I imagine we all get the feeling at one time or another that our home needs a good shake-up. Maybe we have become bored with the similarity of it all, or have tired of a color we once thought was totally hip. Perhaps the couch is sagging, or the bedroom’s a bit of a mess. The list goes on, and I can hear you adding your pet grievances as you read. Rather than hold a giant yard sale and start over again, I have a better idea.
My first solution is usually to repaint the walls. A fresh new color will always work wonders, whether you choose to make a subtle adjustment to the shade you have now, or pick a different palette altogether. But there’s another approach that’s worth exploring. It might appear to be radical, but all you need are a few strong arms and a nice day. Empty your rooms, carry all the furniture out to the front lawn and then move back only what you like and need. Move one or two or more pieces to a different room, and try out different locations or angles with the rest. The new room arrangements will lift your spirits – it’s like moving house, only far more economical.
Here are some ideas: Move a bedside table to the hall beside an old dining-room chair, and give both a new finish that will connect them, such as a coat of paint or a stain, a distressed finish or some gilding, and add a colorful chair cushion. Reposition a lamp that has been transformed by a new shade, or hang a chandelier in the living room. Turn a cot into a daybed, which is suitable for any room, layered with fabric that suits its space. Ottomans can double as tables, topped with a decorative tray for in front of the couch or at the end of the bed.
Reupholster the family-room sofa with waterproof fabric in a warm-weather hue for the deck. And check out some outdoor furniture that will look great inside too. As you experiment with all the pieces that you have, you will be amazed by the positive outcome.
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The summery room seen here shows what can be accomplished with some fabulous fabric and a clever eye for mixing traditional with modern. Designers Guild has fashioned a room around the imaginative play of old and new surfaces and furnishings, and you can replicate this sunny ambiance with a few simple touches. Work with what you have first, and then add a bit of new paint, fabric or wallpaper.
Classic wallpaper and floral draperies are paired with the distressed gray wood doors and mantel. The weathered iron garden table makes no apologies set between couches in brilliant floral-hued stripes. Old sconces that flank the fireplace have been livened up with a bold array of tiny lampshades. Visit the Designers Guild Web site for a feast of these summer colors inspired by country gardens and cottages: www.designersguild.com. Fabrics and wallpaper are available through your designer. You can now order their bedding and accessories online.
If you take up the challenge and impose a furniture switch on your unsuspecting rooms, I’d like to hear about it, and in a few months I’ll share a selection of your stories for us all to enjoy. Please e-mail with a photo to the address below.
Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.