Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Sad Family Room–Part 1–Cabinets

This house has been busy.  There’s always something going on, inside and out. 
Our house has a lovey second floor family room.  Well… it should be lovely, but it didn’t start out that way. What you see in the picture below is a step up from it’s original ugliness.  Not much better, I know.
family room upstairs 005a
family room upstairs 002a
The chair and tree aren’t usually in the middle of the room but these photos were taken (of course) just as I was moving things around to paint.  I didn’t mind the creamy yellow paint, but it needed a change for something a little warmer.
Neither am I a huge fan of the speakers in the wall that came with the house.
A huge pet peeve for me  is  WIRES.  I hate wires.  So night after night I’d sit in this room and stare at the configuration of it all and finally set my mind on exactly what to do.
family room upstairs 003a
So first things first, paint.  This family room makeover will take place over a few posts, so we can cover a few things in detail.
So pack up everything in centre of the room in preparation for Step 1 – Paint.
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This room is open to the stairs and hallways, so everything needed to be done.
(Note my BEAUTIFUL ceiling fixtures!)
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Make sure you enlist some cheap labour.
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To combat boredom we paint the men’s faces with hearts and flowers.
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I know some people dislike accent walls  but I happen to love  them either with paint or wallpaper. This large window wall was painted a darker taupe colour while the rest took a nice light taupe.
family room paint 005a
Now that the paint is done, the empty spaces on either side of the fireplace need to be filled. As usual I present a few sketches to Mr. Charming and he helps bring it to life.
I wanted the look of custom cabinets beside the fireplace.   You can buy stock cabinetry, but uppers at 12” deep were too shallow and bottom cabinets at 24” were too deep.  Mr. Charming had to construct the cabinets to fit the space.  We started with doors.   We bought doors first and worked the cabinets to fit the doors.
These doors are from IKEA.   If you follow my work you know I love IKEA doors and have used them often.  You can see the Laundry Room example here. As much as I love using the doors they’re never the right color for my projects.  They’ll end up being painted.
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For the cabinetry, we used regular laminate shelving.
We had all our material on hand at the beginning of the project.  This is very helpful when you are constructing something from scratch.
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The construction begins.  Holes were predrilled for shelving placement later.
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Any raw edges were finished with iron on edging.
iron on edging
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For the top, we used a pine board which we cut to fit, stained and polyurethaned.
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We added some stained trim to the bottom of the cabinets just for an added touch.
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Legs are added and the outside of the cabinets are painted to match newly painted doors.
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family room upstairs 077a
We sized the cabinets up for installation and cut holes for the plugs and cable.  When the room is complete you will not see a wire, a DVD player or a cable box anywhere.
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Family Room 063a
The cabinets are in but the room isn’t complete.….  the fun accessorizing part will come soon.   Right now there’s just ‘stuf'f’ on the cupboards.
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The cabinets are attached to the wall for stability.
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family room after1 037a
family room after1 015a
Artwork/wall hangings to come.
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I even got a new light !
rustic coffee table 103a
Thank you Mr. Charming... he can do anything!

Coming up…..   The Ugly Mantle Fix
Family Room 001a


  1. Those cabinets look awesome! They really do look like built-ins! Great job!! I can't wait to see the rest of the room!

  2. I think the whole room or rooms are very nicely done.. Doing a remake over takes some time but when your done you will be able to sit back and relax and take a breather..

  3. The new cabinets are fantastic! I really like the feet and the indented-shallow cabinet at the ends. Your light fixture is shining beautifully. :) Great job!


  5. I love the details on your cabinets. Great job!

  6. I need you and Mr. Charming to come to the east coast for a week. I will feed you and pretty well do anything you want me to! These are gorgeous Lisa ~ I love how they flow with the rest of the room and the darker paint really makes a difference. Happy long weekend.

  7. nice works!! it must looks better! love those cabinets, impressive!


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