Hard to believe this was a garage just weeks ago. This room is now connected to the galley kitchen through an 8 foot opening of the former garage wall. With three windows and a 9-light door, there is plenty of natural light. The separate heating valve allows the family to compensate for the heating differences that are bound to come with an extension to the original structure. You can see the painting that started it all on the far wall, here.
I applaud M for not playing it safe, and for adding some wonderful color and pattern to some very clean lined upholstery. Bother the greens and blues came directly from the inspiration painting. Although they stessed a bit over the painting, in the end they created a modern and classy outcome with two choices; an oatmeal color for two walls, and the matching green carried over from their kitchen for the remaining two walls. As M said, she was making decorating choices for months, sometimes with a very loose reference to the last choice she made, but because she had a strong vision and an inspiration piece, all of her choices ended up working really well together.
M may have gotten her beautiful painting and upholstery, but J revels in his new 3-D HDTV and surround sound. With wiring thought out before the walls were closed up, M & J have plenty of options for lighting, sound, and even a phone jack strategically located in the middle of the room, just under the end table.
They both say that the opened view from one end of the house through the kitchen all the way to the other end is what this house needed. Funny that sometimes you make a space more cozy by making it bigger but better connected.
The details in their construction are really wonderful. The single step down in to the new family room was well done, with a near seamless blending of existing and new hardwoods. The railing that separates the living space from the steps leading to the basement are artfully chosen wrought iron, which accent the room just like a chunky fashion necklace would accessorize an outfit. You don’t see it, but there is an outlet placed behind the mirror (above), which may come in handy someday.
J says that this was a really good experience. They still have a good relationship with their builder, and that is the hallmark of a good project. We’ve been capturing the fun stuff, but in reality there are just so many details in any project of this scale. J’s advice is that you can’t be too specific in your written agreement with your builder. If it isn’t in the contract, there’s too much room for interpretation, so be prepared to write it down up front or pay more for it later. In the end, the time that you spend planning before a hammer ever hits a nail is worth much more than you probably realize. After all, it usually costs nothing to move walls, electrical or windows when they are only lines on a page.
Congratulations, M&J, on your new space. I know your family will continue to love it more every day.