Before & After: Family Room Remodel + White Washed Fireplace

January 2, 2017

This dated family room got a big update! I’m excited to show you the before and after. I think there are a lot of family room additions with similar predicaments out there right now. Dated paneling, old carpeting, less than desirable brick color on the fireplace – the updates one can make are relatively cost effective and can have a huge impact! Here’s the before photo, list of work to be done and why I recommend these particular updates:

  • This room’s architecture is lovely. Vaulted ceilings with wooden beams, a central fireplace and lots of natural light. There is a lot of potential here. The overall issue is that everything is brown! Another important issue is that this room was cold, and not well insulated.
  • Update 1: Remove old paneling, add new insulation and drywall. The windows were also replaced due to some cracking. If you are opening up walls it’s a good time to replace windows too.
  • Update 2: Add new electrical outlets and boxes. Again, if you are opening up walls and floor, that’s the best time to re-route/ add electrical. We added four sconces and a floor outlet.
  • Update 3: Transform the fireplace. I prefer the look of a white washed fireplace, rather than fully painted white fireplace in most cases, because of the texture, color and bit of warmth that the brick provides even when mostly masked in white. I do recommend having a painting professional do the white washing, because it is an art when it comes to color theory. For instance, this brick was very yellow so we needed to add purple undertones to the paint to even out the color tone.
  • Update 4: With the shell of the room updated, the remaining cosmetic updates included re-painting, new lighting, carpeting, furnishings and custom media center.
white washed brick fireplace


old brick fireplace needs white wash painting




  • Cost Effective? Re-carpeting not only kept this family room cozy and kid-friendly, but carpeting material and install is much less expensive than other flooring options. Also, white-washing the fireplace and painting mantel is a less expensive option than enclosing the fireplace in a new facade or demolition/ rebuilding.
  • Where to Spend? Here the custom media center was the focus of the room. We were able to maximize looks, storage, functionality, color, and allow room for the TV to grow by designing our own media center. We added a wooden counter top for more warmth in the otherwise neutral space. I also recommend spending on lighting and drapery, which always help to make a room look polished and complete.
  • Adding Color: The neutral and white walls look is still quite popular and a very safe look for resale value. We chose to add a big pop of color with the denim inspired sofa. Not only did it bring some grounding color to the room, but it also will hide stains better than a lighter neutral, which is perfect for the little ones.

built in media center

Do you have other questions about the remodel? What a fun transformation! Thanks for taking a peek!



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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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