Need help with our new family room. Its big but ugly!

patticella22August 12, 2014
Hi! Bought this house a year ago and I have a love hate relationship with this room. Love the beams and space! Hate the fireplace, 70's paneling, and mismatched bookshelves. Problem is we practically have no budget so I am looking for a cheap fix. So paint may be our only option.

1. Can I paint the wood paneling, trim, and bookshelves all white? Or is that too much?
2. If I paint it all white, do I paint the back of the bookshelves a gray to compliment the fireplace? Possibly stone harbor (bm)??
3. Do I paint the beams white or keep them dark?
4. Do I ask a carpenter to remove all the shelves besides the ones under the windows since they are mismatched anyways?
5. I have to keep the carpet and furniture due to budget but I can remove the leather chair and add something else? Thoughts/Help! Much appreciated!
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PRO
Ashley Thomas Photography
Check out this article on painting paneling, http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/painting-wood-paneling/index.html

What about a rug? We were able to get a nice sized rug at Big Lots for under $60 bucks. That could add some interest to the floor without replacing the carpeting. Also, if you are looking for a gray paint, we went with Functional Gray by Sherwin Williams. It is such a nice color! Looking at the photos you posted, I love the dark beams, but painting the shelving white would add some nice contrast. Whatever you decide to do, I would love to see 'after' photos!
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:40AM
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Dytecture
Painting the paneling would be a relatively economical method to update a room.

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3 Likes    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:50AM
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greenyogini
I always feel that a project needs to start from inspiration photos, so I recommend you hunt through Houzz and the rest of the internet (ok, so maybe not ALL of it ;) ) to find photos of rooms that you like. Start out just imagining your perfect space. Then from those photos, see if you find any themes in colors, textures, prints, etc. that can be used in the current space.

You're right on about paint being a great place to start - so long as you've thought about the overall room feeling. (If you think you might make changes to any of the decor or furniture in the near future, you may want your paint color to work with those changes as well.) In a room with so many great features, I tend to err on the side of caution, painting one section at a time and living with it for a while to see if you still feel the need to paint another section.

I love your idea about painting the built-ins white and then painting the back a contrasting color (grey or something else). If that's your sense of where to start, do it! :)

If it were my room (and what a lovely room it is!), I would keep the beams dark because I like the contrast and architectural interest they lend. I also like your stone fireplace and built-ins. :) I would personally start with painting the wood paneling in a light color of your choice and then cleaning the stone fireplace or going over it with a lighter color wash (maybe not white-wash, but more of a grey-wash?). Once those two areas are tackled, you may not feel the need to even paint the built-ins...or you may want to keep them dark and then just paint the contrast back as you've suggested.

I'd love to see images or links of chairs, patterns, colors, and rooms that inspire you, though. I think it will help direct the advice you receive. :)
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by patticella22    August 12, 2014 at 8:07AM
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Suzanne
Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder because I LOVE your room!! I would definitely start by painting all the built ins/doors/trim/ceiling a bright white, leave the beams the dark wood, and start filling the room with coordinating accents like rugs, pillows, etc to bring in some color. I'd paint the back of the book cases something with a little pop too... Maybe teal? Depends on the overall look you are going for! Then if you are still looking for more brightness, paint the paneling whatever color you like. It certainly doesn't have to be white too. I believe that you should find items you LOVE to fill the space and then choose colors from those items for wall paint, etc. So if you fall in love with a fantastic rug, pull colors from that, etc.
Definitely post progress and after photos!
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by patticella22    August 12, 2014 at 8:26AM
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katearoni
Consider adding a mantle that coordinates with the beams. If you paint the bookshelves and other wood elements white, it should really add some character.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by patticella22    August 12, 2014 at 8:44AM
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Akintunde Disu
add a rug or large painting to introduce some colour , and also a starting point for make over
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by patticella22    August 12, 2014 at 10:25AM
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patticella22
Thank you all for your help! I'll keep you posted!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 6:44PM
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edithsmom
Like greenyogini's suggestions, to start with painting the panelling a light tan, and leaving the beams as is, but I would NOT white/grey wash the stone fireplace. See what you think of the room once the walls are done, before proceeding.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:55AM
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patticella22

Thanks for all your help!!! We painted it white (simply white BM) and we love!

1 Like    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 9:10AM
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OldGrayMare
If you have a few spare pennies left, consider a cowhide rug for accent...in a brown-white. Wow!
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by patticella22    March 1, 2015 at 9:19AM
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patticella22

    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 9:45AM
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patticella22

Great idea about the rug.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 9:48AM
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Old dog new tricks

That looks great!

1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by patticella22    March 1, 2015 at 10:00AM
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chloebud

Such an improvement! We painted paneling in a previous home, and it really opened up the room. What color white did you use?

    Bookmark   Thanked by patticella22    March 1, 2015 at 10:10AM
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patticella22

Thanks!! It brought us out of the 70s era ;)! We used simply white by BM.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 10:13AM
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chloebud

Ahhh...Simply White is a nice choice...clean yet soft.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 11:01AM
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sacapuntaslapioz

Very nice transformation. ikea has cow hides at good prices

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40222933/

    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 11:37AM
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regent123
The carpet is the killer.
Get huge cream rug place in front of fireplace, on top of carpet.
Paint beams creamy white. Live for this for a while,
then decide about shelving. It might be that they
Blending as they are.
    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 9:23PM
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