Tag Archives: wood paneling

Our DIY Family Room Before and After (Now that it actually looks like we live here)


Almost a year ago we finished renovating our 70s-wood-paneled-sunroom-turned-family-room and I shared a before and after here on the blog. Well, more like a before and empty-room-after, which, let’s be honest, is boring!

The thing is that filling out a room takes time and effort! The family room has turned into one of my favorite places to spend time in our house (thanks to the bath of sunshine we get from 9 windows, and a constantly growing Netflix queue). While we’ve still got a bit to work on in this room, I’m happy with the cozy cocoon we’ve created. (Wood paneling be gone!)

The cracking linoleum floors, wood paneling, snake skeletons and rodent-poop-insulation feel (and are) a million miles away. (Thanks goodness!)

Just a reminder of where we started:

Lo and behold – it looks like we live here (finally!)


We get TONS of sun in our house – and with nine windows, this room is constantly full of light. And no window treatments. Because that’s how we roll. Hopefully for not much longer.

sunroom4We bought the hooked pillows this summer when we were in Portsmouth for the weekend. They are my favorite part! We finally kicked all our old college stuff to the curb (except for the IKEA Poang chair – that will never die!). We’ve bought all of our upholstered furniture from Boston Interiors – and I couldn’t recommend them enough!sunroom5

I’ve been pondering artwork for this room. It’s a tough place to hang anything because – oh yeah – we have nine windows and two french doors. In an act of impulsiveness I hung those woven starfish and they’ve been there ever since.sunroom6We originally bought these colorful monkey’s fists to hang off the wall… but I’m not sure if I like that idea anymore. So they are just monnkeyin’ hanging around waiting to find a home.

sunroom7I found this lovely red metal waypoint at one of those local discount curtain and bath outlets. Then this month I saw it in the L.L. Bean home magazine! It’s more expensive at L.L. Bean, but if you want one for yourself I thought I’d share the knowledge.

“They” (who are “they” anyways?) say that every room needs a splash of red – now that we have one, I have to agree.

This brings us to the empty side of the room:sunroom8Our current TV stand is obviously way too small for the space. We are (fingers crossed) really hoping to make our first attempt at furniture building with a new entertainment center – so until that happens this one will stay. I’m hoping this spring we can finally get to it! Ultimately we’d love a long, low storage unit that will span the whole width of the room.

And YES, we still have our TV in front of a window – what a strange problem to have – not enough wall space! I’m just glad it’s out of the main living room now.

A tough part in the winter as a blogger is when to take photos. It’s dark when I get home from work and the last thing I’m thinking of on a Saturday morning is to run around and take photos of all the things I want to post about. Lucky for you, I happened to snap a few on my phone – because after I (finally got my act together and) took pictures of the family room, we got a new rug. The tan one now lives in our bedroom, and all my braided rug dreams have come true.

sunroom9 sunroom10This was a HomeGoods find.

Truly, I feel pretty self-conscious about posting a room just full of stuff. There’s NO PROJECT to explain, but my BFF convinced me that everyone loves a good before and after. I hope that’s the case! I must say, I don’t miss the old room one bit.

So, now that I’ve shared our TV watching room of the house… any Netflix recommendations? :p

Read all about how we DIYed our Family Room:

The 70s Called, They Want Their Knotty Wood Paneling Back.

I am about to share a room with you that, in the 1.5 years I’ve lived here, has never appeared on this blog.

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

Call it “the room I like to ignore”.

Or, as I call it, “the room where everything goes to die”.

This room is less emotionally known as the sunroom.

My bitter relationship with this room began the day we moved in.

Since we were renovating like banshees in the rest of the house, ALL of our belongings got stacked in this room when we unloaded our moving truck.

And it has not been clean, empty or organized since. The bane of my existence, this room is quite literally where our clutter goes to die.

Until NOW!

Now it is quite empty.

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

In defense of this room, it is beautiful and large.

It boasts NINE windows and gets beautiful light all day long.

And the wood paneling was actually really great quality. In the words of my BFF, it was the “Cadillac of wood paneling”.

I had dreams of painting it and turning it into a quaint cottage-y room, until we determined we needed to rip everything out to run new electric and re-blow the entire room, ceiling and floor with insulation.

This was a good thing too. Not only were the disgusting ceiling tiles riddled with mouse poop:

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

But we found creatures like this hiding at the foundation.

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

This room is so ill-protected from the outside it’s crazy. You can actually see sunlight coming through. Not for long!

That exposed brick you see is the backside of our fireplace in the living room.

We have some whitewashed brick projects up our sleeves that we can’t wait to test out.

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

The plan for the room is straightforward: Redo everything.

After we run new electrical and can lighting, we will have new insulation blown throughout the whole room.

Then we will install new windows, new drywall, new molding and a new ceiling.

We will raise up the floor (it’s currently a step down) and continue our hardwood floors that are in the rest of the house. We will also add a baseboard heating unit so we can use this room year-round.

And, something I’m twitching with excitement about, we will turn this glass door into two french doors that open from our living room!

DesignLively - DIY wood paneled sunroom

I have no idea what my end-vision for this room is yet. I am sure as I watch it take form I will get inspired.

One thing IS for sure, our television will be moving (finally!) from our living room, where it has been parked in front of two more beautiful windows since we moved in, to this room.

Do you like the feeling of a crow bar in your hand? Do you like demolition? Does mouse poop freak you out?