A masculine family room downstairs

I’m finally tackling our basement family room, and you guys, it’s a doozy.

This space gets very little natural light. It has sponge-painted creamy paint, a weirdly huge brick wall, a fireplace that isn’t cute but pumps the room full of heat (so it has to stay), and an awkwardly long footprint.

But it has its advantages too. This is the only room with a TV, and I love that—no loud shows being blasted throughout the house. It’s also a good-sized room, so if we get decent furniture, we should be able to seat a crowd. And exposed brick is exposed brick, even if its presence is unexplainable. (For the record, I’m pretty sure that brick box is concealing an old fuel tank that was long ago abandoned.)

So I’m trying to get the room shipshape, and I’ve been buying a few things to get the job done. First up, and what I’m most excited about, is the rug. I knew I wanted a Southwest-style rug for a long time; I love how masculine they feel, and I love the saturated colors. I finally found a good one with a great price tag and pulled the trigger:


They say to always get the biggest rug you can make work in a space, so I bought the 9X12. It’s 100 percent wool, so I hope it doesn’t shed like a pack of golden retrievers, but we shall see.

A little dab of the Southwest can easily morph into full-on lodge if you aren’t careful, but here are a few inspo pics that show how the motif can work in small doses.



via—this is easily one of my favorite interior photos of all time. I would buy that chair today if I could find it.



A few other things going in here: A really great 48-star flag that I snagged at an antique store. Not sure how I’m going to display it yet, but the colors will work well with the rug. The images below show two hanging options:



We also bought a real sectional we are excited about since our kids jumped on our West Elm one until it broke.

Lastly, a couple years ago I found a letterman’s sweater at an estate sale in the tiny town where I grew up. The sweater is emblazoned with an “I” for Iona High School, which was demolished when I was in third grade (all the elementary students helped move the desks and books from the old school to the new—talk about child labor, ha!). I snatched up that sweater and had it framed in a shadow box, and it’ll hang in the family room too. The one below isn’t mine, but it gives you an idea of what I’ve got.


I’m hoping the family room can look lots better without me having to paint it (yet). I also hope to find some kind of armoire or console for the TV and also for displaying my collection of plaid wool blankets, which would be right at home in this boyish, sports-friendly, varsity-inspired room.

More pics to come! •


2 thoughts

  1. Can’t wait to see this room all finished! I love the small touches of the Southwest too and I think it can work with a lot of different decor. The flag and shadow box will be cool editions too. Great inspiration here!


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