Candice Tells All: Trendy reno puts urban spin on dated family room
Scripps Howard News Service
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With photo/graphic: SH12G157CANDICETELLSALL, SH12G158CANDICETELLSALL
By CANDICE OLSON
Scripps Howard News Service
Rina is a city girl through and through. Husband Nilesh enjoys living in their new suburban home, and wants to help his wife get over her culture shock so they can settle down and enjoy their new space. The solution? I was hired to bring the city to suburbia.
The family room in this young couple's home was stuck in a time warp. Faux finishes of every description, a stucco ceiling, a worn carpet and a dated fireplace insert created a culture shock of their own -- an '80s time warp, to be exact.
Rina missed the exciting vibe and trendy flair of her former downtown haunts, but the extensive changes that would be necessary to update this space were daunting for the young homeowners. Fortunately, our team has lots of experience with transforming spaces from dated designs to new-century cool. "Hip" and "trendy" were the watchwords for this reno, so we set about creating a space that would help Rina warm up to suburban living.
The sheer scope of this job was impressive.
My grand plan involved a fireplace makeover, removal of the dated wainscoting and a smooth, freshly drywalled ceiling complete with recessed lighting. An unsightly bulkhead would be nicely camouflaged within the design of club-style banquette seating, and the rest of the room would be filled with modern furniture, a workspace and a media center. Everything would be centered around the focal point of this room, the fireplace.
There was no time to lose. As soon as this job was done, I was leaving for a long-awaited beach vacation. The clock was ticking, so the crew dug in and gutted the room. Once we were down to a blank slate, it was time to rebuild the club-inspired party room from the ground up. We installed a wooden floor that blended with the flooring in the rest of the house. We also tackled the rough walls with their various faux finishing treatments. Smoothing them out involved "skimming," a tedious but necessary process that banished the ragging, sponging and stenciling for good. Did I mention the crackle finish? Yikes!
The family-room fireplace got a classy face-lift with the installation of a new gas insert and a surround made from a gorgeous, cream-colored quartz stacked stone with a natural sparkle -- just the thing to glam up the place. We flanked the fireplace with a large glass-fronted display case and a media center.
Directly opposite is a swanky lounge area, complete with the rich, custom-made banquette and Rina and Nilesh's reupholstered tulip chairs, all positioned around a round, quartz-topped cocktail table with a pedestal base carved to resemble a tree. Plentiful throw cushions give the banquette a feeling of cozy comfort -- at the end of the day, this space has to be glamorous, but livable, too.
Perhaps one of the coolest features of this room is the lighting accent that hangs above the table. A recessed light in the ceiling shines down on a group of crystal drop pendants, making them sparkle and adding just the right touch of classy elegance to this space.
To finish off the furnishings, we placed two charcoal loveseats on a creamy, textured area rug and added an oval ottoman in the center. Creamy drapes flanking graphic printed roller blinds for the patio doors and a small work center tucked into the corner add the finishing touches to a hip and cool, but still functional, gathering place.
The final touch was inspired by a vision I had in the middle of the night. At the last minute, we replaced the wooden spindles that separated the kitchen from the family room with a panel of tempered, crackle-finish glass. It defuses the light beautifully. What an interesting design feature!
Perfect for entertaining, this room is guaranteed to lure city friends out to suburbia, where they'll be wined and dined in style. That's something Rina can definitely live with. As for Nilesh, he's thrilled, too. It sure didn't take him long to learn the husband's creed of "Happy wife, happy life."
(Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV's "Candice Tells All." For more ideas, information and show times visit http://www.hgtv.com/candice-tells-all/show/index.html. Or visit scrippsnews.com.)