Thursday, May 11, 2017

20 A Night In

This post is sponsored by Article as part of the A Night In series

That room up there... that is in our home! I know, I am still feeling shocked by it myself. Not only is it all moody and ready for a night in, but it also looks much different than it did just a few weeks ago.

My friends, Julia and Kim, invited me to join in on some fun they like to host every quarter in which a group of bloggers come together to share a space in their abode at night! This is such a rare thing on blogs, and I really think the concept is so smart and different. I love a natural-lit room as much as the next person, but homes are not naturally lit 24 hours a day. A lot of living still happens once the sun goes down, and tonight I am sharing a little peek at our lower level family room and how we use it in the evenings.

Our home is around 2200 square feet for a family of five and one of the things that I love most is that we had the opportunity to incorporate two family living spaces. I don't personally dream to live in an oversized house with everyone spread out on different levels and in different wings with little interaction, but I will also be the first to admit that a little separation is nice from time to time. When we began renovating upstairs a couple of years ago, I was quickly shocked by the trickle effect that it had on the remainder of the house. Not only did it change how we used our home, but we also began putting all of the misfit furniture in the second living space. Up until recently, I didn't quite know how to pull it all together and to marry all of us in this room. And I guess that is why I never really shared it much on the blog either. There have always been challenges with this space including low ceilings and very little natural light, and other than a couple of paint colors on the walls, this room has never received the attention it deserves for the amount of use it receives.

So how do we use this area? That answer is different for each of us. Our boys come down here to watch a movie or play video games or to relax with a snack. If we are being too loud upstairs with all of our cooking and chit-chat and television watching, it is a reclusive place to read a book or take some quiet time.

My kids are really into dice games and card tricks right now, especially the younger two. They will head downstairs to watch tutorials and teach each other fascinating magic.

I enjoy it in completely different ways. While the kids have fun in here, I use it as a peaceful place to unwind. Alone. With a magazine and nighttime lighting and wine and maybe a side of soft music. And let's face it, probably dozing off five minutes after I finally slow down for the day.

And my husband heads in this direction to watch a football game or some History channel with his little boy clones who love many of the same things he does.

This space is used by all of us, but there is a lot of guy time happening here. I needed to find a way to mix a lot of my existing traditional pieces with clean lines and modern items for them. I am still working on doing this all over our home, and find it is not always an easy task. I would cover every surface in 90 shades of pink with floral textiles if it were just me, so thankfully for us all that is not the case because whoah! So I am trying to teach myself to bring in more woven textures and black accents to balance out all of the curvy, color and pattern I am generally gravitated towards.

And that is where Article came in and really helped me bring in some sophisticated balance. They are a brand known for quality and modern home furnishings, so I asked my boys to pick a couple accessories to add to our family room to create that balanced mix of us that we were after. And I have to say, they helped me select some really fantastic pieces! Like they should just be in charge of all of the decorating from now on!

The Stilt lamp is a statement maker! The shape is fun with the tripod base and it is a great way to fill the area at the end of our sofa without taking up a lot of space. The black shade is striking against the white walls and it is my husband's favorite thing in the entire room. I love that it is two toned with wood and black, tieing to the wood coffee table and black frame of my cozy sitting chair.

We are all pillow people and love to have them all over the home to use on sofas, chairs, beds and even the floors. My youngest is especially tactile and prefers the softest of the softest materials and he selected a sheepskin pillow that is about the coziest on the planet. He claimed it for himself, but it is a family favorite and we all try to snag it when we can.

And for me and all of my blanket collection, we brought in texture and storage near the fireplace with a grid style woven basket.

With leather handles!

You can never have enough blanket storage in a family space; this oversized basket is large enough to fit a full-size blanket and a few additional throws.

Also, I would just like to point out that I was able to put this room together without adding anything pink other than a single book. #saywhat? #justbreath

The biggest transformation of the space was the addition of the floor to ceiling board and batten treatment! I have been talking about doing this for years and had painted the walls white last summer to prep the space. The ceilings in this room are only 7 feet and I needed to find a way to make it feel taller, so I figured adding vertical lines would really help. The white paint alone was OK, but was definitely falling a bit flat. As we started adding the vertical strips I instantly got nervous that it was going to feel like jail bars and maybe even have the opposite effect of what I was going for. But after trimming it all out and adding crown and caulking (oh the caulking) and painting, I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Not only does the space feel so much taller, the texture and depth added through the molding is indescribable.

DIY Ladder Tutorial

Although I have been thinking about the board and batten for such a long time, we had our first open weekend in months and just went for it at the last minute. In just two days it was a change that yielded instant results and gratification for very little investment. We still have more to complete in the boy's hangout side of the room so I will definitely take detailed photos and notes of all of the installation steps and share it here soon. #sogood

Finally, back to the lighting for a minute. We added LED recessed lighting (these I believe) which really offers white and brilliant overhead lighting for all of the game playing and card tricks...

I also gilded a flush mount light fixture and it ties to the frame for the art and also adds extra lighting when traveling the stairs. And the lamps are my favorite way to keep the space lit at night because it is inviting and moody and relaxing, perfect for cuddling in and movie watching.

I am so happy that Chris Loves Julia and Yellow Brick Home organized this fun blog hop to encourage us to share more of our home during the evening! You can check out even more from a great group of bloggers below:

Room Sources:


  1. I would LOVE to know where that painting is from? Our basement family room is very similar color scheme and that painting would be perfect above our fire place! It has sat empty b/c I was trying to find something 'just right'. Thanks!

    1. Hello! I purchased the art from Minted ( and ordered the frame from Frame It Easy (reasonable pricing and I highly recommend the non-glare glass).

  2. I love all the neutrals with pops of color! Beautiful! And looks so cozy!

  3. It's a gorgeous room - I love the board & batten and that lamp is amazing.

  4. Where did you get your chair? I love it!

    1. Hi Wendy! I found it a couple years ago at HomeGoods, painted the frame and had it reupholstered locally with fabric found from Tonic Living. :) I have seen similar size and shaped chairs from Wayfair and Ballard Design (bobbin chair), but they may have limited fabric selections.

  5. Aw, I love this, Jen! Thank you so much for sharing with us. That Stilt lamp is so beautiful against your light walls!

  6. We got that basket in white and isn't it just the best!? Next on my list is definitely the Stilt lamp--amazing. Thanks so much for playing along, Jen!

  7. This room looks so cozy! We too have a basement family room and it's tough to make it feel bright and welcoming and the ceilings not feel low. Your board and batten treatment looks amazing and did the trick, not to mention added so much visual interest!

  8. Love this space and your board and barton treatment. You have such a lovely, beautiful style! Thanks for sharing your space with us :). xoxo ERIN

  9. GORGEOUS space - and I love how functional it is for different members of the family x

  10. Really beautiful and looks so inviting. Wondering where you got your rug? Looks like the perfect neutral with some texture under feet.

  11. This space is beautiful! You thought of every detail. Love it!

  12. Totally in love. Just bought my own home. And it's old and in need of love.
    Totally need to be inspired.

  13. Replies
    1. Hi Alia,

      The sofa is a Rowe that we ordered custom (size and fabric) from a local furniture dealer. You can find all of the details in this post here:

      Thank you!

  14. Hello! I've been researching (aka stalking!) your site looking for sectional sofa inspiration, and saw that you've owned the sectional in this room for some time. How has it held up? Would you recommend this brand/model? Any long term issues? Thanks in advance for your response!

    1. Hi Leila!

      Yes, we have had it for awhile now and I am happy to say we still absolutely love it! The quality is great and it is comfortable but always looks pulled together. And the best part is that it has held up to our boys frequent use without showing any signs of wear and tear (cushions are still in wonderful shape and the frame is just as it was the day it was delivered). :) We are definitely fans.


    2. Thanks! I have 2 very active kids myself, and looking to get something that will hold up and will fit our smaller living room. Thanks again, and love the blog!


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