Family Room Makeover – Darien, IL

The Setup

When remodeling a kitchen with an open-concept design, it often makes sense to refresh nearby rooms. The sense of renewal in the area involves a new energy that comes from fresh designs, updated color palettes and artful new ways of living. Why not extend the intention throughout the main floor of a home?

That was the case with Samantha Schoell’s clients in Darien. A new dry bar took its cues from the new open kitchen. This nearby family room also felt like an extension of the new kitchen.

Design objectives

  • Make the fireplace wall more eye catching
  • Area for displaying art and entertainment items
  • More storage

The Remodel

 Design challenges:

  • Adding storage to the fireplace wall without making it feel overwhelming
  • Having an open-concept design and bringing in aspects of the kitchen into the living space

The  Renewed Space 

Design solutions:

  • With the area on each side of the fireplace being blank, it allowed for a perfect place to add base cabinet storage and floating shelves for diplaying items
  • Since you could see the living area from the kitchen, to make it all blend together we used the same doorstyle and finish as the island cabinets in the kitchen. The fireplace hearth has the same quartz stone as the kitchen and the light fixture is a matching set with the linear pendant from the kitchen.
  • The cabinet below the TV needed space for speakers and ventilation for the cable box units that tend to get very hot. Adding speaker mesh allowed for ventilation but it was very unappealing to the eye. To spruce it up, we added a beautiful decorative metal diamond grille!

The new family room harmonizes nicely with the new kitchen and dry bar. The updated look and functionality offer a refreshing, comfortable feel that pairs well with typical activities on the first floor… dinner and a movie, cocktails and music… the family tells us they absolutely love their home even more now!

Size of Space:
  • 15′ length

Built-ins and floating shelves

  • Brand: Grabill
  • Finish: Greystone Glaze
  • Door style: Hampshire

Fireplace Hearth

  • Brand: Impact
  • Type: Quartz
  • Color: Stratus


  • Brand: Grabill
  • Type: Wood
  • Color: Greystone Glaze to match cabinets
Special Features:
  • Custom metal grille and speaker cloth 
  • Custom wood tops to match cabinets
  • Wood mantel to match cabinets


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