home design

#MartinMakeover: Family Room Edition

family room home makeover

Check Out Our (Thrifty) Family Room Makeover Reveal

Like most of the world right now, I’m a pretty big fan of shiplap walls. I love crisp white walls and mixing up rustic, cozy and modern decor elements.  When we first walked through our home in Alger Heights, I noticed that the house was pretty dark with a lot of oak finishes. I figured that would be an easy fix with some white paint. Painted white, the oak paneling would give a shiplap(ish) look, just with vertical panels instead of horizontal.

Right after moving in, we hired someone to paint the front hallway and family room paneling white. If anyone reading this wants our painter’s contact info, just let me know. He was awesome! If you are interested in painting wood paneling yourself, it is totally doable. Our painter didn’t even have to sand the walls (because there was no thick finish on the panels). He said the key to painting over oak paneling is to first use an oil-based primer before applying your paint.


Here are some before photos of the family room.

family room before photo

family-room before

What I LOVE about the family room (and living room) is that the rooms share a brick, double-sided fire place. And I love that there is a big loop that connects all the main floor rooms. This was clutch on so many occasions this winter; the boys spent many evenings running in endless circles to burn energy.


Here are some after photos of the finished family room, taken by the very talented Deb from Snap Studio. (Thank you, Deb!)

Photo courtesy of Snap Studio
family room lets stay home pennant
Photo courtesy of Snap Studio
family room after
Photo courtesy of Snap Studio
Photo taken by me and my trusty iPhone ;-)

For anyone curious, here are some details on this room:

Paint Color: Behr Ultra Pure White

Rug: Goodwill find (100% wool!) from years ago. For affordable, new rugs, I always look at Home Goods, Overstock.com, Target and Rugsusa.com

Coffee Table: We wanted something narrow (more room for the boys to run their laps, ha!) and we found this one at Home Depot.

Couch: Furniture City Consignment has an awesome selection of used, affordably-priced furniture. We found our genuine black leather couch there for under $200. It has some wear & tear and scratches, but I honestly would rather a cheap but sturdy couch at this stage with having young kids.

Arm Chairs: Super cheap garage sale find (local friends: check out the annual Ottawa Hills garage sale–it’s a good one!)

Floor Lamp: This was an under $40 Target find (on sale right now)

Pennant Sign: Our “Let’s Stay Home” pennant is from Cloth + Cabin, but they aren’t currently selling this. It was sourced via Matriarch Handmade and you can still buy it there.

End Tables: We purchased these Ikea end tables, that also turn into trays (for only $20). We love them and you cannot beat this price!

What do you think about our family room makeover? Would you paint original oak paneling walls or leave them in their original condition? I’d love to hear from you!



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