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!


Rachel McBraggypants

That should be my new name, because my last post was about how I'm.... um.... the BEST. And, now I have to share that I WON AN AWARD!!! It is such an honor, and it still feels a bit surreal. I am absolutely floored. I designed a space that I entered into a competition with hundreds of other designers... and I won second place in the 2014 Northwest Design Awards. 


I am bouncing back and forth between thinking, "Well, of course I won! It is a BEAUTIFUL kitchen. We did SO MUCH on a tight budget and it came together wonderfully" and "That was my FIRST project as an entrepreneur. How could it possibly win in a competition?!" It's like I just pushed my toddler out into the Olympics and he came in second in a race. I went from toddling to flying in a heartbeat. Could it really be real?

Yup, it's real. Take a look:

My husband compared me today to the dad from the moving "A Christmas Story" with his "Fra-gee-lay" leg lamp. He's not far off. When that award arrives, it will receive a very special place in my office where I can view it while I work!


The project that won this award may be viewed here.

Stay tuned- I have more photos coming up next month on a master bath and more still in June of a work in progress- a full home remodel!