Coastal Inspired Family Room Make Over

I recently worked with a wonderful client who’s family room that was in some serious need of updating.  She had originality decorated it in the 1990’s and everything was right on trend back then; the sponge painted walls, the elaborate (and very expensive) custom window treatments, and the 90’s color pallet. Since her BEFORE and AFTER photos were so dramatic she was gracious enough to give me permission to share her family room transformation with my readers.

This is how her family room looked when I first arrived to give her some help. (Click photo to enlarge)

Family Room Before

Her goal for her new room was to have a very light and bright, coastal inspired family room. Following that vision she had recently purchased two White and Navy checked chairs and a neutral colored sofa as her foundation pieces for the room.

Two new checked chairs

sponge painted walls dated family room

new sofa

One of the biggest design challenges of the room is that it has peaked angled walls and a very tall slanted ceiling. The current way it was painted with dark walls and a bright white ceiling accented the rooms irregular shape and gave the appearance of a chopped up room. It was certainly not the calm and restful space my client envisioned.

tall angled ceiling

When you have a room like this with slanted ceilings and angled walls there are several ways to paint it as I wrote about HERE.  Since my client’s number one goal was to “lighten and brighten” up her space, we wrapped the entire room (walls and ceiling) in the same soft neutral.

By painting the whole room in one light color the room now feels more calming and connected. I also had her flip the furniture so that the sofa was now in the bay window facing the new wall mounted TV and the 2 chairs were at the other end of the room for reading and conversation.

The room now feels like one continuous space and the many angles become much less noticeable. Being in the room is now much more calming and restful.

 My client is still working on accessorizing and plans to purchase art work but we are both so happy with how it turned out.

Photographers trick. I pulled the two club chairs up for the photo 

Pretty dramatic transformation don’t you agree?

If you would like help choosing color or updating a room in your home, give me a call.




Painting Tip: Dealing With Angled Walls and Sloped Ceilings

As a color consultant, one question I seem to get asked over and over is “should I paint this wall or ceiling color?” It seems like a lot of the homes I have been in recently have odd angles and sloped ceilings.  I am not talking about a slightly sloped ceiling like in this room below where it is still easy to identify wall from ceiling.

Brian Brady and Franco Biscardi

Hamptons Show House 2011 by Brian Brady and Franco Biscardi

I’m referring to a deep angled ceiling with multiple slanting walls like in this bedroom below. It can often be confusing to figure out if something should be painted wall or ceiling color.

bedroom angled walls

House Beautiful

Even among designers and painters there seems to a difference of opinion of how best to treat angled walls and sloped ceilings. To help you make a decision of how best to treat your angled and sloped walls I thought it would be helpful to show you four options: Three that work and one that doesn’t.

#1  The first way is to paint everything wall color except the flat (horizontal) ceiling like in this room below.

painted angled walls

Denise Wenacur Designs

This is a perfectly good option if you want to keep the ceiling light but prefer a richer color on the walls. Wrapping all the slopes and angles in the same color minimizes the choppy feeling of the room. This treatment works best if the flat part of your ceiling is fairly wide, otherwise it could end up looking like a white landing strip like in the photo below.

painting angled walls

Google Images

#2. paint the entire room the same color. Many designers like this option the best. As top Designer Jamie Drake says:

“If your space has odd angles dormers, or unsettling beams, wrap the entire room in color. Use the same paint or paper on every surface. It will make all the oddities disappear.”

Jamie Drake

Design by Jamie Drake

Painting the entire room; walls, slopes and ceiling the same color not only minimizes all the angles but creates a calmer feeling for the room. I would caution you against using too dark of a color because you don’t want to create a dark cave like room (unless that is the look you are going for). A light color is  expanding and usually you can use all the visual height you can get in these sloping and angled rooms.

white painted room

Look how restful the bedroom above looks even though visually there is a lot going on with that ceiling.

Wrapping the whole room in a soft neutral or white is also a great way to introduce pops of color in the furniture and accessories like in this family room below.

angled walls houzz


#3. Embrace the angles and slopes and make it the focal point of the room. This is a good option, especially if you want to create a statement.

check out the 4 rooms below and see how the homeowner embraced their odd angles and made it the focal point of the room.

bead board bedroom houzz




and lastly, what NOT to do:

#4. Paint ceiling and angled walls white and walls a dark color. This is what I recommend NOT to do. The problem with this is that the more angles and sloped walls the room has, the more choppy the room feels. Since many of these types of angled rooms are bedrooms the choppiness does not make for a very restful space.

angled wall 10 attic-bedroom


Another problem with Option #4 is that it can appear as if  the ceiling is coming down and taking a bite out of the room.

Google Images

Or that your room is wearing a big white hat like in this image below.


As always, I would love to hear from you… What is your favorite way to treat angled walls and sloped ceilings?


If you would like help deciding the best way to paint your room or help choosing the perfect color give me a call.



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