As I work with remodel clients to plan beyond the reno to the actual interior design, I find most aren’t looking to create a show home – but their “own home” – unique and personal. Especially now, as more clients opt to “live in place” regardless of age, they want their remodel to reflect themselves – their personalities, their families, their travels, their memories. In essence, to become a sanctuary of things that bring them comfort and enjoyment. To that end, here are tips for putting your stamp on your renovated space in tasteful and stylish ways.
Sometimes, case goods (e.g., dining tables/chairs, credenzas) and soft furnishings (e.g., sofas, chairs) have special meaning. If you simply can’t part with these, consider refinishing or reupholstering. Some refinishers can “dip and strip” solid wood and wood veneer pieces and then apply a completely different stain or paint color. Likewise, upholsterers can reshape pieces to make them more comfortable or to change their look completely. Remember, though, refinishing and reupholstering can easily cost as much as buying new. So, use discretion regarding pieces to keep.
In addition to refinishing and reupholstering, consider the third “re” – repurposing. Many items that hold a special place in your heart can find a special place in your home. Old ladder, door, trunk – new bookshelf, table, bench. These are the pieces that make a house, your home.
I often come across homes where myriad photos in ragtag frames overwhelm a credenza, end or coffee table. Not only is it impossible to actually see and enjoy these photos, but it becomes a nuisance to dust around them. I suggest:
- choosing a few photos to display on your furniture. Leave them in their original frames, if the frames are in good condition. If not, purchase new ones. They don’t have to be identical (or expensive) frames – just complementary.
- choosing other photos to display on a collage wall. Again, use complementary, individual frames or a single, larger frame with individual compartments.
- relegating the remainder of photos (after a ruthless purge) to an attractive photo album that can serve as a coffee table book and/or filing them electronically.
The Art of Art
If you love your artwork but not its frame, change the latter. What a difference a new frame can make to beloved pieces! If you have an artwork deficit, consider transforming some of those photos (above) into works of art in custom sizes using free apps and online services. Then, hang the art correctly. A general rule is to install it at eye level and roughly 60” from center to floor. Moreover, give it just 4” to 6” above furniture and leave just 3” to 4” between collage art. During the remodel itself, ensure proper lighting is strategically placed to wash the walls where pieces will hang. All these guidelines result in easy viewing and a gallery look.
Accent on Accessories
Like photos, decorative accessories – souvenirs, collector’s items, trophies, books – can be curated and one or some displayed on shelves to represent the rest. Your favorite artwork can also sit or lean on shelves, instead of hanging on walls.
These design tips ensure your post-reno interiors are truly a reflection of you. Using cherished objects in new, creative and discerning ways allows you to express yourself, define your surroundings and make your house your own.
Did You Know…
As part of our post-reno design package, Renovations by Hearth and Home can help you organize, curate and display cherished possessions. Check out some of our latest work.