Going Old School

Hi All.  It’s been ages since my last post.  Mainly,  because life gets in the way but also because I have this thing about wanting to completely finish a room before I blog about it.  We have been working on transforming the family room going on three weeks and although the painting and trim work is done, the room is not completely finished.  It’s close….it’s clean (minus the dust) and it’s completely functional (except I never get to hang out in it cause there is always  a bunch of smelly teenage boys in it).  It’s  missing the finishing touches…you know; the pretty pillows and throws and beautiful drapes.  Also looking for a new coffee table and credenza for the tv but you get the general idea.  It’s a work in progress.  And given my current schedule of work, kids, life and chicken keeping;  it may take a while to get it just right.  So here it is so far ….. hope you like it.

The Family Room Before….Drab green.  All the original trim and charm has been stripped from this part of the house.  At one time it was separated into a second apartment.  The kitchen was back here in the 1970’s and 80’s.


Another before view.  This room is by far the largest in the house and is the kids hang out space.  Unfortunately, other than space,  it really has nothing going for it.

So as you can see, a real big blank canvas.  The kids spend a lot of time back here hanging with friends so I wanted to make it a fun, useable space.  We had a large blackboard wall in our old kitchen and the kids really missed that after we moved.  Having a space to leave messages, doodle, and work on math homework is super fun,  so I thought I would try and incorporate one into this room’s design.  It also had to flow with the rest of the house and it’s design direction,  so I opted for a black and white room,  accented (eventually) with pops of bold colour.

When I told Bob what I wanted to do,  he said “okaaaaaayyyy”, like he thought I was kinda nuts.

Bob: “You want to paint this whole room black?”

Mel:  “No, not the whole room, just the top half!”

This house has the most beautiful woodwork and trim that I have ever seen.  Unfortuneately, this room has had most of it removed over the years. It almost looks like an addition because it is so different.   I decided that the best way to fix that was by installing some wainscoting to add  detail and interest,  along with the fun of the chalkboard wall above.

This room is 28 x 16…a big space.  I’m not sure if you have ever bought chalkboard paint for any small project before but it is pretty pricey , at about $22 a quart.  Interwebs to the rescue!  I found instructions online on how to make your own super simple chalkboard paint.  I worked like a charm and saved me hundreds of dollars!


After mixing, applying two coats and then conditioning with chalk, the homemade chalkboard  is ready to go.  I wonder if they still think it’s super cool?  It’s nice to have free labour  while nurturing a  growing appreciation for dusting 😉

With a love of the contrast of a black and white interior,  I knew that the after for this room would be great.  I have to admit though, the transformation was better than I imagined.  With all the same furniture in virtually the same location, simply painting, trimming (a day of caulking) and some new lighting,  made this room into a super cool hang out space that now completely flows with the rest of the main floor.  It’s so much fun to see people’s creativity and cheekiness come out when left alone with a big blank canvas and a piece of chalk.  No one can resist leaving their mark.  Maybe because it reminds us of the old school days….  Check out the after.

New pendant lights have huge impact.  The “Hektar” pendant from Ikea.  I painted the inside of the pendant in a metallic gold finish.  They now give off a beautiful , warm glow.  A new natural wood coffee table is on the shopping list but this fits the bill for now
Perfect spot to read.  Woven baskets and warm blankets are the perfect accent.  The blanket was made with the most unbelievable merino wool and pattern from Etsy seller  Wool Couture Company.


FYI…there was a lot of teenage boy poop humour removed from the walls before this photo shoot.
As always, vintage finds have a place.  This room now flows with the rest of the house.  I love how the addition of simple moldings makes such a huge impact.




There you have it so far.  Now on the search for the finishing touches.  Oh how I love the hunt!



6 thoughts on “Going Old School

  1. Mini Winnie February 26, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    Wow Wow Wow!!
    Love it especially the black!!


    • melissakrouse February 27, 2017 / 6:21 pm

      Stop by and see it in person….we can dim the lights and listen to bauhaus in my mostly black room….thought you’s like it 😉


  2. Kelsie Oreta February 26, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    Oh my gosh! It looks so stunning!! Awesome job!


  3. Donna February 28, 2017 / 9:39 am

    Melissa…I know you must get tired of me always saying how much seeing your finished projects remind me of your Mom. She would be sooooo proud of your accomplishments and talent. Lovely, Lovey job once again. Can’t wait to see it all in person one day.


    • melissakrouse February 28, 2017 / 3:47 pm

      Thanks so much for following along. You are welcome anytime 😘


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