3 Things To Transform a Family Room

I’m excited to share this project today where we transformed my clients (also friends!)  family room with just a few key things.

Let’s start with a BEFORE photo so you know what I was working with….

Here’s the before:

They did a great job using large artwork to try and fill a very large wall. It’s hard to see the whole room but the wall alone is almost 20′ wide! The challenge I had was to figure out how to bring everything together and look good.

I proposed 2 options:
(1) replacing the existing TV console with a longer one to better suit the length of the room or…
(2) installing custom built-in cabinets.

The first option, replacing the console, would leave more room in the budget for other items on their wish list (ie: new coffee table, possibly a new sofa, etc.)

The second option was putting the majority of the budget into custom built-in cabinets. I’m SO glad they chose the 2nd option!

Here are 3 things that made a huge difference:


The custom built-ins add a beautiful focal point to the room and really fill the large wall well. Scale was key. The built-ins needed to be large and tall enough, but not overwhelm the room. 

Leaving some wall space open at the ends is perfect. Tip, if you are going wall to wall, have the built-ins go to the ceiling (or as high as possible). If your built-ins will be less than the length of the wall: 1. only have the middle section go to the ceiling and 2. the ends with shelves flow down. 

I used many of the items they already owned to style the shelves. I rearranged a little, added a few of my favorite books (including a darling mini Chanel book for under $15!), and a couple other things 🙂 


I totally get why wall to wall carpet makes sense, especially for families with young kids. But, I wanted to add some personality to the space and tie the room together. Layering a rug over the carpet did the trick! 

Pro tip for layering a rug over carpet: Look for a rug that has a contrasting color to the carpet and pairs nicely with the colors in the room. I like to use low-pile rugs, with no border and keep the pattern simple.


New pillow covers gave their existing sofa a fresh look! Since budget was a big factor here, we replaced only the pillow covers and kept the existing inserts. This is a great way to save a little money and reuse things you already own. Details on the covers are linked below on the source list. 

*Note, affiliate links are used. This means for every purchase, I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). These purchases help keep Shining on Design running!

Here’s the space plan that was presented (I took out the notes/details but wanted to share to give you an idea of the size of the room). Also, pictures below are from my camera and iphone!

Window treatments, a faux fiddle leaf plant and a few other styling accessories completed the space!

Link to this mini Chanel book & others below

New pillow covers

Layer a rug over carpet to tie a larger space together and add personality to the room.

 I like to add these little metallic stars to all the shelfs I style 🙂 They are actually ornaments (shh). Everyone loves them. And I love how they are simple, but add a little extra interest.

Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Here’s a link to a client’s living room where we did similar built-ins (with beadboard and mesh panels) if want to see more: Family Room for 5.

Also, be sure to subscribe to Shining on Design for more decor and design tips! 

Source List:

Striped Pillow Cover

Medallion Pillow Cover

Grape Wood Branch (similar) – shown on shelf above TV

White vases – great to add depth to white cabinets

Chanel Book (under $15!)

Beautiful by Mark Sikes

Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig


*Pin image below!

Samantha Regan

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