I have come back to this post about our family room time and time again, without really settling on what I wanted to say. My initial goal was to set out a sort of vision for the room. I like knowing where I am trying to go with a room because it helps me evaluate what I need vs. what I want or what can wait vs. what should move up the priority list. But despite multiple attempts, I couldn’t quite seem to define it. I kept going back and forth between form and function – wanting something comfortable but classic and balancing all the toys with something fresh that can grow along with our young family.
And then our best friends got us this amazing pallet wine rack and all of a sudden this one piece began to tie together all these loose end ideas that I had been chasing.
First of all, this wine rack provided a level of texture in the room that I hadn’t ever considered. And it made me begin to reevaluate the texture of the room right down to the floors. When we moved into Hillside Lane the downstairs family room was carpeted with a pretty neutral dark beige carpet. It was great and it went with anything/everything we had in the room. But the wear and tear on this room is proving that carpet isn’t what it needs. Our family room walks right out to our patio and backyard – or should I say our backyard walks right into our family room. I quickly began to realize that this wasn’t a problem that was going to go away when our kids got bigger. In fact – it quite possibly could get worse with bigger kids, bigger shoes and more friends coming in and out from the backyard. And with our penchant for entertaining, particularly in warm weather, I’ve become an avid researcher of durable flooring.
Flooring samples and inspiration….
Andris brought home a bunch of samples this weekend. We both liked the same one AND it happens to be the cheapest one. That NEVER happens to me.
Secondly, the wine rack made me think about how we could better use the space we have. The family room is laid out in a way that gives us some negative space in the back half of the room. Well, it isn’t really negative for us because this is where the kids play all the time – but in an adult world, this space is kind of just there. But then this wine rack made me rethink the area completely. With that as the anchor, could we better use this space as an extension of our entertaining in the backyard? We love to entertain and in the summers we are able to use the backyard to host bigger gatherings than the winter months would allow. I began to consider how adding doors across that back wall (from the current door through the set of windows) could make this space perfect for hosting friends and family.
Not only would this give us a lot more light, in what is a pretty dark downstairs, but it would also allow us to eventually redo the patio in a way that really made it a full extension of the living space. I take a lot of inspiration from images like these on what it could be like…
And the wine rack reminded me about balance. This room doesn’t have to only be about kids and toys – that it really is about family. I kept telling Andris that the wine rack upped the “cool factor” in the room. Andris and I have a passion for wine and this allows a bit of our story to be told amongst the trains and toy benches. It has single-handedly defined a space that I just couldn’t quite nail down. It is a piece that we can continue to grow with – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t need wine when managing the hectic days with babies and toddlers.
More than anything, this wine rack is a wonderful reminder of a friendship that started almost a lifetime ago – thirty years, two weddings, five kids and hundreds of happy memories – we are so lucky to call these guys our dearest friends. And years from now someone will ask about that wine rack on the wall and we’ll be able to say…”Let me tell you the story.”