Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Family Room

I've received a lot of inquiries recently about how I can have four boys and a white living room.

Well, the truth is, the boys really don't spend much time in there. (Perhaps it's the room's lack of TV and video games). The true "hangout" in our house is the family room.

This room is uber kid-friendly. The carpet is flecked, which means it hides a multitude of sins. The sectional is deep and comfy with durable fabric. And, every piece of wood furniture has dings and scratches that have accumulated over the years from little hands banging various objects against them.

But, here's the thing... I really want to lighten this room up! There's a lot of wood and not much natural light, which can either make it cozy or dark and depressing, depending on one's mood. 

I can't bring myself to paint all the wood, so I'm taking baby steps toward a lighter, brighter room. I recently painted the walls Benjamin Moore's "Mayonnaise." I fell in love with the color when I visited French Blue in Napa.

Tough to tell in these pics, but the one below shows the original beige paint...

And, now covered in "mayonnaise"...

Later this week, I'll be taking the next baby step by having the baseboards and trim around the windows and entryways also painted in mayonnaise. I intend to keep the inside window trim stained.

I figure I'll live with the painted trim for awhile and then determine if I have the guts to paint the built-ins and perhaps the ceiling. The paneled wall will stay stained.

I'm also having some pillows made for the sectional in these fabrics...

Hoping they'll be ready soon.

What is your preference? Stained trim or painted white? Would you have already broken out the paint roller years ago, or are you a little chicken like me?


  1. What a beautiful room! I prefer white trim and think by you painting the trim around the windows it will brighten that space right up. The paneled fireplace wall is gorgeous and I love your coffer ceiling!! Can't wait to see the changes!

  2. Carolyn -
    Hey! My dining room is painted with Mayonnaise, too. Well, the wainscoting is, and the top is grasscloth. (Remember when I comforted you about your dining room grasscloth?) Why not paint out the trim around the windows, too? I think that's what is drawing your eye to think "dark". But, I would never paint the ceiling. I'm just saying!!! :)

  3. what an awesome room!!! i am more of a painted trim girl, but if it is an older home with gorgeous woodwork that is high quality, i could live with it!

  4. ooo a pretty place just for you and the boy's room...not bad not bad at all!

  5. Oh I can't paint wood. My hubby would kill me if I were to do that. He works with wood and stain is all wood needs in his mind. So I have to keep on loving it.

  6. Oh I would keep the wood trim! I love the ceiling too! I would say one way to brighten it up is to paint the walls on either side of the fireplace, this would get rid of some of the dark tones to the room. Your fire place is gorgeous too! Just adding my unsolicited advice! Lol!


  7. I like white trim normally, BUT in your room I would not pait those beams. If you want to brighten it up my suggestion would be to paint the mantel or that hutch/wall unit but I wouldn't touch the beams or trim. That's my opinion. You can also change out the art work and window treatments to brighten it up.

  8. The room is gorgeous and so welcoming!
    I am a painted wood/trim girl and would bite the bullet and paint EVERYTHING! A bit drastic but I think it would look best all one color and that would be white.
    Best of luck!

  9. Carolyn, I love the new color. It is so hard to paint beautiful wood, isn't it? I struggle with the same thing. Your pillows are going to be great- xo Diana

  10. I think your plans to lighten up will make a big difference! I'm like you, I had an office full of stained wood and I did not want to paint all of that woodwork. I compromised and painted the walls and just the backs of the shelves white, leaving everything else stained. Anxious to see all of your new touches in place!

  11. Beautiful millwork, it will only look better brighter and lighter , please paint it .... you will love it.

  12. That room is beautiful! What incredible woodwork! I think just painting some of the trim will make a huge impact!