The large family room had great potential but needed an intervention to give it style and focus.
The basement family room did triple duty as office, TV room and playroom, but the multifunctional space lacked focus, and had become a repository for old, mismatched furniture and storage boxes.THE SOLUTION
Designer Candice Olson transformed the fireplace into the centerpiece of the room, and created a stylish and inviting lounge area with lots of seating for family members and friends. The couple also now have a working office space at one end of the room, with tons of storage.HOW IT HAPPENED
• The bulky, broken fireplace was transformed into an eye-catching focal point by expanding its width and refacing it with 12- by 24-inch natural stone in "wooden beige" color. It gained a sleek gas insert, and the fireplace wall was flanked with playful wooden tiles made of oversized jigsaw-puzzle pieces.
• A big-screen TV was positioned beside the fireplace on a funky high-gloss gray media cabinet. A mammoth charcoal three-piece sectional sofa provides loads of comfy seating that will stand up to the kids while offering space for the adults to entertain downstairs after hours.
• Wall-to-wall rich espresso-brown carpet is soft underfoot and grounds the space, while a creamy area rug under the seating area sets off the sectional. A couple of funky white stools and a two-piece solid wooden coffee table complete the furnishings in the lounge area of the family room.
• To lighten things up, the old acoustic-tile ceiling was removed, and recessed pot lighting installed. New ceiling tiles are styled to look like white wooden planks. The new lighting changes the whole mood of the space, now accented with task lighting at the desk and with lamps on either side of the sofa.
• To finish off the wall behind the sectional and give it a personal touch, Olson selected several different salvaged frames -- some painted and some raw wood -- and hung them, empty, on the wall. Then she positioned conversation pieces inside the frames: large old white keys, an antique bicycle horn and some of the kids' artwork.
Maximizing the illusion of height at the small windows, Olson hung floor-length draperies and custom graphic-printed shades to create the feeling of larger windows and to instantly banish that below-ground basement feeling.
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service. Interior decorator Candice Olson hosts "Candice Tells All" on HGTV.