A Family Room Makeover – With a DIY Coffee Table & Gallery Wall

Den Makeover HeaderAs promised in last week’s post on the Fireplace Update, I am now revealing the full family room makeover complete with a DIY coffee table and a gallery wall!  I worked on updating the family room in my parent’s home last year, and am finally sharing it with you now that it is officially Spring!  Caught in the midst of planning a wedding last year I never actually got around to sharing this room makeover on the blog (whoops)…but now my reason is that I was just waiting for Spring!  You know the season when everyone gets inspired to spring clean, redecorate and use bright colors and patters…yeah yeah I’ll go with that excuse 😉

I really wish I had an accurate “before” picture that showed both the fireplace before and the room in the actual state it was in.   As you can tell the before picture shown is after the white washing of the brick but before the full fireplace makeover, and definitely before any redecorating was done.  But in all fairness of course the room before didn’t really look this empty, this is just the blueprint of what was there including some furniture and the basic set up.  There were side tables before (that I reused) and there used to be a large picture over the two brown chairs (neither of which I reused), however there was never a real coffee table…

Den Before Den Gallery Wall BeforeDen Window Wall Beforethat is, until I got my hands on an old shipping crate!  After making some coffee tables in the past, I promised my parents I would make them one as part of the room update.  However I really lucked out when my father came home with this amazing shipping crate from work (I believe it was used to protect a large specialty valve)!  I mean the work was already half done!

Den Coffee Table BeforeI still had to power wash, clean and sand the crate but the fact that the base was already built was a real score!  From there I went and bought some 1 x 3″ boards and cut them to fit across the table vertically. I then stained the entire crate and the new boards with Minwax Special Walnut (my favorite). After the stain was dry, I sanded and distressed the crate before attaching the boards that would make the top of the table (I lightly distressed the top boards as well).  Once I nailed the top boards on I added some galvanized metal corner braces (because I love the industrial look it gives, and add them to most of my tables).  I had also planned on adding castor wheels but we decided against it for fear of making the table too tall.

Building Den Coffee TableAll in all it was the quickest table I have yet to make, and I love how it helps to tie in all of the other warm wood tones of the room.

Finished Coffee Table Coffee Table Side Done Coffee Table FrontSince the one main piece was made we just had to work (and by work I mean the best part… shop!) on purchasing some other crucial pieces for the room.  These included the floral accent chair from Pier 1, along with the orange patterned curtains, fillable lamp and blue rug all from Target!

Pier 1 Chair LampI tried to keep everything within the blue and orange family but used both geometric and floral patterns mixed together. I rearranged the room to create a better flow and accommodate the new pieces and coffee table.

Den Room Before Finished Gallery WallAs for that patterned rug I decided to layer a fun rug over the existing tan carpeting to help brighten and modernize the space.  While my mother was definitely skeptical at first I think it really helps, especially if you don’t want to get into tearing up a whole carpet!  The curtains follow a similar pattern to the rug while also adding some more color to the room.

Chair View SideAside from a few accessories everything else in the room was just reused which helped to keep the cost way down!  I organized and rearranged the bookshelves as well as color coordinated the books to keep things looking clean.

Bookshelf View Den FinishedClose Up Bookshelf Close Up Bookshelf 2laddershelf2The only thing left to do was create a gallery wall!  The long wall across from the windows has always been difficult to decorate.  While my mother has had paintings in the past it never really seemed enough to cover such a large space.  Therefore I begged her to allow me to create a gallery wall (“please, please mom I promise I won’t use any bad pictures”)!  To get this look I reused old picture frames, bought one new frame, used a vintage mirror and also made the letter “C”, for our last name (by cutting the shape out of scrap wood and painting/distressing it).  I then ordered a bunch of black and white family pictures from Shutterfly to fit each frame.  We tried a few different layouts on the ground before going ahead with the one you see now.  Though we measured and tried to keep things as even as possible it’s definitely not perfect and that’s ok!  I like the eclectic look it gives the room while adding a personal touch.  Pictures can be switched out or added throughout the years, and the gallery wall can expand and change and that’s one of the things I like best about it!

Gallery WallBlack & White Pics Gallery WallAfter everything was set and in place we stepped back and realized we accomplished what we set out to do…to brighten and modernize the room without spending too much or undertaking any large projects!  We didn’t rip up the carpet, paint the walls or reface the fireplace; instead we worked with what was there and tried to improve on it as much as possible.  And we did so with a few purchases, a couple DIY projects, and plenty of color!

Done View SideFinished Room FireplaceDone Den Ariel View

Now that Spring is finally here (well technically) what are some of your next makeover projects?


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