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Completed Design: Family Room on a Budget

A client recently wanted to convert an old, dated room into a functional and comfortable family room. Lucky for her, her son was a contractor and was able to handle all of the construction aspects. She had me in to do the design, furnishings and accessories.

Besides selecting the large furnishing pieces in our first consultation, we also selected paint colors. We went light on the walls (a lot of her home is darker and has a lot of wood so she wanted a totally different feel in this space). She added built-ins on either side of the fireplace and I suggested painting the backs of those shelves in a deep navy to cozy up the space but also to play off of the pewter collection she had and wanted to display in the space.

Here are the built-ins post paint job:

We picked neutral furniture with great texture for the space as she wanted to keep it light and bright. She had pre-selected the sofa and chairs she wanted but I helped her select the fabric. Both the sofa and chairs are from Ballard Designs. (Side note: this image below is a perfect example of how distored colors can appear on a computer screen which sometimes makes buying online very difficult. Thankfully we had the actual fabric swatches in person to choose from and so I knew these would be a good match despite what it looks like here!)

Once that was finalized we needed a rug. She was really drawn towards neutral but I felt like we need to incorporate a little color in with the rug to keep the space from falling flat. We settled on this pretty rug that is SO affordably priced (it was under $400!) and very pretty.

My client also knew she wanted an ottoman and we toyed with getting a new one when her sister let her know she had one that we could have and recover!

Here was the ottoman before:

And here it is looking much more updated in a pretty neutral leopard print:

The room has an long wall that leads to an exterior door and we needed an entry piece as well. She had this old cabinet and hutch in her dining room and was thinking of getting rid of it. I suggested we ditch the hutch, paint the cabinet and use it in the entry. And here it is:

We used two end tables that she already had and I picked up a pretty gold side table to fill in between one of the chairs and the sofa.

After we had all of the major furnishings in, it was time to fill in with accessories and style her shelves. I sourced affordable throw pillows to bring in some color, a large mirror to fill in the large wall space over the couch and to reflect some natural light, a fun tray for the ottoman (see below) and picked up this pretty vintage Italian lamp for a steal:

I am kicking myself for not buying another one of these trays for myself:

And here is the room all pulled together:

Lastly, the shelves. My client had a massive pewter collection that was so pretty but just overwhelming when she tried styling the shelves:


So, after we finished accessorizing the living area, I got to work on the shelves. The pewter collection needed to be toned down and have some other accessories and books mixed in to warm the space up. We didn't purchase any new accessories for the shelves, just shopped around her house for some fun finds. Here are the shelves after I styled them.


I'm pleased with what we were able to accomplish on time and on budget but even more pleased at how happy my client is in her new space. My most favorite part is that she calls it her "Cameron room." How sweet is that?!

xo, Cameron

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