How to work with EXISTING furniture

We've all been there. You work your tail off for a sofa that you're madly in love with and put a lot of money into it. Five years later, your style has changed, but the sofa has not. You and your sofa may have grown apart, but there are absolutely ways to work with your existing furniture and incorporate your new style!

work with existing furniture: dress it up

I just did a project where the homeowner had a dark green sofa from a previous home. The living room in the new home lacked natural daylight and they felt as though they were living in a cave. They dreamed of a more traditional coastal style space, and were stuck with this modern green sofa.


Ignoring the green was not an option. Please don't try to bury those pieces and ignore that they exist. They do exist. Let's not put lipstick on a pig. Instead, we'll give our little pig a Miss Piggy overhaul. Yes, I know how bad that was... bear with me.

Beginning with a throw pillow that incorporated the green,as well as some of the homeowners' preferred colors, allowed us to branch out and incorporate those softer colors. Accessories used offered a transitional approach, hitting somewhere between the modern lines of the sofa and the soft traditional curve that was desired.


As I mentioned above, the color absolutely cannot be ignored. Once you do that, trust me, it will stand out even more. Instead, complement the color, find it in prints mixed with colors you do like. Use variations of the color to allow yourself to enjoy that color again! 

working with existing furniture: ADJUST THE STYLE

So, you love modern furniture, and you're stuck with an 80's puffy sofa. Play it up! Make it modern! Mix the styles, and introduce elements from the 80's that look good today (brass is making a HUGE comeback). In the example above, the homeowner wanted a more traditional, coastal look. Again, we can't ignore what is there, but introducing traditional elements as well as some pieces that share the same line as the sofa, the design becomes intentionally transitional. 

Wondering how the final space turned out? Me too, it's still coming together! Below is the concept board showing how bringing in these simple tips can make a piece that was previously thought to be an eyesore into a highlight!


Designing a Beach Home

As I mentioned in my post about Driftwood furniture, this is an easy area to fall overboard with (bad pun). With any "theme" in design, it is important to think abstractly and veer from the literal interpretation. A wonderfully designed "beachy" home, will rarely have seashell photo frames, anchors on the wall and sailboat murals.

I'm going to tell you a secret. Ready? The idea is to look at what these things have in common and pull from this. Now, this gets complex, but the gist of it is this… we want a "beachy" theme, so what does the beach make you think of? Stop saying "sand, shells, boats" and look more at texture, line, shape, color, harmony, and gradation. Every beach is a little different, of course, but think of YOUR beach, the one that you want to be reminded of every time you step through the door.

sandy beach, grass, driftwood

My beach is sandy, and littered with broken sea shellls. It has wispy grass and pebbles closer to the water line. The water is a grey-blue and the skies are clear. My beach is brimming with life. There are crabs under every rock and clams squirting me with every step. I have a place to play and a place to relax and enjoy the sun. Now, to interpret this: My beach has the following textures: grainy, rough wood, and smooth ripples. Lines are horizontal and long. Shapes are random and imperfect. Harmony and gradation may be seen in the blue, blue-green, and green-yellow colors. See where I'm going with this?


Okay, now everyone go to your favorite online store and pick one item for my beach house! Or, even better- describe your beach and then show me an item you've selected for it and explain why.