The Inspired Hive

Inspiration for a creative home


Eclectic and earthy family room reveal

An organic and eclectic family room combining modern and traditional elements in a historic home

The One Room Challenge always goes by so fast! We are already to the reveal of our family room! It had been a couple of years since the last time we participated in the ORC. Even though this year has been crazy, I couldn't bare to sit out another round! We chose our family room because it would be "easy" since we have a baby and a lot of other things to juggle right now, but it was still a lot of work! But we couldn't be more excited to have a refreshed, much more functional space, just in time to bring in a Christmas tree in a few weeks!
Sofa, patterned pillows, and historic staircase

Thank you to Loloi Rugs for providing product for this project. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see my disclosure policy.

If you're joining me from the One Room Challenge website, welcome! I'm Nicole, and I have been sharing my love of DIY home projects and interior design on this little blog of mine since 2013. My husband and I moved our family from a metropolitan area to a quiet rural town near the ocean a few years ago and bought a 100 year old farmhouse. We've been slowly working room by room to make this old house feel like us while also trying to research and honor its history. Every home has a story, and we are enjoying uncovering and adding to this one!


Let's do a little refresh of where we started. I shared more details in the week one post, but here are a couple of pictures from when we first moved in.

Living room before

There was nothing horribly wrong with the space. It just felt dark and dingy. The old chimney closed into the wall made for difficulty arranging our existing furniture.

We refinished the floors and made a few small changes to hold us over.

Staircase before

This staircase is one of the few remaining historic details in the house. We hope to someday completely restore it, but while our children are little, we are saving any lead paint related tasks for far into the future. In the meantime, we decided to call more attention to it with slightly more dramatic paint colors.

And here is a reminder of my original mood board for this room.

Modern traditional living room design

Our collected modern traditional family room reveal

Okay, ready to see it? Come on in!
Doorway to traditional living room

We completely changed the furniture arrangement in the room and it feels so much more welcoming when you walk in. The space is so much better defined.

When I look at the pictures I took, it doesn't look like we did much work, but I promise we did. Every surface in this room was painted. The walls, trim, stairs, door, built ins, entertainment center, coffee table, even a lamp, and a few vases!
Painted coffee table and entertainment center with DIY reeded end table

Between the staircase, doorways, built ins, and old chimney, the only logical place to put the TV is also the first thing you see when you walk in. So I did my best to make it less of an eyesore.

I painted the entertainment center that we made a few years ago. It was meant to be a temporary fix until we found one we loved. But I still haven't found that perfect one. I have learned that it's better to wait for the right piece than to buy things just to fill space. So instead, a fresh coat of paint completely changed the style of this piece to feel more traditional and flow with the rest of our home better. 

Our TV broke earlier this year, so when shopping for a new one, we chose one perfectly sized for our entertainment center (about two thirds the width is the recommendation) and with a thin frame so we can display art and it looks just like a framed painting! (You can buy the fancy art Samsung Frame TV of course, but this much cheaper TV worked out just fine)
DIY entertainment center

Something I've been talking about for a couple of years is getting rid of our loveseat and getting chairs instead due to the old chimney closed into the wall. We finally did it and looks so much better!!! 

We hope to expose the brick chimney someday, but we decided to wait since we have a baby crawling around and who knows what's hiding behind there. 
Living room built ins and seating

Since we ditched the loveseat, we purchased a large oversized chair that could fit two people when needed. We're excited to snuggle up together for movie nights!
Oversized green living room chair

We have a huge cotton woven rug that takes up most of the room. I wanted to layer a smaller rug over it to anchor the seating area and add some subtle color to the room. Loloi Rugs sent me the beautiful Theia rug in taupe/gold. I absolutely love the colors, and the pattern will be perfect for hiding the inevitable kid spills. It's important to make practical decor choices when you have young children!
Oversized green living room chair

It's no secret that I love green. All shades of green, but I'm particularly drawn to either earthy greens or greens that lean a little blue. Over the past few years I've leaned more towards the earthy greens as far as decorating goes. When I saw this photo with my color palette by Ginny Macdonald, I was inspired to bring a moss green chair into the space. The color is subtle and so perfect.
Spindle chair next to weeping fig ficus tree

There is one image I have gone back to over and over again for inspiration over the last year. This room by Heidi Caillieri is so beautiful to me. I am in love with those vintage style spindle chairs. I tried to ask Heidi about them, but she didn't respond. I searched and searched. Nothing. Then the Studio McGee line launched at Target and included the Taylorsville spindle chair. Close enough! Sold! 

If I ever find the real deal, we will probably make the switch though. This chair is echoes the chairs I hoped for, but it is cheaply made. We actually went through several shipments because they were all broken. We ordered two for the sake of extra seating, but we're happy with this layout, so we'll see if we decide to keep the second one. 
Spindle chair and built in shelving

Once both the green chair and wooden chairs arrived, I realized how tiny and off balance the wooden chair made things, so I brought my weeping fig tree in to take up more space and help visually balance things a little better. Turns out my tree is much happier here anyway.
Black marble side table

I love this little faux marble side table I found. It was one of the items on my original mood board. Although its not real marble, marble is a finish that makes any space feel timeless and classic. The black helps balance some of the other black elements in the room and keeps the eye moving. 
Eclectic modern traditional living room in a historic home

Ahhh what do you think of the coffee table?! When I came up with the idea to search for a 1980s coffee table, I was seriously so giddy with excitement. Who the heck wants a 1980s coffee table? The token table that almost every family had. Me. I want it. 😂

We have an antique trestle coffee table we plan to refinish, but in the meantime, a coffee table is kind of essential, so I wanted an affordable but stylish table in the meantime. This is one time where I broke my rule of buying something to fill a space, but it truly was the right piece stylistically, and its functional. And twenty dollars well spent.

I say it over and over, our house is 100 years old, and I want it to look like its been through each era, picking up bits and pieces along the way. It makes it feel storied and timeless. It makes trends matter so much less. It makes any style work. With a little black paint, the rounded legs on that coffee table really add an effortless eclectic vibe.
Black historic staircase

Alright, on to the other side of the room! We painted the banister and newel post in my favorite SW Greenblack a couple of years ago, but we decided to paint the balusters too recently! It made a big difference! We also painted the treads and risers a darker beige that will hopefully hide dirt better.

We also hung a cute little sconce using the magic light trick. I love the touch of brass next to the black staircase.
Historic staircase and vintage drop leaf table decor

It was really difficult to get a photo of the DIY reeded end table we built due to wall space, so here's the best shot I got! We were always resistant to pulling the sofa away from the walls because it cuts into space for our kids, but we decided to go for it and it makes the room feel so much cozier. The kids haven't been phased by it one bit. 
Antique dropleaf table decor

Bringing the sofa away from the wall made the spot under the stairs look naked. I tried my antique secretary desk there and it was just too big and felt too formal next to the ornate staircase. I was hoping to find a smaller antique desk or a storage cabinet that was simple enough that the staircase could be the star of the show. I didn't find the right piece in time, so I borrowed the drop leaf table in my office for photos. I kinda like it here. Maybe it is the right piece after all.

That lamp was a thrifted find that got a spray paint makeover. I'm guessing its from the 80s? It's huge (that's a 16x20 picture frame next to it) and fills this awkward wall space perfectly! (Thanks, Mom, for picking it up for me!!! 😁)

Throw pillows with traditional patterns

We opted to keep our seven year old sofa for now. It just didn't make sense to invest money into a nice sofa when our kids are still little and messy. It's not in the best shape, but nothing a few pretty pillows and strategically placed throw blankets can't fix 😉 I stayed within the color palette of the room but mixed different patterns and textures. It's the perfect distraction from our slouchy sofa!
There are of course a few things we hoped to do that we didn't get to, but for the most part, we checked everything off of our list. I have a little bit of painting to finish, and we didn't get around to replacing the beige recessed lights yet. But that's it! This space is done!

It truly took a village to accomplish this. I haven't shared personal things on the blog in a while, but truth be told, it has been a challenging year for me, beyond all of the normal 2020 problems. I have had some health problems that have been really overwhelming to manage with a new baby and good ol' 2020. I truly needed this project because this is how I relieve stress. Painting and decorating are relaxing to me. But due to my current physical state, I needed a lot of help. If you know me at all, help is not something I like to ask for. I've always had a very independent personality. It was hard to admit that I couldn't do certain things. I can't thank my husband and my parents enough for lending a hand the last six weeks. And for supporting me physically and emotionally. It absolutely wouldn't have gotten done without them.

Thank you all for following along on this project. The One Room Challenge is always such a rush but so much fun. There is tons of inspiration over on the ORC blog. I hope you'll visit some other reveals!


See something you love? Here are the links for most items in this space. 

Pin it for later!

Don't forget to check out all of the other One Room Challenge spaces!


  1. It looks so fantastic Nicole!! You did a great job, that green chair is perfection

  2. Amazing job!!! I love all the special details and DIYs you added! And those chairs!!

  3. Nicole this is beautiful! I am loving the flow of this room. That table you made is really neat.

  4. I see a big change! I've had that rug on my list for my bedroom. I love it

  5. It looks beautiful! I love your thoughtful and practical approach too.