Our Family Room Design Process

If you follow me on Pinterest, you can see that I started pinning inspirational images for our family room design.

Like all design projects I work on, I asked the same questions: How do you I want the room to: 1) function, 2) look, and 3) feel?

First and foremost, the room needs to function for our family.  The family room is where we hang out and watch movies together.  In the future, I also want the room to accommodate "family game nights", a small library, and a piano. :)  I grew up taking piano lessons from the age of 6 to 18, so I would also love to give my boys the opportunity to play the piano.  If anything, I would love to start playing the piano again!  #anyone_have_a_piano

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Since our family room is part of a "great room" (with the kitchen and dining area), it is also where we entertain.  It needs to hold up to high traffic.  The room also has an indoor-outdoor feel, so it needs to be quite durable.

This part was a bit trickier for me to whittle down since I have eclectic taste.  My Pinterest board, however, is helping me visualize the common thread of the images that I've been pinning.  

I'm seeing lots of white, layered patterns, and natural textures!

As of this moment, I want the room to have a modern farmhouse appeal, with a bohemian/boho chic, global, and collected vibe!  Like I said, I'm eclectic...

This one was easy for me.  I want the room to feel relaxed, casual, light, bright, cozy, warm, welcoming, and inviting! :)  I want it to be approachable and easy-going.

But before the rest of the design process can start, the room's "construction" needs to get finished. :)  Are you painting this weekend too?!

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Kenarry: Ideas for the Home

"Real" Home Improvement Projects

Hi all!  Thank you so much for the kind e-mails regarding our main bathroom remodel.  I'll be sharing more of the room soon, along with all the specific renovation details.

Today, I'm sharing some other "real" home improvement projects happening around blogland.  These are actual room makeovers or renovation projects that most everyone can relate to.  You know, the average "budget-friendly" type?!

I recently found Karisa's blog and immediately started snooping around.  Like my hubby and I, she and her husband purchased a home that they are updating over time - although their home definitely started out in better shape than our beloved fixer!  Since we are constantly up to our eyeballs with renovation projects, I take comfort in seeing other "real" house projects come to fruition.  It helps ease the feeling of being overwhelmed by our own home renovations...

Karisa's newly revealed home office makeover reminds me of the direction that our own home office is headed.

You can read about my thoughts for using black within interior spaces here.

This husband and wife renovating duo recently helped give their friends a laundry room makeover.  They passed along some sponsorship benefits that were provided to them by Wayfair and Ace Hardware to help their friends complete their laundry room reno.  What great friends, don't you think?!  Although Wayfair and Ace essentially covered the project's material costs (which is a big savings)the homeowners themselves put in the elbow grease and DIY'd their new laundry space.  Go check out the relatable before & after here.

Last, but definitely not least, Jen, from the popular blog IHeart Organizing, is currently renovating their kitchen and doing all the work themselves!  Insert admiration face here.  I'm talking knocking down walls and the whole nine yards.  She gives great insight and tips about their experience with installing their new Ikea kitchen.  You must follow their renovation!

Ways to get your home sold quickly!

I am currently staging a home for resale, and it got me to thinking about ways to get a home sold quickly... and with little or no money!  For those who are already homeowners, the last thing you want is to miss out on a replacement property because you are unable to sell your existing home.

If your home is in a great location, you're already half way to getting it sold - assuming it is priced appropriately.  You can always make improvements to a home, but unfortunately, you can't do anything about its location.  However, whether your home is in a great location or "less than ideal" location, it is still important to get it "market ready"!

#1  Price it right from the start.  It doesn't matter to a prospective buyer what you paid for the house, or how much money you've put into it.  Your asking price should be supported by the area's sold comps.  The longer a home sits on the market, the greater the probability you'll get an offer that is less than your asking price (or not get an offer at all).  Time is money in real estate.  Price your home properly from the start (or maybe even strategically) and you should see results!

#2  Stay impartial.  The bottom line is that it doesn't matter if you believe your home is "better" or "worth more" than comparable properties.  You're entitled to your opinion, but so are buyers and their realtors.  The goal is to get your home sold.

#3  Enhance the curb appeal.  This is SO important.  Along with location and neighborhood, your home's first impression occurs before a potential buyer even steps foot inside the home.  Trim the shrubs, mow the lawn, get rid of weeds, sweep debris off walkways, and brush off any pesky spider webs!  A good power washing of the entire exterior also goes a long way.  If you want to spend a little money, you can also plant a colorful flower bed, add new mulch/bark, etc.

#4  Clean, clean, and clean some more.  Clean ALL surfaces - countertops, floors, light fixtures, baseboards, window sills, walls, sinks, tubs, cabinets, drawers, closets, etc.  If you see it, clean it!!!  A clean house translates as being well-maintained.

#5  Minimize, de-clutter, de-personalize.  Less is often more when selling your home.  It takes the emphasis away from the decor and showcases the home's "bones".  Allow some "breathing space" in your furniture placement, as well as on your walls.  Put away personal photo galleries and "chotchkies".  If something is breakable, it's best to put it away anyway.

#6  Show all the storage.  De-clutter and organize ALL the closets and cabinets!  Buyers will snoop.  Keep only what you use or need, and donate or toss everything else.  Try to keep a portion of each cabinet empty.  Buyers value storage space.

#7  Stage the rooms.  Give rooms a specific role.  Help them envision how each room can be used.  Show potential buyers what can be done with "unconventional" spaces.  Have an alcove in the master bedroom for instance?  Set up a little sitting area or small desk space.  

#8  Pet control.  Unfortunately, some people may have pre-conceived notions about homeowners who have pets - and subconsciously discount the condition of a home.  To appeal to a broader market, it's best to remove all signs of animals (and any pet odors too).

#1  Paint.  Got scruff marks on the walls?  Need to patch some holes from that gallery wall of personal photos?  Well then, spackle and paint before the open house!  A fresh coat of paint is one of the most inexpensive and impactful ways to refresh your home.

#2  Update, but don't remodel.  While updated kitchens and bathrooms are always a positive, I wouldn't recommend doing any full-blown remodeling projects before you sell.  You may not get the return on your investment that you expect.  Taste is discretionary, so don't bother designing for the next homeowner.  Instead, perhaps spruce up an outdated room with fresh neutral paint, new hardware, modern lighting, or new fixtures.

#3  Take care of deferred maintenance issues.  Have a pesky leak?  Gutters full of leaves?  Broken window screen?  You get the idea.  Go through every room in your home and "inspect" it.  It's a good idea to do a walk through of the exterior too.  You don't want to give any "red flags" to buyers.  Good home inspections will uncover the issues, but you don't want buyers to (mentally) discount the asking price due to apparent deferred maintenance issues.

#4  Create an inviting entry.  Spruce up the front door with paint or a new stain.  Update the exterior lighting, house number, door handle, knocker, etc. if your budget permits.  A potted plant/flowers and simple entry mat will also make an inviting entry.

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Main Bathroom Reveal {Part One}

If you've been following along recently, then you may have been anxious to see our newly remodeled main bathroom?!  Or perhaps it's been so long that you forgot about it? :)

modern transitional bathroom remodel interior design

Six months ago, we embarked on our main bathroom renovation.  Although construction finished months ago, certain things were just installed within the last two months.  I'm still on the hunt for a few finishing touches (mainly a rug), but thought I'd share the newly renovated bathroom with all of you!

vanity herringbone tile quartz countertop 84 inch double vanity sinks

Quite the transformation, right?!  This was a top-to-bottom gut renovation.  I wanted immediate impact and an unexpected "wow" factor right when you walked into the bathroom, so I had the wall that you first see when you walk into the bathroom covered in a herringbone carrara marble mosaic tile - floor-to-ceiling!  It's my favorite part of the room design.

I can't say I miss the ugly single-sink vanity (pink sink nonetheless), ugly linoleum countertop, ugly shabby cabinetry, and lack of storage.  It was completely ugly dysfunctional.  Before we renovated this bathroom, I actually concealed the vanity cabinet with fabric so we didn't have to look at it.  Out of sight, out of mind! :)

Now we have two deep, rectangular sinks...

dual sinks 84 inch modern vanity all modern wayfair modern transitional interior design

...a solid quartz countertop & carrara marble backsplash...

CAD INTERIORS main bathroom renovation 84 inch double vanity sinks modern transitional bathroom interior design

CAD INTERIORS main bathroom renovation modern transitional bathroom interior design

...and lots and lots of storage!

84 inch double sink vanity storage modern transitional bathroom interior design

This bathroom is now functioning so much better for the four of us!  Our master bathroom/master suite renovation is not in the immediate future, so it was even more important that this bathroom was packed with storage, practicality, and functionality!

CAD INTERIORS main bathroom renovation quartz countertops herringbone tile mosaic marble modern transitional bathroom interior design

CAD INTERIORS main bathroom renovation modern transitional bathroom interior design herringbone marble backsplash brushed nickel faucets

I'll break down the nitty-gritty details of the renovation in future posts.  Before and after photos of the bath/shower area are also forthcoming!!!  It was a MAJOR transformation...

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Stylish design tips with young kids in mind - Tip #3 {Durable Rugs & Carpet Tiles}

Have you noticed how much time young kids spend playing on the floor?  I can bet that over 90% of the time spent playing (indoors), they are on the floor!

My third tip for designing with young kids in mind is all about providing a soft, beautiful, yet durable surface for them to sit and play on.  Rugs add softness and texture, and often "ground" spaces.  They also help warm up hard surfaces, like wood and tile.

I know that some would rather leave their hard-surfaced floors bare because they're afraid of spills, stains, and such.  This seems especially true when it comes to dining areas.  Well, one of my favorite tips for kid-friendly, pet-friendly, and high-traffic areas is to use an indoor/outdoor rug or natural fiber rug.  They are extremely durable and can handle most messes and spills.  They are also easy to maintain, as most require only vacuuming, shaking off, or even hosing down!

I especially love natural fiber rugs.  They are quite versatile and inject so much texture into a space.  From my own personal experience, they are soft underfoot.  They are also great for layering.  Flat-woven, kilim, and dhurrie rugs are all wonderful layering rugs that are kid/pet-friendly!

If you prefer wool or other material rugs, I'd suggest a patterned design to keep any stains from being too noticeable.  It is important to make sure you purchase an area rug that matches your lifestyle.  If you have kids and pets, I'd probably hold off on a silk rug!

Modular carpet tiles are another great option.  I like to use them in family rooms, bedrooms, and playrooms.  They are very durable and easy to replace, if needed.  They also give you the flexibility to create an "area rug" in the exact size, shape, colors, and patterns that you want.  There are so many options!

To catch up on my previous tips for designing with young kids in mind, you can click on the links below:

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Transitional Dining Room Design

A little traditional mixed with contemporary flair was the goal for this dining room.  To really elevate the design and make it more dynamic, the chairs will be upholstered in different fabrics.  Upholstering the chairs in various fabrics injects pattern, color, texture, and dimension - not to mention the unexpected!

Are you interested in a room design?  Feel free to contact me for information.  I would love to assist you in creating a space custom-tailored to your budget and lifestyle!

Family Room Reno: To Paint or Not Paint the Brick?

The brick fireplace in our family room is a natural focal point.  But like every other surface in the room, it needs some cosmetic TLC.

CAD INTERIORS family room renovation
Please excuse the dark, pre-blog "before" photo.
My initial inclination was to cover up all the brick and start anew.  However, after living with it all this time, I've warmed to the charm of the brick.  Since I also believe it's important to incorporate the original architectural features of your home whenever possible, I became even more hesitant about scraping the brick.  But that doesn't mean I can't make some changes!

CAD INTERIORS family room renovation

Before the walls were redone, the brick spanned floor-to-ceiling and was quite overpowering.  During renovation, we had the upper-most portion of the fireplace covered in drywall (above the horizontal wall beam).  There was a small vertical beam that ran between the center ceiling beam and wall beam that broke up the wall.  To get a continuous look, the respective area was "furred" out and drywalled.  The brick expanse feels less overpowering now.

With the faux paneling gone and the new walls up, the brick facade actually gives the room a layer of texture, depth, and dimension.  However, the color of the brick isn't winning me over.

I have been toying with the idea of painting it or giving it a "whitewash" treatment.  I know some of you may feel that it's a "sin" to paint over brick.  I would typically prefer to leave it in its natural state as well.  But I'm feeling really mixed.  Here's why...
These room images of brick fireplaces that have been painted or whitewashed are totally swaying me.  They just look so "fresh", don't you think?!  Would you paint over brick?