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Article updated: 10/18/2013 2:16 PM

Family room needs a makeover

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Our family room is in our finished basement. It has dark outdated paneling and poor light. It has carpeting that is over 30 years old. It was damaged from flooding six years ago, when the retention pond in South Elgin broke and flooded the entire neighborhood, and our basement. We just dried the carpeting out, and laid it back down, as our insurance does not cover flood damage. It is full of mold. I have to sleep down here too and it is not healthy for me.

It is all one big room, in an L shape. Part family room and part bedroom. The bottom part of the L, has my bed, dresser, night stand, two file cabinets, a computer desk, a cloth wardrobe, and my parent's china cabinet. The longer part of the L has two cloth wardrobes, desk, love seat, two chairs, another couch, a shoe rack, my treadmill, two end tables, two televisions. There is not any storage, or closets, or room dividers. It looks very cluttered. We have extension cords draped across the carpet. It is hard to use the family room as a comfortable, enjoyable family room, because of the condition it is in. My elderly parents live here too, they are both 89. The room has very dark paneling and poor light. There is not much entertainment in this family room, due to its condition. Dad and I love to watch football and hockey games together. My dream is to have a place where my parents and I can invite family and friends over to visit, and to watch the games on a big-screen TV.

Design by Littman Brothers

Budget: $5,000

The outdated paneling on the walls, along with the carpeting creates a very dark space. The room is long and narrow in an "L" shape. Because the space is small to begin with, it is important to be minimal and purge a lot of the extra furniture and items that are being stored in the room. I would suggest painting the paneling white to brighten the space. Replace the flooring with a faux wood and add an area rug to create a warm atmosphere.

To update the lighting, I would use brand Quoizel Lighting's Downtown Collection. Two semi-flush mount lights go over the bedroom and living room coffee table. The one for the bedroom is smaller than the one in the living room area. Floor lamps and table lamps in both areas will accent the spaces and create additional lighting.

Semi-flush pendant for the living room area: Quoizel Lighting Downtown Collection model DW1824C.

Semi-flush mount for over the bedroom area: Quoizel Lighting Downtown Collection model DW1717C.

Table lamps for both the nightstand in the bedroom area and side tables in the living room area: Quoizel Lighting Downtown Collection model DW6326C.

Floor Lamp for the living room area next to a sofa: Quoizel Lighting Downtown Collection DW9361C.

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