Rae’s Texas Family Room Makeover {Part I}

Warning: This is a long one, so grab a hot cup of coffee and pull up a chair!

At the end of my last post, my Mom and I were on our way to Austin, Texas, to help my sister jazz up her family room.  We got started by taking a bunch of “before” pictures of the family room and then looking around to see what was missing.



Once we were actually in the space, we could compare it to our Pinterest inspiration board to get a better idea of what was going to work in the space and what wasn’t, and come up with a battle plan.  After much thought and a few cups of coffee, here’s what we were thinking:

Rae’s Texas Family Room Makeover


Our next step was to ransack the rest of my sister’s house to see what we could repurpose.  So my mom and I gleefully went from room to room opening doors and cabinets and boxes to see what my sister had that wasn’t being used, and grabbing things off shelves and counters and walls that were being used, but that we deemed worthy of relocation to the family room.  We then spilled all our stolen treasures out across the coffee table and got to work repurposing, relocating, and re-doing with what we had.

It’s surprising how much of a difference this can make.  My sister kept insisting that she was going to have to start from scratch to get the look she wanted, but a little bit of imagination and some helping hands (read: relocating hands) put a big dent in the project on the first day without having to buy a thing.  Like any project, we can all get stuck in our own heads sometimes.  But bring in a friend or a family member with new ideas and new perspective, and all of a sudden you can see a room or a table or even a trinket in a whole new light.

Repurposing is actually one of my favorite things to do in my own house.  In our house, nothing has a permanent home.  I am constantly switching out pillows from one room to the next, or candle holders, or picture frames.  Even our holiday decorations seem to rotate from tabletop to bookshelf to fireplace mantle.  Sometimes it’s not even on purpose.  I’ll pick something up to photograph it or to dust and suddenly I’ve placed it down somewhere else and it just looks so good there that it has to stay.  Since most things in our house fall into the same color palette and style, it always seems to work out.  And it’s always nice to have something new to look at.

The same thing worked in my sister’s house.  We discovered a ton of picture frames that weren’t being used, a stockpile of candles and holders, repurposed some throw pillows and faux floral, and perhaps my favorite find: discovered stacks and stacks of design magazines.  One of my favorite things to decorate with are old books and magazines.  They look fantastic piled under a lamp or a photo frame or whatever you might have to give it height, depth, and perhaps a pop of color.


After we had repurposed what my sister already had, my mom and I sat down and made a shopping list.  What were we missing?  What colors or textures would we prefer?  What was necessary?  And what would be a splurge item, if we could find it and/or afford it?

The necessary list was:

new throw pillows in neutral hues  |  a new plush throw  |  something to pile all the extra  pillows and throws into  |  a shiny silver lamp  |  a bunch of shiny silver (preferably mercury glass) vases  |  a coffee table tray  |  and a heck of a lot of black and white wall art to build a gallery wall

The splurge list was:

an area rug  |  baskets for under the coffee table  |  a floor lamp  |  and maybe-possibly-if-we-were-really-crazy a new couch

I’m not sure anything could have prepare me for what came next: the shopping.


It’s true what they say – everything really is bigger in Texas.  We must have hit up about a dozen Ross Stores, half a dozen T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods, two Hobby Lobbys, a Kirkland’s, a Pier 1, a World Market, and taken at least four trips to the ultimate home-makeover on a budget store: Garden Ridge.

If you have never been to a Garden Ridge, GO.  Go, go, go.  But first prepare yourself with comfortable walking shoes, caffeine, and a hearty breakfast.  I have never seen anything like it.  It was just row after row after row of anything you could possibly think of, need, or want.  There were 6 aisles plus an L wall full of just throw pillows.  Two incredibly long aisles of lamps.  And I couldn’t even begin to count the number of aisles of photographs and wall art.

It was a challenge, but I’m happy to report that with a little bit of help from Starbucks and a few chocolate chip cookies, we got through it.  Oh, and some Rudy’s BBQ and Shiner Bock, too.  That was essential.

The entire makeover took one day of repurposing and planning, two days of shopping, and one day of doing.  And I think we were all pretty darn pleased with ourselves in the end.  Here’s how it turned out, along with a list of where we found all this good stuff (just in case you want to add a little bit of “farmhouse glam” to your house too!).



LEFT:  Silver Mercury Lamp {$39.99} at Garden Ridge {PLUS 10% off coupon}  |  Burlap Shade {$9.99} at Ross  |   Magazines, Architectural Digest  |  Magenta Orchid, Repurposed from “Before” Entryway  |  Hammered Silver Frame, Repurposed from Media Room  |  The end table was originally from T.J.Maxx

RIGHT:  Quatrefoil Tray {$29.99} at Hobby Lobby {PLUS 40% off coupon}  |  Medium & Large Silver Mercury Jugs {$14.99-$19.99} at Garden Ridge  |  Small Silver Mercury Vase {$5.99} at Marshalls  |  Picture Frame, Repurposed from “Before” end table, originally from Marshalls

ae’s Texas Family Room Makeover

Throw {$19.99} at T.J.Maxx  |  1.  Tahari Pillow {$24.99} at Marshalls  |  2.  Linen Blend Pillow {$16.99} at T.J.Maxx  |  3.  Mr. & Mrs. Lumbar Pillow {$19.99} at T.J.Maxx  |  4.  Cream Pillow, Repurposed from “Before” Entryway  |  5.  Embroidered Flower Pillow {$24.99} at Garden Ridge

LEFT:  Square Picture Frame, Kept from “Before” Entryway, originally from Marshalls  |  Small Silver Mercury Vase {$4.99} at T.J.Maxx  |  LOVE Sign {$5.99} at Ross  |  White Orchid, Repurposed from Kitchen  |  White Leather Wedding Album, Repurposed from “Before” Family Room  |  The entryway table and mirror were originally from Hobby Lobby

RIGHT:  Large Wicker Basket {$13.99} at Ross  |  The coffee table was originally from Garden Ridge  |  All picture frames and other items on the Gallery Wall will be featured in my next post “Rae’s Texas Family Room Makeover {Part II}”!


As for that splurge list, we never did find a floor lamp or a rug we loved.  We thought we came close when we found this gorgeous area rug at Garden Ridge in neutral shades that even had a hint of metallic.

{$79.99} at Garden Ridge

{$79.99} at Garden Ridge

We bought it and brought it home to my sister’s house, only to find out that it got lost in the cream-colored carpet.  We could have made do, but our number one rule during this adventure was if we don’t love it, we don’t keep it.  So back to the store it went (with a number of other finds we purchased, but that didn’t look quite right once we got them home).  Never feel like just because you purchased something you have to keep it.  If you don’t love it, let it go.  To the return counter.

We actually did find a couch that the three of us all loved, but then my sister and her husband happened to find a new dog that they loved too (it was a busy weekend!).  And since new puppy and new couch don’t mix, the puppy won out and the couch got put on the waiting list.  But once that puppy is trained, the olive green couch will be on its way out and a lovely new cream tufted one will be taking its place.  Rumor has it hardwood floors are in Steve’s future too.

Rae & Dom’s new dog, Folsom.  How can you say no to that face?!

Love the gallery wall as much as I do?  Stay tuned for my next post on how we did it, where we found it all, and super-sneaky tips on to make it work in your house!

Oh, and did I mention that we did the entire makeover for under $500?  🙂


P.S.  Thanks for reading a long, but very rewarding post!  I’m very happy to have gotten it all together just in time to share at the Link Party Palooza going on at Tatertots and Jello right now.  Happy Sunday!


20 thoughts on “Rae’s Texas Family Room Makeover {Part I}

  1. Steve and I are incredibly thankful for your hard work in making him SEXY!! I promise we will work on filling all the frames soon.

    • Not at all. I’m a lawyer by day and crafter by night 🙂 But my mom has exceptional taste and I grew up in a beautiful house filled with tsotchkes and love, many trips down the home decor aisles in stores, and plenty of design magazines to pour over as a kid. I’ve always loved this stuff! Thanks for the kind words.

    • Thanks Jane! Books and magazines are one of the best things to decorate with, especially for adding height to a display. I have them all over my family room. Right now I’ve been saving all my holiday catalogs that have been coming in the mail for future Christmas decorating (hint, hint 😉 )

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! my turn next I’d like to request all three decorating specialists — except its my kitchen that needs the TLC. Thoughts??? do you have tips for a kitchen makeover??

  3. Looks amazing! So inviting and warm:) HomeGoods/TJMaxx/Marshall’s are my go to accessory stores as well! I even got my dining table and chairs from there and everyone thinks they came from Pottery Barn. You can really find some great stuff!!!

  4. Pingback: Welcome Fall, Welcome Friends! | With Love, From California

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