It’s no surprise that a small room with no natural light would get dubbed “The Man Cave." But the dark taupe paint color, huge stone fireplace and lack of windows made the den an avoided room in Hannah of Thistle Harvest’s home.
Most of us can relate: you start to learn to live with and work around features you can’t stand. But sometimes, turning that problem room into a space you love is as easy as adding white paint and some natural light. After a stunning transformation, Hannah’s space has become a true family room that feels cozy and comfortable for the whole brood.
The first challenge Hannah decided to tackle was the lack of natural light. After assessing her renovation budget, she decided that the cost of having a contractor install a large picture window was worth it. “Even during the in-between stage of the installation it looks so much better than before,” she shared of the early progress on her blog. “The window is so beautiful and much larger than I envisioned, which I love. The room looks so much brighter and the window has totally changed the feel of the space.”
If a small renovation isn’t in your budget, never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. Hannah doubled down on brightening the room, starting with lime washing the outdated stone fireplace that was floor to ceiling on the focal wall of the room. A flat and even white helped update the stone finish and worked beautifully with a coat of Fresh Kicks on the rest of the walls of the room.
“I’ve always run to the hardware store to pick up my paint, so it was such a treat to discover the paint I wanted online, along with all of my painting supplies,” says Hannah. “I’m so happy with the results! Fresh Kicks is the perfect white with no undertones. It has completely transformed the room and feels like a breath of fresh air.”
There was a real switch-up with the furniture, too. The darker sofa got swapped for a cream colored sectional and a new light wood sideboard looks modern and offers plenty of room for storage. Instead of the black-hole effect of a TV screen, Hannah was able to incorporate a new model that shows artwork instead — meaning she could seamlessly incorporate it into a gallery wall of beautiful art prints. Finished with the coziest of accent pieces like fluffy white pillows, a warm leather ottoman and nubby throws, this family room feels like the perfect spot to gather together to watch a movie or cheer for your favorite sports team.
Plus, thanks to the addition of the window, Hannah can finally have houseplants in the room — one of the best ideas for a family room, they offer a hint of green and liven the whole place up.
“Our little family couldn't be happier with our new den and we’ve been enjoying this fresh space so much,” says Hannah. “I had so much fun designing the den and curating pieces that I knew would look good and that our family could enjoy for years to come. I love clean, neutral colors with textural touches and every single item was thoughtfully selected for this renovation!”
Related: On the hunt for more ideas for a family room? Read This airy Brooklyn abode is a lesson in family-friendly design .