The den, family room, living area, TV room… this space has many names.
But in essence, it’s a gathering place.
Today I’ll give you a little home room tour before we moved in. And then show you what the den looks like now…
And what I’d still like to do to it!
This space has a midcentury vibe in a colonial style home. So it’s kind of its own thing!
Here’s what it looked like…
Here’s what the den looked like when we first moved in.
We actually have three living spaces in our new home. THREE! So we had to decide which was going to be what.
But first… the white carpet, drapes and valances, and dark panelling walls had to go.
We don’t have many windows in this house, and the ones we do have are not very big. Plus all the TREES!
So the very first thing we did when we moved in was to remove ALL of the window coverings!
We left the blinds on the windows downstairs initially, but we took down the blinds on the upstairs windows.
Let the light in!
Home Improvements to the Midcentury Den So Far
This room has probably seen the most change so far. Here are the improvements we’ve made:
- Removed carpet (We were able to reuse this piece upstairs in a couple of the bedrooms.)
- Had wide plank rough-sawn wood flooring installed by Signature Floor Coverings, Inc.
- Painted the panelling our standard white: Westhighland white from Sherwin-Williams
- Decorated, of course
- And installed painted wood shutters from The Shutter Store
Gentlemen’s Quarters: The Vibe of the Den
I kind of hate the term ‘man cave’. It’s just so…
And a little creepy… like serial killer creepy.
I don’t really want my man hanging out in a cave. Ya know what I mean?!
So I’d like to go back to the good ole days and call our mid century den a gentleman’s room. My husband is more of gentleman than a caveman!
When we first moved in and were divvying up the living areas, we decided one would be more feminine (my office / library), one would be for the kids (the loft), and one would be more masculine… the den.
Don’t get hung up on the masculine / feminine thing… it’s just the easiest way to explain it. OK? OK.
I’ve had this picture on my Pinterest board for a hundred years, and it was the image I had in my head when planning this family room…
I know… it’s kind of random.
But these are the elements I pulled from this inspiration photo for our den:
- Old, weathered plank floors
- Midcentury furniture
- A bit rock star
- White walls with wood and black accents
- “Manly” but comfortable
So here’s what it looks like…
Here’s a little video tour of before and what it looks like now.
And now some still shots of the family room in its current state!
Future Improvements for a Happy Home Den / Family Room
This living space looks great now. Typically when we have people over, the adults end up in this room with the gas fire on and the double doors closed. While the kids run rampant in the rest of the house!
It’s a perfectly cozy spot for long conversations. And it’s where Jay and I retreat to in the evening after the kids are in bed.
(It’s also possible that this is where I nap in the afternoon!)
It’s a very happy space and has become one of the hearts of our happy home.
There are definitely some upgrades I’d like to see happen over time.
Future Updates for the Den…
A New Couch
The current couch is great and comfortable. I actually found it on Facebook Marketplace I think. But it’s from Crate & Barrel. So it’s very nice and comfortable.
It’s too narrow. We technically only have two seats that face the TV. So if the kids want to watch something with us, it’s very crowded and uncomfortable!
It works great when we have company over… but not so much for TV time with more than two people.
I’d like to get a deeper couch that the kids and I… and the puppies… can all sit on comfortably.
I also don’t love the color. It’s a bit dark and blends in with the floors too much.
Caramel leather or a rusty orange would look spectacular in this room! Here are some ideas I love…
Popcorn No More!
The popcorn ceiling has to go. It’s actually in the whole house!
That’s going to be a big project we’ll get around to some day. One of those we should’ve done BEFORE we moved in…
This den only has a couple of canned lights facing the fireplace.
And we have one floor lamp.
Not enough! We definitely need more vibey lighting for the room.
An easy fix.
Currently we have a couple of natural sheepskin rugs in the room, but they’re not taking up much real estate.
The floors are pretty, but there’s too much of the same color and tones in the room.
It feels cold when I walk in and I know it’s the color of the couch and the lack of a big, cozy, potentially colorful old rug.
Beni ourain rugs (see photo inspo below!) create the atmosphere I’m going for in this room.
One with a tad more color would work as well.
I’m on the hunt!
Painted Brick Fireplace and New Mantel
This is a biggie. To paint or not to paint the fireplace brick. We haven’t had that discussion yet.
I like the brick. I like the texture the different color adds.
Buuuutttttttt… I also LOVE painted brick walls.
And the brick part is not symmetrical in the room. It’s just a little strange. So maybe painting it the same color as the walls will help it blend in a bit better?
And lighten the room up even more. Hmmmm….
Here’s a crazy question…
Do we even NEED a mantel?!
If we took the mantel down, we could put the TV above the fireplace and completely rearrange the room with more seating options!!!
So glad I wrote this blog that just gave me that idea!!!
Jay doesn’t love a TV over a fireplace… and frankly neither do I. But because of the long, narrow arrangement of the room, it might be the best option.
Unfortunately the mantel is too high to put a TV over. We’d break our necks leaning back to watch it!
Check this out…
No mantel needed! Imagine a TV instead of that mirror!
Or what if we did something funky and creative like this…
I don’t love this style necessarily… at least not for this room and our happy little house!
However, we could have a sliding panel with a piece of art or mirror on the outside and the TV behind!
That’s probably a WAY-down-the-road project.
So let’s move on…
Yes, we’re already putting book shelves in my office / library / living room, but can you ever have enough bookshelves?
The answer is definitely NO!
I love the way these look and think something similar would look really great in this den on the far short wall…
Over and Out
I think that’s enough dreaming for one post and one room tour!
We also need art and cozy throw blankets and pillows and pretty little trinkets…
But that’s all for another day!
I hope you enjoyed this little room tour in our happy home.