Monday, May 24, 2010

Family Room Preview

I know it's been a month or so since I've posted any of my projects on our house -- but don't worry, I've got some pretty big plans up my sleeve for the great room. As you can see, our family room (which opens out onto the kitchen/breakfast area) is a great two-story behemoth, wildly popular with builders across the country. And I'll admit that it does make for a great first impression. But it's also very tricky to design around. After all, a family room should feel cozy and welcoming, not imposing or grand. So how do you take the scale down a bit?

I think the biggest key here is to add some softness to the large windows. I knew I wanted to do curtains here but I wasn't quite sure how to work with the two-story windows. So I enlisted the help of my mother's designer Lisa B. to give me some guidance (and to act as a much-needed springboard for my ideas). Lisa suggested that we needed to do floor-to-ceiling curtains, thinking that simply hanging curtains on only the lower windows would give the room an oddly choppy feeling -- and look like we finished decorating halfway up the wall. And I, much as I feared having to purchase that much fabric, had to agree with her.

So exactly how much fabric were we talking about? We were quoted 60 yards -- that's an entire bolt. Yikes! So now the next task was to find a fabric I loved that was as inexpensive as possible. After going through countless samples and memoing out a number of trade-only and retail fabrics, we decided to go with this great suzani navy and cream print from Calico Corners:

It's 100% cotton with a Duragard finish that gives it some sheen and a bit more weight (though we'll be lining the fabric to get the proper drape). We'll be doing four fixed panels: one each on either side of the group and two down the center between the separate windows. Hardware will be simple as the rod will be hung so high as to not be especially visible. I'm thinking of going with this simple antique silver hardware from Restoration Hardware.

I love how the color palette works perfectly with the navy, Chinese blue and cream color scheme in the rest of the room but that the pattern itself is something of a departure from the very geometric rug and chinoiserie pillows. We're getting the final measurements made today and I'm so excited to see how they'll look in the room.


The other major project I've been working on is also for the family room. We're going to be having built-ins made for either niche, complete with storage for books, TV and components (on the left side of the fireplace) and even built-in benches at the base, to accommodate extra visitors when we entertain as well as to provide additional closed storage. I think these will go a long way towards adding that cozy, lived in feeling to the room and I can't wait to get in and start styling the shelves. I've even stock piled a few great accessories to mix in with our books. While the built-ins will match our existing white trim, I'm planning to paint out the backs in a different color. I have leftover paint from our bathroom and dining room and am contemplating using one of those colors, but I'm open to suggestions -- what do you think?

In any case, fabrication and construction are set to begin while Dave and I are away on vacation so stayed tuned for the big reveal shortly after I get back!


And lastly, on a totally unrelated note, I'm guest blogging today over at High-Heeled Foot in the Door while Camila is away on vacation. I'm revealing some truly stylish accessories -- all of which retail for under $25! Please stop by and say "hello"!

36 comments:

The Zhush said...

So exciting! Love your fabric choices. Our family room has the double height ceilings as well. Hanging a chandelier from the center, really helped the room tremendously. It's a wrought iron rustic number, not all crystals and drops. We have drapery panels from floor to ceiling as well. I think you got the right advice to not chop the windows. Can't wait to see the results...the book cases sound perfect!

Design Esquire said...

I think the drapes will look gorgeous. Great choices!

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

60 yards, I can't get over that! The fabric you selected will be dramatic in the space and the built-ins will absolutely add a finished look. I am always surprised when builders don't install built-ins when they create niches, I understand from a cost point of view, but the areas always end up looking so odd and many homeowners are never able to complete them properly. These two projects are going to make a tremendous difference in a space that is already looking wonderful.

Kelle Dame said...

Looks great already! Love the mirror above the mantel and the fabric choices! I'm STILL waiting for my built-ins....about a year now! Thanks for sharing your project!

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

Sounds like you have some seriously dramatic changes up your sleeve - I can't wait! Love the fabric you picked, it's gorgeous. And P.S. Great post on HHFITD!

Julia said...

1. Your room is lovely. I adore the blue ikat and graphic rug you have.

2. You HHFITD post was wonderful and gave me an excellent idea to add to a gift basket - a huge box of matches decorated prettily with wrapping paper, or fabric and ribbon. I must choose. Thanks for the idea!

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

i LOVE your choice for drapery fabric and can't wait to see the finished product. the built-ins will look great around the fireplace, too. keep up the good work!

Style Redux 2 said...

I would do a coral pink for the back of the built-ins with perhaps a solid coral pink for cushions for the benches. You need something to break up all the blue and patterns.

Bromeliad said...

Thanks for the tip on Calico Corners - Didn't know they had all the nice ikat and suzani fabric.

Nichole@40daysof said...

I can't wait to see your new additions to the room. I totally agree with you about those rooms with insanely high ceilings being difficult to cozy up. So glad you went with curtains for the entire window wall. I've seen it where only the bottom windows were done and it wasn't good. Love the fabric!

Kathysue said...

Averill I just got back from your guest post at Camilla's I am dying for the Greek bowl. Love that!1 You did a great post full of style as always, Now about your family room Oh my it is wonderful and the draperies are going to add so much softness to the room.I think once those are done the already beautiful room wil take you on a new journey. Love the idea of benches in the built-ins and the fact that you are going to the back wall. Can't wait to see what you do! Always a visual pleasure, Happy Monday,kathysue

Tammy@InStitches said...

I love what you picked for your window treatment, it's going to look great !

Hello Lover... said...

I love that fabric! It's gorgeous - can't wait to see your updates to the space! Those windows are going to be amazing!

LindsB said...

The drapes are going to be drop dead georgous when you get them up- just the thought of them make me giddy to see the end result!

Couture Carrie said...

Your home is so gorgeous, darling!
Always love to see your improvements!

xoxox,
CC

Laura@JourneyChic said...

That's one of my favorite fabrics from Calico - I bet it will look fabulous!

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

I think the drapes will be stunning and agree the built ins will help bring in warmth...and I love the idea of the extra seating. Cannot wait to see the finished product!

Erica @ Decorica said...

Your home looks lovely. That fabric is great and I can't wait to see it when it's all done.

Haven and Home said...

Oh I can't wait to see them, they will look great!

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

The paisley is actually for a modern wing back chair which is very similar to the one you have here. I'm posting a shot of my board tomorrow.

Kristina at The Purple Pea said...

I think it's starting to come together so nicely. Have you thought about maybe a darker shade of the wall color as the back of the built-ins?

Fran said...

Averill, it sounds super exciting! I love your fabric choice for the drapes and the built in bookcase will add another whole dimension to the room! I can't wait to see the dramatic after! Great job! Making the decisions is the hardest part...now comes the fun part!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Love that fabric from Calico...saw it and so wished I had someone/somewhere to work it in. The builts in's sound great.

May I suggest a flowering tree and landscaping as part of the design plan right outside those huge windows!

shari @ little blue deer said...

This is a great post, we have the same problem, HUGE living room with vaulted ceiling, and it's just too elegant and imposing, no one wants to just "hang out" at our house. Excellent suggestions. More importantly, HOW have I missed your blog?? Crazy! I love it here, am definitely following, and it is lovely to meet you! Cheers!

The Shiny Pebble said...

I love the fabric choices and the bold choice for the rug. This room is going to look so finished and well thought out. I love it. I hope you enjoy your vacation and I can't wait to see the end result.

Alicia said...

I can not wait to see the results!!!
Now the freaky part....I purchsed the sample a weeks ago for the guest bedroom fabrice. I'm thinking of doing the drapes & headboard with it!!!
Then I'll use a combo of blanc de chine, blue & whites, silver, etc.
These are the rods I chose....
http://www.restorationhardware.com/rh/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod1156215&navCount=4
We'll have to swap finished images.

Sanity Fair said...

It's going to look great - really, really like that pattern. The second I looked at the pics I thought - do floor to ceiling curtains and built-ins! So my wish is coming true! :) Can't wait to see the results! Have a great trip!
-SF

SogniSorrisi said...

Love the fabric! Can't wait to see the finished product.

The Matters of Style Girls said...

Love the fabric!! Can't wait to see what the curtains look like!! 60 yards took my breath away:)

ashlina {the decorista} said...

its looking gorgeous girlie....blue and white bliss.

Marija said...

Floor to ceiling drapery will be dramatic and warm. Can't wait! I'm also very excited for your bookshelf reveal. I love customizing shelving and builtins. So many options! I know you are going to come up with something fantastic!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I love your fabric choice! We also have the floor to ceiling windows. Luckily we had a former neighbor who was a designer who also suggested floor to ceiling panels. I think you're going to be so pleased with the result. Along with the bookshelves, the room is going to be so warm and inviting.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Looks great! I love your colors and fabrics, and I can't wait to see the drapes and built ins (new construction niches always mystify me...if not built in shelves, then WHAT are you supposed to do with them? And in that case - why not just put the shelves in to begin with?)

Christy said...

Ooh la la! I just love your fabric choice for your new drapes - they are going to look smashing, I'm sure! And the niches will be so awesome once you've got the bookcases in there - I'd say go for painting the backs the color of your powder room - that would look awesome!

Hope you guys are having a fabulous vacation! And I hope one day I get to travel to Houston and hang out on your couch in your gorgeous family room!!!

The Girl and the Cupcake said...

It's going to look stunning! I wouldn't know what to do with that wall 'o windows, either. Nicely done!

Kathy Carbone said...

Living rooms are designed as a place for family bonding. Very nice living room! The paint color on the wall matches the flooring perfectly. I am thinking of adapting some of your design ideas, particularly the rug, in my own home. A beautifully designed centerpiece rug will surely complement the (Lakeland) flooringwe have installed. Thanks for sharing!

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