fab family room: phase one

So, now that we had drawn up our plan for our soon-to-be fabulous new living family room, it was time to start moving towards getting it knocked out.  Big bucks family room hopes, no whammies.

Our initial to-do list for getting the room started looked something like this:
– order sectional
– determine plan for built-ins/fireplace
– contact electrician about additional lighting

First, we moved the old sofa and arm chairs out and taped off the footprint of the proposed new sectional to make sure it would fit.  Once we confirmed that, we went online to make sure they had it in stock at our IKEA only to find out that they didn’t and that we’d have to order it online for delivery in order to get the deal they were running  for 15% back in IKEA gift cards (translation: money for mama to buy a backup slipcover!).  We placed the order online and waited patiently for it to arrive.

In the meantime, we started researching our options for built-ins.  We found several folks online who used IKEA Billy bookcases and added moulding to make them look like built-ins — they did a pretty convincing job, but since we knew we needed a middle section that wasn’t bookcases (and would be a fake fireplace), that didn’t seem feasible for us.  A builder friend of Michael’s pointed us to a cabinet guy he uses in his houses, so we gave him a call.

For the lighting, we knew we wanted to add recessed lighting, but had to determine what kind, how many lights, and what we wanted the layout to look like.  (Who knew there would be so many decisions for recessed lighting?!  Not us.)  After a bunch of online research and endless visits to our local Home Depot to talk to the guys in the electrical department there, we determined that we wanted to go with LED lights since not only would the individual bulbs last longer and use less energy, but they would not create as much heat as several of the other types which was great since we’re working with 8 foot ceilings and nothing vaulted.  Then, we decided to go with 6 lights – 2 rows of 3 – since more than 3 in a row was going to overpower the space.  Bring on the electrician.

Meanwhile, I still had a bajillion other tasks on my plate:
– find small end tables
– find ottoman
– find white ceramic objects
– find wall art
– find curtains
– find throw pillows
– figure out where our TV components were going to sit
– paint the walls

But we’ll get to all that…  Let’s take a look back at the progress we had already made in this room since we moved in close to ten years ago – cue the photomontage.

Here is what it looked like when we bought the house.

Then, we replaced the carpet with hardwood floors and added crown moulding.

Living Room 2003 #2

And stained and sealed the floors.

Living Room 2003 #3

Then, the room sat unused for a few years and served as our junk room – and I may or may not have hung up tension rods in each doorway and made little curtains out of sheets to try to keep the junk somewhat hidden…  It was an awesome touch, if I do say so myself.  Luckily, there are no photos of that phase.

Then, we moved out the junk, painted the walls bright yellow (aka Behr Rye) and started to furnish the room a little.

Living Room, circa 2006

Then, we added some curtains, got a new couch and moved it in front of the windows, had two garage sale chairs that my mother-in-law found for us reupholstered, and bought an ottoman.  So, we were beginning to think we were approaching done with this room…

Living Room, circa 2009

…until Michael talked me into buying a flat screen TV for our den in late 2011.  That TV ended up needing to stay in the living room until we got together our plan to mount it above the fireplace in the den.  After a few months, I realized that TV was never getting moved into the den and that we needed to start making a new plan for our living room.  And then this whole family room snowball started rolling down the hill…

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