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Classic Family Room in Historic Home

This couple's 180-year-old home has a sizeable family room, but no flow. Design bloggers Monica and Jess makeover this space into a warm, balanced room with plenty of seating and style for under $800.
This 180-year old home has tons of charm and character, but its family room is just downright awkward! Homeowners Kirk and Kate are at a loss of what to do with it. The room has a lot of unique features, but the couple hasn't been able to come up with a way to organize the room in a way that's functional. With a budget of only $800, Monica and Jess want to create a timeless design that will restore the flow and energy in this space.

The home has so much character so the designers definitely want to keep the style consistent with its age. They want the room to be modern, but also classic and functional for the family. Kate and Kirk sent in inspiration photos of rooms with elegant decor, but with such a tight budget Monica and Jess are going to have recreate those looks in a way that doesn't break the bank!

One thing the room is lacking is molding at the top. Monica and Jess want to add crown molding and have some tricks up their sleeves on how to create it for a room this large on a small budget. Another thing missing in in this room is a good flow. They current setup is very awkward so the designers want to rearrange some things and create a design that gives the room more balance while also showcasing the beautiful brick fireplace.

The biggest question: what's behind the bump out in the wall where the TV is currently hanging? Kate and Kirk would love to see if there's stone or brick and showcase the original architecture of the house, but it could be a major hit or miss.

The large wall by the staircase still has outdated wallpaper, and it needs to go! While Kirk and Jess use some water and fabric softener to get rid of the wallpaper on the wall, Monica and Kate get working on a project inspired by the photos the couple sent in.

To change the flow of the room, Monica and Jess want to relocate the TV over to the fireplace area and turn the sofa in that direction to face it. The only problem with this scenario is that when you would walk in the door, you would see the back side of the sofa. So Monica is going to show Kate how to build a high-end looking console table that would look great behind the sofa. They're going to create a piece with a lots of character that is also well made. They will create a table top, a shelf unit and four chunky thick legs using fence posts so that the table will be solidly built, but also give an old-fashioned feel.

Next, it's time for Jess and Kirk to tackle the wall! The two are hopeful that when they expose the wall there will be something special back there like stone or brick, which would really change the entire look of the room. But as they start getting through, looks like there is some serious duct work back there. They could move all the duct work, but with their $800 budget, it's not a feasible option. The good news is that the girls know how to drywall so they will be able to patch up this hole inexpensively in no time!

Monica and Jess loved the inspiration photo the couple sent in of the ladder shelf. It's a timeless piece that's very popular right now, but is also really expensive. Instead of spending a fortune, Monica is going to show Kirk how to build their own ladder shelf using an actual ladder. Although Kirk is a little skeptical, Monica shows him how they will use the ladder as a framework and dress it up a little to make it functional and look high-end.

This traditional Victorian home has a ton of charming details all around! One thing the girls noticed in the family room is that there is a bench seating along the windows that Kate and Kirk don't even utilize. Jess created a template out of newspaper using the measurements and exact shape of the bench. They will use those templates to create cushions for the benches so it can be used for seating.

Since Kirk and Kate wanted to go timeless and traditional, the girls picked out a color that will do both. At first, the color reminds Kate of pea soup, but once she sees the color on the walls, she really sees how the yellow undertones brighten up the room.

Before they paint the wall where the TV once was, Jess and Kirk have to patch up the giant hole they created! Although it was a bit disappointing not to find unique stone or brick, Kirk does find something that is even cooler: history written on the walls. The messages date back to 1960 and paints a picture of the previous homeowners' lives. Kate and Kirk decide to leave a mark of their own for when someone opens back up the wall years from now!

Monica and Jess would love to add some more architectural details to the family room to really make it look high-end, but adding chunky crown molding would be really expensive. Instead, Monica shows Kirk an inexpensive trick that will add value to the home and also give the room a lot of character.

Once the girls add their finishing touches and place the room back together, it real feels like the classic and comfortable family room that Kate and Kirk dreamed of!

When they reveal the final look to the couple completely love it. Not only does the decor change the room, but the new layout also completely transforms the space. The different set up gives the family three new sitting areas including the bench seating with stylish cushions which only cost $45.

One biggest noticeable changes to the room involved moving the TV next to the fireplace. The room before was a little lopsided, but by moving the TV the wall by the fireplace now has unity to it. The girls also hung black picture frames all around the wall, giving it balance.

Looking around the room, Kirk can't believe how great the ladder shelf turned out. If they were to buy one it could have easily cost them $300, but this ladder shelf only cost $12!

Kate and Kirk are also blown away with how remarkable the molding looks around the room. If they were to have someone come in and install crown molding 10 inches thick for a room this size, it would be more than their entire budget, but this trick cost $250.

The console table behind the sofa is a great piece that adds a ton of style to the space, but is also great and functional for storage. Buying a sturdy piece like this at retail would be almost a thousand dollars, but Monica and Kate were able to build it themselves for only $80!

Kirk and Kate love how much brighter and larger the room looks now without the wallpaper by the stairs and especially loved the artwork along the stairs Monica and Jess crafted for only $40. All the other accessories in the room including the frames, lighting and rugs cost $350, which makes the grand total for this room only $797. Even for such a large space and a speed bump along the way , Monica and Jess were able to come in under budget and make this the family room the homeowners have always dreamed of!
Segment 1
Plan For Classic Family Room Makeover
Plan For Classic Family Room Makeover
With a budget of $800, Monica and Jess make a plan to redo this family's awkward living room while keeping this 180 year-old home's traditional feel.
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Segment 2
DIY Chunky Console Table
DIY Chunky Console Table
If you're looking for a solid and simple console table to fill the awkward space behind your couch, here's an easy DIY project for you. Using only a few pieces of inexpensive wood, you can assemble this table for less than $100!
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Segment 3
DIY Leaning Ladder Shelf
DIY Leaning Ladder Shelf
There's no need to spend a lot of money on a trendy ladder shelf. Just grab your old wooden ladder from the garage and use that as the starting point for a brand new shelf! Here's how to do this easy DIY project.
Related Photos Watch Segment
Segment 4
DIY Inexpensive Faux Crown Molding
DIY Inexpensive Faux Crown Molding
Thick, classic crown molding found in old homes is really beautiful, but often very pricey to replicate. We used a little trick in this room that fools the eye with two pieces of thin molding and a strip of paint.
Related Photos Watch Segment
Photo Gallery
Before and After Photos: Classic Family Room in Historic Home
See how Monica and Jess transformed this awkward living space into a cozy and classic family room.
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Photo Gallery
Project Guide for Classic Family Room
Get step-by-step directions and see detailed photos for projects from the classic family room makeover.
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