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Rec Room Makeover Progress and “Official” Design Plans

We have lift off at the Carney Project! A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how we were giving a rec room / playroom / gameroom makeover to our sweet neighbors, but I never really gave y’all the “before” tour or shared the “official” plans.

So here’s the space we’re starting with! (Did you already see the progress on Instagram?!)

It’s a good sized space and gets so much great light, but the 50ish year-old built-in shelves had seen better days. And the carpet was ready to retire.

I have the idea to give them TRIPLE the amount of storage by ripping down the existing shelves and installing an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling cabinets with a window seat so that they have ample space for storing toys, school supplies, craft supplies, and anything else they might need for their family of 11.

Since the kids range from college-age to preschool, I hope to create a space that grows well with them and doesn’t feel too childish, but also doesn’t shy away from color.

The parents are military veterans and the family loves Carolina Panthers, so I thought it would be fun to weave together red, white, and blue along with a nod to Panthers teal. I didn’t want to put things together just to make them “pretty”. I wanted it to feel personal just for them.


Last week, we started demo and THIS was the aftermath. It always looks worse before it looks better, right?!

We ripped out the shelves, pulled up the old carpet, and put down a new subfloor.

Robert hauled in the cabinets and set them up so we can get a general idea of the layout. The TV will go on that left side, a window seat with storage will go in the middle, and 5 tall cabinets will go on the right side where the kids can do homework and crafts at the table that will eventually sit on that side of the room.

Our original plan was to use IKEA cabinets, but EVERYTHING is out of stock for the foreseeable future, so these cabinets are Plan B.

That’s all probably clear as mud. Haha! But that’s where we are.

We’ll be sharing ALL of the adventures in Instagram Stories over the next couple of weeks. I’m dying to see it all come together!

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  1. Do you have a DIY post detailing how to use the pre-fabbed cabinets as a bench? We are trying to create a built in within a space in our office

  2. Thanks for sharing your projects! I am renovating our living/dining room and was looking for cabinets with similar color as the ones in this projects. Was your initial plan to paint the IKEA cabinets? if yes, do you mind sharing the cabinets that you were looking at and the painting technique? I have see that people paint IKEA cabinets but I have never done it and I am scare to ruin the cabinets… any advise?