Modern Media Room For A Family To Share – ORC Week Six: Our Bonus Room Reveal



In this house, we play games. We make noise. We dance really hard. We laugh a lot. We love hard. And we don’t give up. We don’t need a piece of art that says all that because this whole space conveys it all.

Our One Room Challenge Bonus Room Makeover is complete and it’s looking pretty darn fun, if I do say so myself.

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bonus room makeover - kid's art station diy

There’s my favorite corner in this new space: Our daughter’s new art station. I absolutely adore this DIY birch plywood art supplies storage system and so does she! You can see the full tutorial here.

Organizing art supplies for kids - I built a really cute system for keeping all my daughter's crayons, markers, stickers, and coloring books corralled. It's renter-friendly and super cheap!

The biggest impact in this corner was from installing these 3D wall panels from our ORC sponsor, WallArt Wall Decor. This room has great lines and a soaring ceiling, so I really wanted to bring out the best of the space. The panels gave me the perfect accent for this pitched ceiling.

You can read the full tutorial for installing these easy panels here.

To see exactly what a difference we made, let’s take a look at the before + after comparison:

In addition to being generally cluttered, this little nook served no real purpose before. Now we’ve given it a raison d’etre and increased the cool factor in a big way!

The best part? Before installing those 3D wall panels, I glued pieces of metal strips to the backs of the squares to allow a magnetic hook to be placed on them. This created a whole new place to display my daughter’s artwork.

It looks super neat from an adult’s perspective, but how does it feel for a four-year-old? Grand, that’s how:

kid's art station reveal

It’s a small space but from her height, it feels like she’s got her own gallery and studio to hone her artistic talents. She loves it so much that she made me a “card” to say thank you.

displaying kid's art in a modern home

Talk about precious!! I teared up when she handed me the blue construction paper with her own handwriting on it, telling me she loved me.

It’s a really simple project that you can tackle yourself.

Here’s the full cost breakdown and source list for this little nook:
Plywood – $12
Pipe – $6
File Holders – $20
Construction Adhesive – $10
Shelf – $11
Velcro Strips – $10
3D Wall Panels (two boxes) – $65
Magnetic Clips – $9
Andy Warhol “So Smart” Art Print – $35
Kid’s Wall Light “House” – $20
Total: $198

modern family room decor - using color to make this space more fun

Of course, that’s not the only space in this room that got an overhaul. In fact, the entire room looks so fresh now!

We updated the entire space with two new paint colors (HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams paint in Blue Jasmine and Masion Blanche from HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams). You can see how I achieve a super crisp paint line via this tutorial.

ORC™ Week One-44.png

That was a relatively easy update that made our previously putrid walls look 1000x better. I mentioned in back in the first week of the ORC, but in case you missed it – our home had previously been a rental for a decade before we purchased it. The landlords lived out of state. The tenants were awesome but they had a host of teenage boys. This room had been functioning as a bedroom for one of them. It was a mess.

Just the paint alone made a massive improvement. Even better? The new carpet. As a reminder, here’s the carpet as it looked on Day One, compared to the brand new carpet:

Since we’re planning to sell this house soon, we opted for inexpensive carpeting. Our assumption is that the next homeowners will want to carry the hardwood we installed in the hallway (during last Fall’s ORC here) throughout the second story. Since carpet doesn’t have any real perceived value to a buyer, we didn’t want to spend a lot of cash.

Unfortunately, we discovered that new carpet installation is surprisingly expensive. You can read more about what we paid, and the other quotes we received, here.

ORC™ Week One-29.png

Those two projects were the most expensive we tackled and they made the biggest impact in this space.

Here’s the full cost breakdown and source list for the paint and carpet:
2 gallons HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams paint in Maison Blanche – $701 gallon HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams paint in Blue Jasmine – $35
carpet + installation – $574.18
misc painting supplies – $20
total – $700

We really didn’t want to spend more than $1200 on this entire room (because remember, we’re about to move), and the carpet definitely inched us super close to that number. But in the end, it was totally worth it because this space looks and feels like a brand new home!

bonus room over the garage - a modern makeover for a room we've never really used

To keep the remaining costs low, I decided to re-use and repurpose most of our remaining furniture and decor. In fact, the only brand new piece we actually purchased for this room is a chaise that I’ve had my eye on for a long time.

modern living space for a family

I love to prop my feet up while I’m reading or watching television. It’s a weird and kinda of gross habit of mine to place my feet on the coffee table. I know it skeeves people out. It kind of skeeves me out if I really think about it. So when Christine and I made the decision to move our knock-off Eames chair and ottoman into the office downstairs, (more on that project here), I made her promise I could order this chaise.

I’m so glad I stuck to my guns on this one because I LOVE IT. I used it all weekend while we had guests in from out of town and I’ve fallen asleep on it approximately 100 times already. The best part? The back fully reclines, turning it into a Twin XL bed!

Our plan for the next house is to downsize, so we’re already thinking of ways we can still host our family and friends without having to pay for additional bedrooms in the purchase price. This purchase was an easy one to talk Christine into because it allows for exactly that! Her mom loves sleeping on our sofa (PB Grande with down-filled cushions), so we can let our daughter sleep on the chaise while any additional family members take over her bedroom (she has a full-sized bed). Two-for-one!

We spruced it up by adding these awesome modern legs, which we also added to our old sofa, to give it a cohesive look. You can read all about how we made over our existing sofa, instead of replacing it, here.

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The result is a newer-looking piece that should last us another five years!

modern furniture makeover

We also decided to keep our existing Ikea media cabinet but I wanted to make it feel slightly more modern as well. The piece is fabulous! It’s taken a bit of a beating over the last two moves, but it’s still sturdy. The clean lines compliment any decor style we throw at it, but I knew I could replace the drawer pulls to make it really stand out.

My simple fix? An oversized dowel rod, sliced to one-inch pieces, turned into knobs!

ikea Hemnes makeover - this easy hack makes the Hemnes line look so modern

You can read the full tutorial for making these knobs in last week’s ORC post.

These little furniture updates weren’t exactly free but they definitely didn’t break the bank!

Here’s the full cost breakdown and source list for the paint and carpet:
fabric dye – $9
replacement legs x10 – $35
new chaise – $275
total: $319

modern family room decor

If you’re keeping track, you may have noticed that we just hit the $1200 mark. So I put myself on a spending freeze and opted to style the space with accessories we already owned.

That’s relatively easy for me to do because I hoard art and decor. Plus, we wanted this space to truly be reflective of our family, so I was happy to finally pull out our most sentimental items from storage.

So many of the pieces you see on our shelves are our prized possessions –

kids room decor

We found this vintage measuring stick at an antique store when I was pregnant. It was during a trip to see Christine’s mom, who loves to go antiquing, and we just couldn’t pass it up. Since we move a lot, this is a great way for us to keep track of our daughter’s height without losing those precious marks every time we sell our homes.

displaying family heirlooms in a modern home

It’s not easy to incorporate family heirlooms into a modern home, but somehow we’ve made it work in this space. The Rock City birdhouse was a Mother’s Day gift from Christine to me a few years ago. The old suitcase and Reebok box were gifts from Christine’s late uncle when he passed away. In fact, a lot of what you see in this space came directly from Uncle Johnny, including that tabletop jukebox. One day, when we’re settled into a long-term home, we’ll bring home his full-sized jukebox but for now we’re proudly displaying this miniature version.

modern home decor mixed with vintage family treasures

On the other side of the media center, we’re proudly showing off Johnny’s soda bottle collection alongside my original Nintendo (which is the only video game I enjoy). These little retro vibes make the space feel collected, rather than cold.

You’ll also notice our rock collection which is stored in three large jars above our TV. Every time we go on a trip, we grab a rock. Then we write the place and date on it and add it to this jar. Easy and free souvenirs!

modern family room decor

These collections make the space feel so much more personal to use and we are truly proud to be able to display them. But that’s not the only way we brought in our personalities to this space.

We also added artwork on the walls that harkens back to our hobbies and passions (okay and a little to our youth).

artwork in a modern home

This little trio of art makes me oh-so-happy! The bottom piece is from The Printed Home, the center piece is actually one of my own graphic prints, and it’s all topped off with this precious photo of Christine and our daughter when she was just 3 days old.

On the flipside, I’m displaying Christine’s favorite art piece – a Doc Marten’s add from Hatch Show Prints, alongside an adorable Scrabble craft she received from her niece as a gift one holiday, and her record player. The Alphabet Print is also from The Printed Home.

modern home styling

I did actually spend just $12 more on this space. I found 2 yards of this stunning Kravet fabric in a remnants bin and used it to create a roll-down window shade for blocking the bright sun during daytime movie watching.

So that brings my total budget for this entire space to … drumroll … $1229!!

That’s not too bad for a complete overhaul, right?! Let’s take a look back so we can relish in how far we’ve come –

bonus room makeover - BEFORE
modern bonus room decor
using color in modern homes
modern family room decor ideas

It may not be the most drastic-looking difference you’ll see during the ORC this week, but it’s been massively drastic for our lives.

This room had previously been entirely ignored. I didn’t even want to go in there.

Now, we’re spending time as a family in here and I can’t wait to plop down on my new chaise to relax! I’d say that’s cause for celebration!


Now go check out the hundreds of other room reveals! I’ve been a long-time follower of the ORC™ and I’m always a little humbled and sentimental that it’s still around for me to participate in. So if you’re looking to kickstart a DIY home project or you just want to take a peek into the reality of renovating spaces, I highly encourage you to check it out.


Thanks, as always, to Linda Holt for bringing this event back every season! We love it as much as you do. And a super huge thanks to Better Home and Gardens and all of the amazing sponsors who keep this event going! You can see the full list of official sponsors here.


Thanks so much to WallArt Wall Decor for sponsoring this project!




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