(we are still working on being sure to get all the "before" and "after" pictures. Drew is much better about it than I am.)
Here is a true before picture of our family room. No picture frames. No wall shelf. No curtains. Pretty boring and kinda gloomy if you ask me.
(Make sure you notice the wood tables and
The loooonng window definitely needed something to make it look more finished. To bring more white into the room, we decided simple white panel curtains would be the best for this window.
We scored a pair of white curtains for our family room on our Ikea adventure. We purchased the Lenda style curtains for only $29.99 a pair! They have a linen like texture and we were able to hem them to the exact length we needed (just skimming the floor) with Ikea's iron-on hem strip. Super easy and super perfect!
(Please excuse the pillows. I am normally pretty good about fluffing them:)
To tie in the darker accents in the room, we found an oil rubbed bronze curtain rod at Bed, Bath, & Beyond (where we still had wedding gift cards and coupons). Drew Babe hung the rod close to the ceiling to make our ceilings appear taller and to lengthen the window. I usually go with "high and wide" when hanging curtains (this blog has some great tips on hanging curtains).
Often it seems during some of our Martin House projects I am simply the one giving
Now....I have to switch gears a bit.
After purchasing the white curtains, we realized they were going to be the only white item in the family room. There needed to be something else to tie them in. We had talked about looking for new coffee and accent tables, but we actually really liked the style of ours, just not the color. We tossed out the idea of staining them, but then I suggested painting them white to go with the curtains. At first, Drew was a little unsure about the idea.
We certainly did not want them to stick out like a sore thumb, so we had to be sure to pick the perfect white. That was no easy task. After bringing home dozens of whites, looking at them in daylight and artificial light, and comparing them to various other "whites" in our house, we finally settled on Crumb Cookie from Lowe's in a semi-gloss.
We hauled the three tables out to the garage to begin the project. Our first step was to remove all the legs to make it easier to get good paint cover.
The most tedious task was sanding them down. To make this step of the project more exciting, we worked on this together (Drew Babe with his pro electric sander and me with my little square of sand paper). We enjoyed laughing, chatting, and singing (sometimes to spice it up even more, I would break out into spontaneous dancing, and I am no dancer by any means).
To get all the dust off we wiped everything down with a warm damp rag.
On to the primer! Fortunately we already had a gallon of primer and simply applied 1 (or 2...I can't remember) even coats of the primer.
The primer was super bright white, so we were hoping our Crumb Cookie would not come out looking like that. We were going for a little bit warmer, but not yellowy, white.
Drew thought it would be a great idea to get a picture of the table with half primer and half Crumb Cookie to really show the color difference. Fortunately we didn't have to make numerous trips to Lowe's to tweak our paint, because as you can see, the white color came out perfect!
After doing the final coat on all the tables, we let it dry for a day or two. Drew Babe wanted to give the top of the tables a stronger finish and decided to apply a couple coats of spray enamel. It turned out really well and they are super easy to clean.
Here is the finished room with the white curtains and the white tables.
Having the white tables and the white curtains helps to brighten the whole room and make it feel lighter and fresh...if you know what I mean (Drew always says I have the most interesting adjectives when I describe decorating things).
We both love our new brighter and whiter family room. I may even change up the pillows on the couch sometime to make them pop a bit more. For a long time I was so afraid to decorate with white, because sometimes it can be so stark. Now I am finding I love white more and more, and there are definitely ways to make it warm and cozy :)