Anatomy of a Room Redesign Part 2

In my last column I started the redesign process of a reader’s family room. Every family’s needs are different. The space should look good, feel good and suit the needs of the family.

From Blog Reader
From Blog Reader

To recap: Question: What would you do to this room? We want to keep the floor and the TV. Most others can be replaced or repurposed or painted. Can you do this with photos?

The process started with reviewing the photos and questions to access the needs of the family. Without walking through the house to see where other functions may land, I had to discover what stays and what relocates.

We established the following: the room needs to accommodate 3-5 people. The large hutch is used for storage. There is a dedicated office space. For the first time ever, someone actually uses the treadmill.

My last question: Are you keeping all the books? Is someone using the desk? If not, why keep them? It is all about function and working with the things you need and use not just because you own them.

Answer: Every once in awhile I purge some books but I keep the majority. Some books are signed by the authors and others are beloved titles. I will always have books.


The plan:

Relocate family photos to a transitional space like a hallway to create a gallery. For the scale of the room, one large piece of art or a larger grouping can go on that wall.

Remove the desk. There is a dedicated office space in the house. The desk is eating up precious equity. Congratulations on using your treadmill! It stays.

If keeping the hutch, try placing it where the treadmill is. For storage, see below for wall unit. Since it can’t move somewhere else in the house, consider selling or donating.


New wall unit: This family needs a place to house the TV, extra storage and books. A wall unit can sit flushed against the wall instead of shoved in a corner. Everything goes in one place instead multiple pieces. The bookcase can move to the other side of the door.

For additional storage, place 2 tall matching bookcases on each side of the Palladian window.

Seating: A new couch can go against the large wall, accent table with lamps on each side, 2 accent chairs in front of the Palladian window with a small table and lamp in between and a love seat or 2 floating chairs on the door side facing the Palladian window. Avoid chunky, oversized pieces. The treadmill can land in one of the corners depending how rooms is set up and move when in use.

A room needs breathing space. Try to avoid filling up every bit of wall space and corner. My preference would be the 2 tall shelving units with chairs in front of the window.

For color, use the bright color in your accent pieces not the walls. Because of all the doors, entries, windows and angles of the ceiling, I would neutralize the space with a light gray or beige and white ceiling will make the room feel expansive. You can mix finishes and furniture fabric, again, keep it neutral and accessorize with color. For windows, my preference would be no drapes. Use inside mount blinds or shades to showcase the beautiful windows.

That’s how you come up with a plan: Review, edit, replace, refresh. Selection is based on personal taste and style. It is important to love your home.