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Sarah's House 4: Family Room & Dining Room

by - Tuesday, November 01, 2011

This week, Sarah and Tommy tackle the Family Room (latte area) and Dining Room (blue area).


The plan for the family room was to create a polished and stylish space that was still family friendly. To link the family room with the adjacent grey-toned kitchen, Sarah stuck to a palette of greys and creamy lattes.

Photo by Stacey Brandford/HGTV

To make best use of the upgrade budget, the only upgrade in this room was $1200 to run hardwood through the space. The rest of the budget was kept in check by investing in décor and accessories to make it attractive, instead of expensive furnishings. A sofa in snappy stripes set the friendly tone and was offset by a chaise and two wing chairs in solid cream. Jetstream (SR18), a light greige tone, was put on the walls. A shell chandelier from West Elm and this graphic rug from Dash & Albert added sophistication. Since the room was not that wide, Sarah custom designed the sofa to maximize seating space while minimizing arm width.  She also placed a sofa table behind the sofa with a coffee table in front, thereby eliminating the need for side tables.

Photo by Stacey Brandford/HGTV

Other decorating tips:
-       Forgo the typical monolithic media unit and build a modern long low unit out of ready-made cabinets. Sarah used espresso coloured kitchen cabinets from Ikea with a shaker profile paired with a luxe granite top and antique brass hardware
-       Trade baskets for built storage pieces to keep things looking stylish and clutter free
-       Rugs with pattern hide messes!
-       Make your own coffee table out of vintage balustrades and a vintage marble top
-       Give premade drapery panels a custom look by adding fabric to the leading edge
-       Instead of a sectional, consider multiple pieces of furniture (like a sofa and a chaise) which provide just as much seating but are more flexible for future use
-       Keep flooring consistent on the ground floor of your house
-       When rooms are open to one another, have a linking element. In these rooms, the grey & latte colour scheme was repeated in the upholstery fabric, granite, carpet, and coffee table

The total for this room including upgrades and décor: $18,590. Wow! Considering the numerous “budget” items in this room, I’m a bit surprised at the total (though I do like the final look).


Sarah wanted to inject excitement and interest in the dining room and she did that with a room filled with blue, blue, and more blue.

Using a vintage set of turquoise and charcoal grey china from The Elegant Garage Sale as a jumping off point, Sarah and Tommy created an eclectic vibrant room. Textured grasscloth the colour of stonewashed denim clad the upper walls with blue green paint below the chair rail. Dramatic paisley curtains, a velvet sofa, and chairs reupholstered in mohair, linen, and a wide stripe added pattern and more colour.

Photo by Stacey Brandford/HGTV
Scale was key to adding drama so a large new dining table and vintage Art Deco sideboard were used to give big impact. Another big impact piece: the giant horse head artwork for $2800! A casual striped rug and wooden antique chandelier added a bit of informality. Vintage sconces with similar curvy lines worked with the chandelier while not matching perfectly.

Photo by Stacey Brandford/HGTV

The tab for this lively dining room: $19,600 for décor and upgrades. What do you think? Would you enjoy meals in this vibrant space?

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