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posted: 10/20/2013 6:00 AM

Let the remodeling begin! Finalists chosen in contest

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A few weeks ago, we asked you to send us photos of your family room -- your outdated, overstuffed, rundown or woefully empty family rooms.

And send them you did. Some rooms are small and stuffed to the rafters. Others are wide open and badly in need of furniture. Many are a bit worn looking and some, frankly, need a major overhaul. A few even look gorgeous just the way they are.

Yet, all of them have one thing in common. They are important rooms in that they are a gathering spot for the family that lives there, a place where everyone's busy lives intersect and connect.

In other words, they are called family rooms for a reason.

Today, we begin our Room for Living series where we take selected entries from those we received and feature suggestions and ideas for creating the family room your family deserves. For the next five weeks, we will feature suggestions from our experts focusing on different parts of the room and how they can be transformed. We'll focus on easy fixes, beautiful design and the latest trends. For this week's design suggestions, see Page 3.

At the end of the five weeks, on Nov. 24, we will announce two winners who will receive family room makeovers valued at more than $10,000 each.

But, today we start with the use of color -- particularly earth tones -- and how it can transform any room.

On Oct. 27, we'll focus on floors and doors, including how vinyl plank flooring is perfect for a room that floods. (Basement family rooms, anyone?)

Then on Nov. 3, we will feature furniture style and options, including new products in the market and on Nov. 10, we will be discussing finishing touches like accessories, lighting and even electronics. After all, what's a family room without a few electronic toys?

Of course, we can't forget the holidays so on Nov. 17, we will offer ideas for getting your family room ready for the upcoming festivities, including popular trends for this year.

And, finally, on Nov. 24, we will announce our two lucky winners. So stay tuned and enjoy our Room for Living series. Even if you don't win, we are sure these stories will encourage you to spruce up your family's favorite gathering spot.

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