Return to the Home Decorating & Design Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

Posted by MIssyV (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 20, 12 at 12:20

I am helping my sister spruce up a house they bought about a year ago. They just want to make a few cosmetic changes to update the home for now, nothing major at this point. I have my own personal thoughts, but hoping maybe someone on the outside looking in might have a better thought! So here it goes....

This is one of their three family rooms. No tv in this room, just a couch and a desk with their computer. Obviously this fireplace is the focal point of the room. The day we helped her move in, I said "I would paint that bookcase a warmer white." I just think it looks dark and dated, but what do you think? Here is a pic, what would you do?


The biggest problem are those shingle looking things... what do you do with that?! I don't think they are open to tearing them out, because I think that will lead to more work than what they are wanting for the time being.


I am thinking leaving beams color they are, but open to opinions....I have personally painted my own kitchen cabs, so I know what it takes and told her this weekend is the time to get the paint from BM with their 40% off sale! But do you think the bookshelves will take the abuse well when painted?

Then this is area #2, the entryway. Personally, I am thinking she needs to paint the spindles a lighter/white color and leave the banister railing dark. I have seen lots of stairways done this way and it looks fab! Then she could just hang a new foyer light down the stairway.


Again, her biggest questions are these rectangular / square looking things she has going up her stairway. I am thinking of doing the trim in a white color and painting the wall and the inside of the squares the same color. Thoughts?


Thank you for reading my post and lending your opinions!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

Paint it all creamy white to match the fireplace stones -- the beams, shingles and bookcase -- very French Country Elegant! :)

And do the exact same thing in the stairway -- paint the wall and all of the moldings (inside and out) in creamy white. Yes -- so the spindles too -- and in the future -- do the risers on the staircase! :)

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

Oh please don't paint the beams! They look great natural and add character. I actually like the warm and cozy feeling of the family room as is, but definitely would never paint those beams. If you paint the bookcase white it will disappear into the wall and I think it lends a nice warm balance tot he fireplace. The shingles, perhaps just add drywall over that area to the ceiling and cover them up, but I am not sure how good that will look. With the massive stone fireplace, the rest of the room just seems to fit with the character and I think attempts to "update" would probably just look incongruous.

For the entry, First thing I would do is remove the carpet and if necessary put a sisal runner down or leave stairs bare if possible. I would paint the inside of the chair molding squares, the molding itself and the walls all the same color (maybe BM mascarpone), as well as the chair molding (triangles along the baseboard area of the stairs) and on the outside. Possibly the spindles as well, leaving the rail dark.

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

I leave the bookcase, beams and staircase as is - else it'll all be bland and fade into nothingness.

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

1) I'd definitely paint the bookcase a creamy white. If she is worried about everything being "too white", she could do an accent color on the back panel of every shelf.
Like this:

2) I agree something needs to be done with the staircase rails - however, I am not a big fan of painting just the spindles, I'd paint the rail, too. Some lighter color. I think it'd look fabulous if she got a small, chic chandelier to put in the entryway - I've seen a lot of really cool ones recently!

3) The walls - I personally love the white border molding with a color inside. Or even wallpaper pattern inside the shapes. Or, painting the border white and painting the wall & the inside portion the same color. wainscoting _ wall panels Canada/Appliques painted wainscoting.jpg

Good luck!

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

1) I know you said you don't think she wants to tear the shingles out, but IMO, I would have a carpenter come out to see if they could be ripped out and some crown or something put in. I think they date the entire place and detract from an otherwise pretty fireplace. (I would also take the eyeballs out of the overhead lights, but they are just a pet peeve of mine. Home Depot sells the internal direction things very cheaply so you get the same effect without the big eyeball.)
2) I agree wholeheartedly with you to paint the bookcase a neutral tone to compliment the stone. I would change the hardware on the lower cabinets as well.
3) I would treat the mouldings as the same color as the wall since they are not really substantial.
4) If budget allows, I would paint the spindles and the risers white/creamy white. It would brighten and update the whole space. I would leave the rails dark.
5) If budget allowed, I would replace the hanging light fixture. It is hard to tell what it looks like from the photo -

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

Wow, thank you ALL for taking the time to share your opinion with me. I truly appreciate your thoughts. Sounds like I am getting a mixed bag of feedback though.

I will be visiting my sister and her home tomorrow to discuss what we want to tackle :) Stay tuned!....

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

What a great sister you are! :)

Your sister has a lovely new home. I like your ideas, as long as she is ok with them.

I would paint the bookshelves white/creamy white.
I would paint the spindles white as well.
If it's not an option right now to take the shingles down, then I'd probably paint them white as well, so they blend into the ceiling a bit more.
I like the beams as they are. I'd leave them.

Hope you have fun!

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

Hi there,
Your sister's home is beautiful and seems to have a lot of character. Personally, I don't think anything requires painting (shelf, beams or staircase). I'm all about painting to update pieces, but honestly, things look great the way they are. I really feel that the space just needs more colour and pattern perhaps through accessories. What accent colour(s) can you introduce into the room? Once you figure that out, you can add art work on the mantle to brighten up the space. Also, on the bookself, mix up accessories between books, patterned storage boxes, candles, little plants, dishes, etc.,. You can add a lot of character to the bookshelf without having to paint it out. Good luck with your project!

RE: Mini Makeover (Pics included)..... Help Please :-)

I would leave the beams and the mantel in the family room the color they are now. I would paint the bookcase a warm creamy color that compliments the stone, not what appears to be the harsh white of the trim in the room, but I would paint the backs of the bookcases in the wall color.

I hate the shingles, but if they are not up for removing them, then I would paint them the same color of the bookcase. I would really rather see them remove the shingles and just put on a solid trim board there and then paint it - I think it would make such a difference, and would still be a relatively simple fix.

Refocus the spots on the mantel, not on the shingles and upper part of the stone where there is nothing to spotlight.

Find a fireplace screen that fits the opening. I assume the other opening is for wood storage? I would paint the inside of that the cream color of the bookcases to take away the look of two black holes there.

Leave the spindles alone on the stairs. I think they look fine.

I would remove those huge panels from the walls completely. They add nothing, and the weird angles look odd.

Can't tell from the pix, but I think she needs a much larger chandy in that stairwell, hung higher, rather than the little mini pendant hanging over the chair.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Home Decorating & Design Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here