Making Space: An Open Concept Family Room Re-Imagined in New Canaan

Sep 4, 2021

By: Sue DeChiara, B&NC Mag Homes Editor

Photos: Jane Beiles

Jeanne Collins, of JerMar Designs, is an outstanding local designer, known for her ability to completely reimagine a space. …So when a New Canaan family approached her about a big redesign of their large family ‘great’ room, Jeanne was excited to take on the challenge.

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The family wanted to transform their old-fashioned, yellow, ‘den’, located adjacent to the kitchen, with heavy dark wood features and a big brown sectional sofa, into a white, modern, and very zen space, which would still be inviting and comfortable. The room needed to be beautiful, but also durable enough to withstand the family’s three active kids, ranging in age from elementary to high school, and an adorable dog.

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The family had lived in their home for several years, but previously focused on changing structural components of the house. They hired JerMar Designs to embark on this transformation of the main space in their home interior. And in just six months, JerMar completed the mission, creating serene and functional open-concept space – complete with a loft and bar and an eat-in dining area.

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It was important for the family to have lots of plush seating and plenty of TV viewing spots. The space can comfortably seat ten.

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All of the walls, ceilings and beams were painted super white to brighten up the space and allow for a clean-feeling color palette. The floors, handrails and stairs were stained a combination stain which has both gray and brown in it to keep the floors warm, pull out the gray in the stone fireplace, and also compliment the brown stained floors in the adjacent rooms. Flanking the fireplace, two new large windows were installed to provide fabulous views to the back property, as well as adding balance around the fireplace. The windows, French doors and their trim were painted semi-gloss black for a modern look.

The new rug is larger to take advantage of the spacious room which allows for a larger seating area.  In addition, the rug materials are soft, durable and comfortable, enabling children to lay on the floor while watching TV. All of the furniture has rounded edges to provide a safe space for the younger ones. There is a custom oversized ottoman in the center of the room which can be used to prop up feet or be a place to put a drink or plate. All of these furnishings were custom made using stain resistant and Crypton fabrics that can withstand the heavy use of this family! The family has already put the furniture to the test with dirt, chocolate, ketchup, and Gatorade.

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The plywood shelving surrounding the lofted bar and the sitting area was removed and was replaced with bespoke shelving for bottles as well as a custom designed built-in that houses glassware, additional beverages, and games.

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The completely satisfied client summed up how the new space feels perfectly, “I never realized how stressed the yellow made me feel. The final room transformation has resulted in a modern, sleek and luxurious space where we now congregate. We worked with JerMar to design the new room to be lived in, used and enjoyed by our growing family, and it worked – we love the room and now spend most of our time together in this great space!”

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