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posted: 11/3/2013 7:00 AM

Make me over ... please!

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  • Andrea Podraza of Wheaton is hoping to update the family room in her home.

    Andrea Podraza of Wheaton is hoping to update the family room in her home.

  • Cameron Wall System includes room to store toys.

    Cameron Wall System includes room to store toys.

  • A table and chairs for kids will give them their own work space.

    A table and chairs for kids will give them their own work space.

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By Andrea Podraza of Wheaton

Make me over ... please! Thanks, our family room!

HELP! My two young girls and I moved into our house one year ago, ready to start a new chapter in our lives. The house is perfect for us, but it hadn't been updated in at least 30 years. Upon moving in, I set to work redoing all of the bedrooms, the formal living and dining rooms and the powder room; installed a new roof and some windows; uncovered and refinished the hardwood floors and railings -- and now this single mom is exhausted!

We spend most of our time in our family room, which currently doesn't feel much like a family room. It's home to my daughters' toys, books and games, some exercise equipment and an entertainment area. The room has minimal seating, with only an old chair, a beanbag chair and a kids papasian chair to use while we watch TV or movies. The fireplace was one of the selling points of the home, but it needs work, including an upgrade to gas logs. The light in the room comes from two old ceiling fans, and the window treatments need to be taken down and replaced. On top of everything else, this monochromatic room NEEDS some color to make it pop!

I would love nothing more than to spend this winter cuddled up with my girls in front of a fire, reading books or playing games in our new family room.

Design by Pottery Barn Kids

• Budget: $5,000

This home would benefit greatly from a space that allows the family to gather in one area that is well organized, functional and inviting. By adding product from Pottery Barn Kids, we can accomplish this goal. Our Cameron Wall System can be added to house children's toys and a table and chairs would provide them with their own work space. A rug will add colors and detail and comfortable adult and child seating will complete the look.

• Cameron Wall System includes toy/craft storage, cubbies, cabinets, bases (nine pieces) for $1,449.

• Rug, 5-by-8 or 8-by-10, about $599.

• Comfort chair, with a variety of fabrics available, average cost $1,050.

• Frames and decorative accessories -- gallery frames, anywhere chairs, dollhouse, baskets, totes, lamp bases and shades, table and chairs.

Design by Littman Brothers Lighting

• Budget: $1,500 to $2,500

This room is a good size, but appears to be a catchall family room. I would suggest decluttering the room by creating shelving units and segmenting the room -- workout area on one side, kids toys in another corner. Changing out the dated brass ceiling fans with transitional semi-flush mounts will brighten and update the space. Lighting corners of the space will make the room appear larger.

• Fredrick Ramon's Pandor semi-flush. Replace the ceiling fans with a darker semi-flush to balance the weight of the fireplace and provide lighting.

• Murray Feiss Painted Porcelain Lamp. Add task lighting to an accent table. This will add layers of lighting and dimension to the space.

• Murray Feiss Antique Bronze with Sliver Leaf patina floor lamp. This floor lamp is in a blended finish. These finishes are popular because they have depth and texture and pull together different elements and finishes within your space.

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