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  • Writer's pictureBrittany

Inspiration for the Great Room

When we first saw our house, one of the things we immediately decided that we needed to do to the great room was to completely renovate it. It had ugly plush green carpet, maroon red trim, and tan colored faux wood paneling that looked like it belonged in a 1970's mobile home. My general idea on how to update it was to rip out the carpet and replace it with wood flooring and update the ceiling with a smoother texture. Here's a picture of the great room for reference.

Before we moved in, I originally wanted the space in front of the closet to be the kids area and the space by the sun-room would be more of the informal living room. Well, once we moved in I decided that it wouldn’t work out. First, the door to the sun-room would just barely miss our couch when we would open it and that bothered me a lot. Second, I wanted to add an ottoman and coffee table by the couch and in my head that felt like it would interrupt the flow of coming from the kitchen and going into the sun-room. And lastly, there wasn’t a great place to put the TV in the area where I had created a living space before we started renovating it. So in the week that we moved ourselves in I really analyzed the space and talked to Jonathan and we came up with a plan. 

We decided to go with hardwood floors that closely match our existing ones in the rest of the house, put up faux shiplap on the ceiling, put up faux beams, take out the closet and put in a built-in, and update the trim. Once we were pretty set on those things I went to work creating a board on Pinterest of all of the rooms that inspired me as well as some details I would like in the rooms. So without further ado, I will share the images and the bloggers behind them that have inspired me with this project. 

First, I want to show you the general feel I have for this room that I want to create. I honestly went to look at Liz Marie Galvan’s blog first. She inspires me so much to make my home feel cozy and she’s the queen of anything bright and cottage-y when it comes to home decorating. When we first looked at this house I knew I wanted to go more farmhouse/cottage with it and I will definitely be turning to her blog and book while we renovate our home. Here’s a picture from her home that inspired me to keep this great room bright and cozy. 

After looking through Liz’s blog I hit up Pinterest for some inspiration. I stumbled upon a photo from Michaela Diane Design’s 2018 Christmas home tour and immediately fell in love with it. She has IKEA Ektorp couches in her living room and I’m using mine in our great room, so it was nice to see the couch in a light and airy room and it helped me visualize the space more with some of my own furniture. I also, was planning on having drop cloth curtains put in our great room, but I decided to go with woven shades (like the ones pictured in the next photo). I do love the look of drop cloth curtains and actually have them hanging in our formal living room and dining area.

I also stumbled upon a photo from Nina Hendricks family room. She uses woven wood shades which is a detail that I want to incorporate into our great room. I just love the way the sheer curtains and the shiplap ceiling look against the wood tone shade! I might be adding some sheer curtains against our woven shades, but I want to see how our room pulls together before deciding on it. Also, fun tid-bit, her wall color is the one I am going to be using on my interior doors!

After I looked up some general room inspiration I wanted to look up photos of the specific things I wanted in our great room (I.e. the ceilings, wall color, built-ins, etc.). I first started with the built-ins. Here are some examples of built-ins with TVs that I have found!

Casey from The DIY Playbook has these beautiful built-ins in her family room and they closely resemble the style that I have designed for ours. I'm all for extra storage and shelving and I think these perfectly capture what I want in our built-ins.

This shiplap media built-in is giving me heart eyes! Erin from The Heart and Haven built these and they look beautiful! If we had some more room for a bigger built-in I would love to do something similar. I like the wood tone shelves and the simplicity of the structure.

Lastly, here is another built-in that closely resembles the one I designed. Lisa from Farmhouse On Boone has beautiful built-ins in her living room! I love the way she styled these and has some great tips on how to decorate built-ins! I will be for sure using some when I get around to styling ours.

I should mention that I am working with an un-centered built-in as well. Here is a mock up drawing of what it will look like when it is finished and hopefully styled (not with the exact products pictured).

I actually use a program called Sketch-Up to get more detailed measurements for building the built-in. As you can see, it's not perfectly centered and I am also working with a baseboard that will running right underneath the cabinet. So I did the best I could to get us back some of that storage space that we lost by taking down the closet and little cabinet next to it.

Now I did find a bunch of shiplap ceiling inspiration, but I couldn’t find much that had beams as well. However, I did find one photo and blogger that had shiplap ceilings and beams just like what I am picturing for our great room. When I saw Larissa’s from Prodigal Pieces shiplap and beam ceiling from her farmhouse master bedroom I knew immediately that this was the exact ceiling look I was going for. We don’t have a vaulted ceiling in the great room, so it was definitely hard to picture what I wanted when I kept seeing shiplap and beams on vaulted ceilings. I love that her beams are a bit shorter than normal beams, but it helps keep the ceiling looking high and not feel like it’s closing in on you. 

That completes my overall inspiration for our great room! I ended up not putting in inspiration for the play area that the boys will be sharing with the informal living area in this room because I really just wanted to share my ideas on how I wanted the overall design to look like. I'm going to include more detailed pieces (with links) that I am hoping to incorporate/recreate when the time comes to decorate and when the budget allows.

Wall Sconce | Coffee Table | Floor Lamp | Striped Pillow | Blue Plaid Pillow | Cabinet | Sofa | End Table | Rug | Ottoman | Chair

Thank you for reading! I am so excited to have this room be completed. We are about to put in some new hardwood flooring and then all that is left is to put on another coat of paint, put trim up in the room, and build the built-in! I have two highlights saved on my Instagram about the progress of the room so be sure to check that out! I'll be back soon with another post talking about the second half of buying our home!

With love,


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