family room design

Everett {Round Two}

There's no better feeling than hearing from a previous client "we are ready to start on another project".  This means you did your job so well the first time, they are ready to jump in the interior design pool again.  It's even better when these clients trust you completely to deliver a room they will love for years to come!

Our first Everett project was a family room for the ENTIRE family.  I created a space that included a cozy spot to watch television, a desk area for homework, a creative drop zone and even a hidden place to practice for bicycle races.  It was a super fun project!

This time they were ready to create another family room, but this time for the hard working parents.  So we took the room directly off the kitchen, that no one ever sat in, and gave them a place they could use every day.  And since it was open to each other, we decided to include the breakfast room.  Another room no one ever used.  


My before photos are always so dark!  But the room was dark and lightening things up was on the top of our list.  First came a new fireplace with new tile and mantle surround.  Then, my painter went to work on the walls and trim.  Finally, it was time for the furniture.  

Jennifer Taylor Design, Tallahassee, Florida

My clients wanted a more "adult" family room they could relax in and watch television.  I found a pair of colorful cabinets for each side of the fireplace and added floating shelves above.  The television eventually was installed on the right side.  We kept the sofa neutral, but went dark to create a contrast with the fun pillows and colorful swivel chairs.  I really love the accent chair, with the green houndstooth fabric, in the corner.  It's unexpected, which you want sometimes.

It's been almost a year since we installed this project, but seeing these photos still makes me smile.  

Thanks for Reading!

Lighten Up!

When I first met with these clients, she said she really wanted to lighten things up and I couldn't have agreed more.  Here was my client's wish lighting, sofa pillows, coffee table, dining chairs and accessories.  We had to work with the new sectional the client had just purchased, the existing family room rug, arm chairs and the draperies.  I love working with things a client owns, but it can be challenging.  This project was no exception.  Here are a few photos from my initial consultation.

First, we replaced all the existing lighting in the main rooms (entry, dining and family room) and what a difference that made.  Then came pillows and new chairs.  Finally, we delivered the new tables and the finishing touches.  Small changes with BIG results!

Jennifer Taylor Design
Jennifer Taylor Design

If you are looking to lighten things up in your home, please give me a call.  I'd love to help you!


A Summer Refresh

I'm almost done with a fun project and wanted to share a few progress photos with you.  My #skipperproject is what I like to call a "refresh" job - which means we use most of the client's existing furniture and just freshen up the room with new accessories, fabrics and wall decor.  It's quicker than our full-service design and is definitely more cost effective, BUT only works when a client has most of their furniture in place.

This home was only built about a year ago, but the clients never felt like the interiors really reflected them.  They had purchased things that "matched" but it wasn't personal.  So, here was our plan...

The family room had a red sofa and a pair of recliners that were relatively new, so keeping them was a priority.  They also had a lots of accent tables, but they were all dark brown stain.  They had pretty lamps, but they were dark bronze.  They had art, but it was all from Kirkland's and it was all flowers! :)  

Jennifer Taylor Design - BEFORE PHOTO

Our first suggestion was to replace the accent tables.  Because of the open floor plan and all the white cabinetry and trim, I said we need to go light on the coffee table and end table and then change up the finish on the sofa table.  Remember, not everything has to match.  And because my clients like to eat in the family room on occasion, the top of the coffee table actually lifts up!

Jennifer Taylor Design

The next place we could make a big impact was with the built-ins on each side of the fireplace.  Almost every home I work on has these and they are one of my favorite things to re-design!  My clients had a ton of books (which is uncommon these days) so those had to stay, but we needed accessories.  Bigger accessories!

Jennifer Taylor Design - BEFORE PHOTO
Jennifer Taylor Design
Jennifer Taylor Design

This progress shot shows what a little styling can do for your bookcase!  Everything here belonged to my client except five new accessories.  This is how I can take what clients already own, add a few new touches, and create a fresh look!  

I'm going to finish up with some shots of the master bedroom.  We decided to paint the walls in here (since the whole house was painted the same color) and update with new bedding.

Jennifer Taylor Design - BEFORE PHOTO
Jennifer Taylor Design

I go back in a few weeks to finish up and promise to share the final photos.  I can't wait to show you what we did in the study.  It's the smallest room in the house, but turned out to be my favorite!

Blog Signature-2.jpg

An Easy Secretary Desk Makeover

About a month ago, I posted all the final pictures of my Miller's Bridge family room, but I saved this project detail for its own post.  At the initial design consultation, my client really hoped I could incorporate a secretary desk she had.  Not only did she like it, but it also provided a spot for her son to use the laptop computer out in the main room of the house.  Got to keep an eye on our kids! Once all the furniture was installed, we felt like it could stay in the room and not feel too crowded, but it needed a little "oomph".  My client was open to painting it, but I knew we could do something a little less permanent.  There was a great fabric we really wanted to use in the the room, but because it was a special order through a furniture company we didn't order from, it was really expensive per yard.  We loved the design and the colors, but the price was a little more than the budget allowed.

Blog Fabric

Now, this is where hiring a designer brings so much more than new furniture to a space.  I called on my friend and talented artist to help me with the transformation.  After some texts messages back and forth from the craft store and a few emails, this is what we came up with.

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

The best part of this idea is that the design on a thin piece of wood that can be easily removed if needed.  I loved using all my client's treasures to really make it her own.  She was thrilled and so was I!

Blog Signature

Everett {final take}

This week we delivered the final piece of furniture to our Everett family room project.  It took a while for it to arrive, but it was totally worth it.  Every piece of furniture was carefully selected to create a welcoming and comfortable room for this very busy family.  When I look back on how it looked before, I am truly amazed at the transformation in not only how it looks but how much better it functions.  Nothing says "satisfied client" more than hearing they will be calling you back at the end of the year to start on the next room.  I can't wait! So, here's a little reminder of how the room looked before...


Thanks for Reading!

Everett {a new project}

I've been working on a new project called {Everett} and presented the design plan to my clients this week.  They loved everything, so I'm excited to share the direction we are going.  The room used to be a garage that the previous owners turned into a large family room.  My clients have two young children and the husband is a triathlete.  This means, he has to train on his bicycle.  Sometimes inside.  In this room.  It sits on a special rack and is used like a stationary bike.  Pretty cool, but not necessarily a great design feature.  I saw it as a challenge and figured out a way we could "make it work" - insert Tim Gunn from Project Runway reference.  Here is a furniture plan we are considering... Plan D

As you can see from the photos, this room is currently being used for lots of different things - watching television, hanging out, playing with toys, paying bills and exercising.  It's also the family's main entrance (the double doors), so we need to create some sort of drop station for backpacks and jackets.  Wait till you see what I have planned for that!

2014-10-02 10.27.33

2014-10-02 10.27.23

2014-10-02 10.26.55

The flooring is staying, but everything else is changing.  New paint, new window treatments, new furniture and a new light fixture.  Here are a few pieces we are considering, along with the upholstery fabrics for the sofa and chair.  Next week we firm up the selections and get the ordering process going.  If all goes according to plan, this family will have a new room for Christmas!

media 5 desk 1 coffee 3

photo 2(1)

Blog Signature




A True Family Room

When designing a true family room for my clients, there are many things I take into consideration. Not only does the space have to be a place to relax, but it usually functions as the playroom, home office, media room and sometimes dining room. This is a true statement for me as I'm on my couch with a dog curled up by my legs, listening to the television and writing this on a Sunday afternoon. That is the true definition of multi-functional! Family rooms are filled with fabrics and those fabrics need to be durable, but also pretty. A room filled with brown leather furniture isn't the best choice, in my opinion. A durable fabric, with some color variation and a stain resistant finish is a better choice than leather. Plus, you will never wake up from a nap sticking to fabric! I don't mind a leather piece here or there, but mix it up a little and don't be afraid to add some fabric, even with young children and pets.


One of the biggest trends out there is the industrial and vintage look. What a blessing this is for today's family rooms. The furniture is already made with a worn or distressed finish, which means less worry if a toy truck is rolled across the top of the coffee table or that wine glass didn't get a coaster. Furniture pieces that serve double duty are also great for family rooms. Coffee tables with baskets underneath or ottomans with a removable top provides clever places to hide toys.

2014-10-18 09.35.50

A challenge most designers face when designing a family room is where to put the television. Mounting them over the fireplace has become very common, but it isn't my favorite location. It's usually too high for comfortable viewing and it's a large, black rectangle most of the time. If you have the space, try placing your television on a media console. Those are almost always made at the correct viewing height and gives you more storage (for toys, electronics or the like).


When designing your family room, think about function first and make your choices based on how you plan on using the space. Try to find pieces that are multi-functional, especially when you are short on space. Personalize the room with fun fabrics and art. Finally, take the time to really use your family room to create memories for years to come!

Blog Signature