One of the fun challenges in owning a home is furnishing and decorating it in a style that is both comfortable and attractive. Of course, styles change over time, leaving us with the longing for a new look. We would love the luxury of having a periodic home makeover as seen on several television programs, but the reality is that most of our furnishings and decor evolve slowly as we acquire pieces we like. The slow change in decor poses one major question – What do I do with the old while adding newer furniture and accents? The answer? Use them together!
Antiques – furniture, accessories or artwork – are often relegated to unused rooms when newer items arrive, but the best rooms continue to use the good pieces from the past in combination with the new. Antiques add family heritage or regional history, while softening the space, making it both familiar and comfortable. Older pieces also remind us of gracious living, when we took time to converse with our friends and relatives. Wood, the material of choice in many antiques, tends to have a mellow feel that softens the lines of the metal and glass found in many contemporary furniture and accents.
When new furniture needs to be added, focus on comfort and quality. Comfort is very important because it makes one feel at home, instead of simply occupying a space. Quality can cost more initially, but ages well and allows one to use a piece longer. Think of it as a smart investment that develops a legacy to be enjoyed by several generations. The best items can be repurposed later, making them far more valuable than their initial investment.
The primary goal in mixing decor is to create a personal comfort zone. Collect and keep the artwork, furniture and accessories you love, the things that mean something to you. Use them as they were intended, or repurpose them creatively. Contrasting styles can blend together, just like different facets of your personality work together to make you a complete person. It’s your space – make it exciting, fun and comfortable!
If you have a mixture of furnishings, and are not sure how to make them work together, you might try emptying the room and begin again. Take a fresh look at each item, admiring its design, its history and its possibilities. Bring in each item in order of its importance to you, or take an underused piece and make it central. You may also have things currently in other rooms or in storage that deserve a new lease on life. Give them a try. If it doesn’t work, you can always change again. Remember, our needs and tastes change constantly, and so can your decor.
A house becomes a home through comfort, which is accomplished by warmth, relaxation and enjoyment of the accessories by its residents and guests. Whether new or old, quality furnishings are timeless, and several generations can work together to make your house a comfortable home.