Denison Drive, Springfield, Illinois

Today we're off to our second Springfield home, this time in Illinois. This is a ranch home built in 1974. 

Our first stop is the family room. No doubt about the focal point of the room here.

Ok, lots of things we could do with this wall, so let's start with the easiest, and go from there.

This option (Marysia Reeves' home from Rue Magazine) lets us keep the brick wall as is, and just adds shelves to break it up a little. I like how everything on the shelves is the same color-- I think that's important against all the brick color variation in our house.

This next option by Emily Summers Design would involve painting the brick and adding an off-center mantel, like what I showed at Fiore Bella

The gray bricks would be on-trend, and I like the variation of shades, instead of a solid wall of gray. Gray would also tie in for my plans for the rest of the house.

For either of those two options, I'm picturing a really organic bench along the brick, something like this, by Robert Schutz of Tesuque Design. (no affiliation)

It would make the wall of brick seem more like a deliberate design choice, almost like a gallery feel.

But let's say your taste runs a little more romantic and softer. Let's put our decorative painting skills to the test, and go for this effect I found on Pinterest:

The wood beams would be nice, too, but that's more than a weekend project, and you'll probably have a hard enough time convincing your husband that the brick should be painted. This photo led me to this next option designed by Cathy Kincaid, which I realize has stone, not brick, but this is the overall design direction I want to use for this house. 

The furniture arrangement is nice, too, and very similar between all of our options.

Next up, the kitchen. 

With a wave of our imaginary paintbrush, the cabinets are now white with chrome hardware, and we'll work around the counters for now.  Are you a fan of open shelving in the kitchen? 

This kitchen styled by Donna Talley was featured by Better Homes and Gardens and Hooked on Houses.

Not a fan of open shelving? 

How about just a few glass cabinet doors, instead? What I really want to take away from this is the focal end wall. The blue and white wallpaper (or blue paint from the previous kitchen) can give a tired  kitchen a little oomph, and draw your eye through the space. It will frame the view nicely for the dining room beyond. 

See how Marian's chalkboard wall in her pretty kitchen draws your eye, and you notice the view it frames?

This is the current dining space. We need to give a view worth framing. 

I'd like to see some cabinets around the dining area window, to add a little architectural interest and delineation to the room, like this, as featured by Donna Griffith Photography:

Now to tie it in to the living room, since they're open to each other. 

I think this design by Shannon Bowers works nicely. For these two rooms it's just all about adding key touches of blue and white- very easy to duplicate with the chairs, stool, pillows, and pottery.

Oh, my goodness, I found a lot of beautiful inspiration for this house. I would be even more long-winded if I included it all here, so check out my Denison board on Pinterest for more. 

For great ideas to completely re-work a wall-to-wall fireplace, read Layla's post here.

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