot stand the maze of boxes and crap any longer.  I feel the same way!  Since this home lost it’s dining room when the past owner decided to turn it into a bedroom, there is no distinct eating area per se.  The only logical place we could see putting a dining table was in the family room turned great room.  When we ripped out the wall dividing the kitchen and family room, the kitchen became open to the entire room.  We knew this was where we would want to eat our meals and would end up being the room we did most of our entertaining in.

The first and foremost important part of this room will be the entertainment unit/bookcase I am currently having custom built.  This piece will end up occupying the large wall that spans the length of the room, where there was once a window.  We had that window taken out because a)it stared right out at the door to our garage and b)we have a LOT of stuff and need storage for all that crizap!!  Here is the rough drawing for my furniture guy….

It will be painted the same Ben Moore White Dove as the kitchen cabinets and trim to tie everything together and keep it all flowing together.  I considered doing the same cabinetry as the kitchen to really keep everything cohesive.  However, I LOVE louvered doors and in an entertainment unit where hot electronics will be located, it just makes sense to have a door that allows air to flow more freely.  It also gives the room that beachy, coastal vibe I love.  The large center area will house the flat screen tv and the shelves will all be adjustable to display all our books and my collection of blue and white pottery.  Oh, and the backing will be a wide bead board possibly painted a very slight grey blue to pick up the blue in the two family room chairs.  The hardware will be oil rubbed bronze….still not sure on the specific pull or knob though.  I might have to use….

these beauties! oval pulls…love.

The other big change to the room that I would like to do now, before we do any big entertaining, is furnish the dining area.  When we moved from our big house we let the new owners buy my beloved Ethan Allen set.  I had planned on adding two upholstered wing backs to that set. Glad I never got around to doing that!   Anywho, the look was just way too formal for our new home and we want something more middle of the road between casual and elegant since it will be our only dining area.  Right now we are using our small round breakfast table and slipcovered parsons chairs.  However, it’s really not the right thing for the room or adequate enough for when we have the whole family or friends over for large meals.  I’m mulling over a few options for the room.

I definitely want a table like this….

An x base trestle table with a white washed base and the top I’d like more of a warm rustic brown.  This table will sit right in front of the french doors that open onto the patio, so I’d like to minimize the distraction of the view as much as possible. So along one side I’m thinking a bench or settee might be unexpected and fun.  Here are some inspiration pics I’ve been mulling over.

{via DecorPad}

Definitely too formal and not the style I’m going for, but the concept is nice.

{Graciela Rutkowski via CocoCozy}

Kind of loving everything about this!  The upholstered settee, the rustic trestle table, the different chairs…what a fun look!

{Ken Fulk via House Beautiful}

This is a beautiful idea for a breakfast area or more informal eating situation.  Won’t quite work in our home, but it sure is lovely!

And then there is the idea of using Kooboo chairs as the side chairs and maybe two upholstered armchairs at the ends. Or vice versa.

{kooboo chair}

{via Cote De Texas}

So much goodness going on in that picture I can hardly stand it!  Stone trestle table, kooboo chairs, lantern, exposed beams on the patio and stacked stone. Beautiful!

{Jeneration Interiors via DecorPad}

Then there is the idea of doing bamboo chairs with the table to keep the look super beachy and a bit more funky.

So readers…which look would you do? Bamboo chairs, kooboo chairs, upholstered wing backs at the ends???  I’d love your input!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marianne {Style For Livng} July 19, 2011 at 3:52 am

I just love the look you’re going for in your space. The entertainment/bookcase unit looks amazing! Cannot wait to see how it comes together! Hope you are well.


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