Moving and Making Things Works

Have you ever moved to a new house and struggled to make your “old” furnishings work in the new environment? This challenge recently faced a client of mine, “Sue”. I had worked with her just last year on purchasing and arranging furnishings in her previous rented home. An unexpected development forced her to move not too long after that, and this time she purchased a condo. Sue knew that her talents did not include composing rooms, so she unpacked, had all the accessories out and in view, and called me.


Sue LOVED her new place, but, her style was casual and “everything beach”. The practically new, custom valances in the living room would be a problem since they did not “go” with her casual natural canvas slip-covered sofa and chair. She also could not justify the expense of replacing them just yet: we would have to work around them.

Another major decision we made before we started to decorate the room was that she did not need to limit her living space by squishing a dining room table in the window end of the room. Sue said she did not entertain really at all, unless it was a friend or two, and then they were likely to eat out, so the small cafe table she had in the kitchen area would suffice.

The first challenge were the valances. We really needed an area rug for the conversation area that would ground the room and, along with accessories keep the eye from settling on the fancy valances. It would need to be a somewhat dark rug to balance the visual weight of the valances. Since Sue’s apartment had wall-to-wall carpeting, and she did not own any rugs to consider, this would be her one necessary purchase. We found the hooked perfect rug at Pottery Barn which had all the colors of the valances but a more casual style. It worked wonders.

Next, since her new bedroom could not accommodate two side tables the absolutely dreamy lamps we bought for the old bedroom needed to work in the living room, which they did, even though the shades were quite wide. While her current side tables were too small, we had two tables that we could put tablecloths on and use as side tables. After being in the Pottery Barn catalog Sue fell in love with the idea of buying 2 side tables and a coffee table, which she did.

Many of the accessories and art she had in the apartment living room did not work in the new space but Sue had enough to work with and just about everything found a proper home somewhere!

I forgot one new purchase: the adorable dog! While he would not let me go anywhere near him, he seemed to know when I was taking after pictures and jumped right up next to the dog pillow and posed. He was adopted at eight months and must have had previous experience as a dog model: look but don’t pat!