North Carolina – Who among us hasn’t stared at an empty room with builder beige walls and felt completely lost? How do you turn a blank box into a home that will serve as the backdrop for years of family memories? Lauren Dearing, of The Endearing Home, faced just such a challenge when she moved to North Carolina with her husband, twin teenage daughters and a spoiled poodle. But what she created is no ordinary family room. It’s designer chic on a budget!
Photographs by: Lauren Dearing of The Endearing Home † Written by: Shannon Hooper
Seventeen years of frequent moves had given Lauren a hard-earned skill at home staging for resale. But when she and her family finally moved to their North Carolina home, they looked forward to putting down roots.
“With so many moves over the years our home always felt staged to sell and resale always guided our decorating and home improvement decisions,” Lauren says. “With no plans to move again anytime soon I can finally have the freedom to decorate from my heart and a little less from my head.”
An open concept kitchen and family room is wonderful for entertaining or watching the kids, but it can be a challenge to decorate. Creating distinct living areas becomes important. This family room is a prime example of how to achieve that in a relaxed sophisticated style. An upholstered club chair in a neutral shade anchors the ‘corner’ of the room with a black cabinet and small side table. Its color and lines are classic, making it a great investment piece.
Club Chair: Haverty’s
Striped Pillow: Pottery Barn
White Pillow: Home Goods ($16.99)
Black Cabinet: Craigslist ($4.00)
Lamp: Home Goods ($24.99)
Colors and elements should be repeated throughout a home to create a cohesive designer look. Here, a beautiful soft white is repeated in fabric, paint, cabinetry, furniture and decorative elements through the first floor.
The oriental rug is a great example of making what you already have work in a new design. “I would love to add a lighter color rug in a material like jute or sisal, but this wool rug is here to stay,” Lauren says. “It is nice and soft to sit and walk on and the most important reason is my daughter’s helped me pick it out a few years ago and I just can’t bear to part with it.” So Lauren added pops of red and green into the room, making the rug feel intentional.
Rug: Home Goods ($399)
Coffee Table: Haverty’s
The fireplace mantel is a beautiful example of a well edited, classic design. Rather than a cluttered collection of small chotchkies, Lauren chose five statement pieces in a mixture of elements – wood, silver, antiqued metal and painted. Their symmetrical placement ensures that while each tell a difference story, they all work harmoniously together.
Clock: Read about the project at The Endearing Home
Candle Holders: Carolina Pottery ($16.99 each)
Wood Box: World Market ($24.99)
Metal Orb: Carolina Pottery ($12.99)
No family room is complete without a television. Here, Lauren’s use of black and white as signature colors make this television and its cabinet a part of the design, allowing it to blend into the room. Two black framed prints hang above the television, mimicking the cabinet’s glass paned double doors.
Wood Tray above the Couch: antiquefarmhouse.com
Wall Sconces: Kirklands ($14.99 each)
Mirror: Pottery Barn
Couch Pillows: Home Goods, Kohl’s and Pottery Barn
Lamp and Shade beside the Couch: Pottery Barn
Leather Sofa: Bernhardt
TV Console: Read about the project on The Endearing Home
Prints: Suzanna’s in Raleigh ($3.99) and Frames from Hobby Lobby
Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Ramie
A tray is a great way to contain a collection. It can be easily moved for entertaining and prevents smaller items from be scattered by kids and dogs.
Table Runner: Kirklands ($12.99)
Baskets under the Coffee Table: World Market ($19.99 each)
Bird Cage: Home Goods ($19.99)
Boxwood: Home Goods ($24.99)
Basket: TJ Maxx ($7.99)
Candle Holders: Kohl’s
Note the kitchen bar stools and chairs have been painted black. A matching black and white checked fabric has been repeated on the kitchen chairs ensuring both spaces have a cohesive designer feel. As a bonus, the kitchen chairs and bar stools can be pulled into the family room for large gatherings and still feel right at home.
A second chair with beautiful carved wood details flank the other side of the fireplace. The soft linen colored upholstery makes this piece a great investment that can blend into a variety of styles and designs with just a quick change of the pillows. The use of complimentary, but very different styles of chairs, makes this room feel as though it evolved over years of collecting.
Chair: Home Goods ($399)
Initial Pillow: Pottery Barn
Checkered Pillow: Country Curtains ($29.50)
Checkered Panel Curtains: Country Curtains ($74.50)
Photographs by: Lauren Dearing courtesy of The Endearing Home
To see more of Lauren’s beautiful home visit her blog The Endearing Home.