The Evolution Of My Family Room – From Major Traditional To Suburban Farmhouse

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See how a dated traditional style family room turned into a suburban farmhouse charmer || Worthing CourtPin

Wow – our family room has seen some major changes in the 2½ years that we’ve owned this house!  Bit by bit, we turned the former owner’s very traditionally decorated space into a suburban farmhouse style room.

For this week’s edition of The Best Of Worthing Court, let’s take a look back at the evolution of this room.  In addition to refinishing the hardwood floors, we enlarged the opening between the kitchen and family room, painted the entire room (including the trim), painted the fireplace and fireplace screen and replaced the old ineffective ceiling fan with a great chandelier.  Oh yeah – we also replaced all of the pink recessed light bulbs, with regular ones.  A minor change, but you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes in here when the lights are on!

I’ve made a couple of changes since I first shared this space, like replacing the chair to the right of the fireplace and adding a new table, but other than that, everything still looks the same.


We’ve come a long way and totally changed the look of this room since we first started the whole house remodel in July 2015.  This is what the room looked like on the day that we looked at the house.

Family Room Tour - Before And AfterPin

Not a bad room, but it was very traditional and filled with lots of cherry and heavy furnishings.  It’s a generously sized room, but the owner had placed a large bookcase behind the sofa, which took up a massive amount of floor space.  The hardwood floors were the traditional orangey color that we’re all so familiar with and every bit of wood trim in here was stained brown.  Oddly enough, I probably would have loved a lot about this room twenty years ago, but not any more.

Here’s a shot of the same area of the room after we closed on the house, but two months before we moved in.  At this point, we had already painted all of the walls and trim (paint and stain colors are listed below).  You can see our work crew feathering new hardwood into the existing family room hardwoods because we replaced the pale pink carpet (yes, pink), that was going down the hallway, with hardwood floors.  (As a side note, we realized that many of the bulbs in the can lights were pink too.  Lovely.)  We brought one lone chair over for me to come sit in every day while the guys were working.

Family Room Tour Before And AfterPin

New hardwood had to be feathered in on the other side of the room too, where the family room goes into the kitchen, which previously had linoleum flooring.  The only other construction project that was done in this room was to enlarge the opening between the family room and kitchen. We made it a couple of feet wider and taller.  That was Pookie’s idea, not mine, because I didn’t want to spend the extra couple thousand that it cost.  It turned out to be a great call on his part.

Family Room Tour Before And AfterPin

This before shot is looking at the room as if you were entering from the foyer.  Maybe you can tell that the opening into the kitchen was quite a bit smaller.

Family Room Tour Before And AfterPin

I hope you’ll find the difference between the before and after as dramatic as I do.  It helps for me to take a look back to how far we’ve come since we’ve been here!


And here’s how the entire room looks today.  We needed an oddly sized area rug for the room, plus I wanted it to be made of indoor-outdoor material, since we have two dogs, so I had a rug custom made.  The material that I chose is different that most indoor-outdoor carpeting, in that it has a bit of nap and is soft and plush.  I’d say that the cost of the custom rug was right about what a ready-made rug this size would have been.

There originally was an ugly verdigris-green ceiling fan in here.  Remember when verdigris-green finishes were all the rage back in the 90’s?  In the south, ceiling fans are often a necessity, but I decided to forego one in the family room, so I replaced it with a large round chandelier.     

I love seeing the before and after transformation of any room. This family room was taken from a dated room fill with dark, heavy traditional furniture and turned into a bright room filled with farmhouse touches.Pin

The sofa wall has a bit of an overhang because of the hallway upstairs.  I originally had the sofa pushed all the way up against the wall underneath it, but I never liked it that way.  So, I built a 12″ deep rustic sofa table to put the behind the couch, which pushed it out into the room just enough.  An added advantage of having the sofa table is that it allowed me to add a couple of extra lamps to this side of the room, which was a little bit darker at night than I like.  The table was easy to build – click HERE to get the full tutorial.  You can get a peek at the side of the table in this photo.

I love seeing the before and after transformation of any room. A DIY rustic ladder is one of the many touches added to this family room makeover that is filled with farmhouse touches. Pin

You almost can’t tell that the table is there when looking at the sofa from the front.  This is the second version of my gallery wall.  My first attempt was too wimpy looking and the scale of the items that I used wasn’t quite right.  I widened the gallery by hanging an old, old shutter on the left and adding a diy rustic ladder to the right side.  I’m enjoying being able to change what I display on it for the different seasons.  Click HERE for the complete tutorial for building this easy rustic ladder.

I love seeing the before and after transformation of any room. A new gallery wall above the sofa is filled with rustic farmhouse touches.Pin

Our entertainment center was previously located in the basement of our former home.  In that house, we had a basement family room area where we watched movies and played video games, so the ginormous tv was great.  At first, I was resistant to having such a large tv in this house, but Pookie really wanted it, so I found a way to work with it.  Shhh – don’t tell, but I secretly love having the big screen to watch.

The before and after of this family room is amazing. It was taken from dark and dated to light and bright filled with rustic farmhouse touches, which includes a rustic entertainment center.Pin

To make the entertainment center a little more farmhouse looking, I gave it a mini makeover by replacing the glass doors with wire, painting and adding handles to the baskets above the tv and changing out the accessories.

The before and after of this family room is amazing. It was taken from dark and dated to light and bright filled with rustic farmhouse touches, which includes a rustic entertainment center where the glass in the doors was replaced with cage wire.Pin

From the other side of the room, this is how it looks today, as you enter from the foyer.

The before and after of this family room is amazing. It was taken from dark and dated to light and bright filled with rustic farmhouse touches.Pin

The changes on the fireplace side of the room are pretty dramatic, mainly because of painting the brick on the fireplace and all of the surrounding trim.  We painted the inside of the fireplace too, with black high-temp paint.

I’ve loved the arched wood and metal piece that I hung above the mantel.  It makes a great backdrop for anything that I hang on it and it helps to fill the height of this wall.  I purchased it a Kirkland’s, but it was a little too yellow, so I dry-brushed it with a little cream paint and swiped some gray paint over that.  It’s currently available on the Kirkland’s website in a mahogany finish, but you could easily paint it to be any color that you like.  They don’t carry it in my store, so I had to order it, but it was free shipping to their store.  This is one of the most asked about pieces in my home!  Click HERE for the direct link to it (affiliate link – see my full disclosure HERE).

The before and after of this family room is amazing. It was taken from dark and dated to light and bright filled with rustic farmhouse touches. The fireplace makeover is amazing.Pin

The other thing that we did on this side of the room was to remove the brown wood blinds from the French doors on either side of the fireplace.  They made the room so dark, even after all of the trim was painted white.  Privacy isn’t an issue for us on this side of the house, so I decided to add slatted roman shades that we could close if we ever wanted or needed to.  The shades that we used are Flatweave Bamboo Roman Shades in Driftwood from Home Depot (affiliate link – see my full disclosure HERE).  They’re very affordable and the really nice thing is that they’re already sized to fit a French door.

To soften the windows and to add a bit of color to this side of the room, I used a pair of drapery panels that I found at TJ Maxx.  On each door, I used one panel and hung it to the side, which frames the whole wall out nicely.  I made my own budget friendly drapery hardware to keep the cost down.  Click HERE to see what I did.  

The before and after of this family room is amazing. It was taken from dark and dated to light and bright filled with rustic farmhouse touches.Pin

This shot, taken when my fall decorations were up, shows the entire wall and both sets of French doors.

The before and after of this family room is amazing. It was taken from dark and dated to light and bright filled with rustic farmhouse touches.Pin

There are a couple of other small changes that I’d like to eventually make in here, one of which is painting the console table that sits at one end of the sofa.  It has that same gold’ish, orange’ish finish that the floors used to have.  Right now my dining room makeover is sucking up all of my creative energy, so it will have to wait.

Spring console table vignettePin

Thank you for stopping by for a visit in our family room today!  I always enjoy seeing before and after room makeovers and hope that you did too.  

Walls – Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige, in flat finish

All trim, fireplace surround and brick on the fireplace – Sherwin Williams Extra White, in gloss finish 

Floors – Minwax Special Walnut

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  1. What an amazing change! Your furnishings look gorgeous and it looks like such a light and bright space. I love all the little details you’ve put into your wall decor and mantle. Where did you get your magnolia wreath? I’m on the hunt for one.


    1. Hi Nancy. I purchased my magnolia wreath on the Magnolia Market website. Here’s a link to it: . Their wreaths aren’t inexpensive, but I thought they have the best and most realistic looking ones that I’ve seen.

  2. Lisa Kissner Cooper says:

    Beautiful, Suzy! I am amazed at all the changes and how cozy your home is! I can’t wait to visit and see it in person!

  3. So light and airy!!!!!! Comfortable! Kudos!

  4. You are so inspirational, love your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a transformation? You have great vision!

  6. Joy Hafff says:

    So light and cheery now! It seems to open the room. Love it!

    1. Cindy Holt says:

      The picture that had the gooseneck chairs in buffalo check fabric. Can you tell me where I can purchase that same fabric?

      1. It came from a local fabric store, so I’m sorry but I don’t have a source for it. 🙁

  7. Suzy, a beaitiful transformation! My daughter is moving next week and looking for inspiration. I sent her your link. Your space is so similar to her new family room. Thaks for sharing.


  8. Suzy Where did you get the glass, planter thing (totally having mind blank) on your top image. It’s like a garden house planter? I think I have seen them…somewhere. love ! love all your hard work.


    1. Hi Laura. Are you asking about the terrarium? If so, I found this one at At Home, but I always see a good selection of them at Hobby Lobby too. Hobby Lobby has their terrariums on sale for 50% off this week! Here’s the link to one that I really like that is about the same size as mine:

      1. Yes a Terrarium! I almost just now typed geranium! It’s been a long week! Yes, that’s exactly where I saw it… hobby lobby! Thank you Suzy and have a great weekend! We are headed to spring break which is great since Denver just got snow overnight!laura

  9. Love your style beautiful remodel.

  10. I always enjoy your tours! Although my house would fit inside your family room, I get so many ideas for our home from the beautiful spaces you create!

  11. Carol Elkins says:

    Beautiful! It looks like a different house after your remodel! I can’t imagine the pink carpet – yikes!

  12. Mary Chris says:

    looks great. I really like your blend of colors.

  13. Where did you find your area rug in your great room? It’s very pretty!

  14. Thanks for the post, Suzy. Love the transformation… so inspiring! 🙂

  15. Gloria S. says:

    I believe I could sit down in the chair and actually take a calming breath! What a wonderful room to live in!! Thank you so much for allowing me to see your home!

  16. Your room looks beautiful. I like what you did with the curtains. I also like your Magnolia wreath and am anxious to order mine.

  17. Where do you sit to watch television? It looks like it would not work at all. There is also too much shotsky dust collectors in the room.

    1. Our furniture arrangement for tv watching works great! I sit on the end of the sofa, closest to the tv and my husband sits in the leather chair to the left of the fireplace. I’m sorry that you don’t care for the room, but it suits our taste very well and we love it!

  18. Love the terrarium. I will be on the hunt to find one. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. I, too, am wondering if you move the chairs around to watch television. Your transformations really have brought the family room up to date and match your update farmhouse design.

    1. Hi Cher. No, we don’t have to move the chairs around to watch tv – our furniture arrangement works great. I sit at the end of the sofa, closest to the tv and my husband sits in the leather chair, to the left of the fireplace. It would be way to much trouble to move the furniture around, so I wouldn’t have arranged the room the way it is if I had to do that. Maybe it appears that way because the picture of the room, looking straight at the tv, was taken with a wide angle lens so that I could capture the entire width of the room. Those lenses can make things look a little out of proportion, which is why I don’t use it very often.

  20. Thank you for the walk-through of your home. It is really lovely.