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Changing a Room’s Style

Updated: Feb 11

(Originally published in the Napa Valley Register)


Are you tired of your home’s current decor? Do you have another style in mind that you’d like to create but don’t want to start from scratch? How do you do this without feeling overwhelmed, confused, or concerned about the cost?


Start by taking a tour of each room in your house and make note of the pieces you already have that fit the new style you want. While you’re at it, ask yourself whether some pieces would be better suited in different rooms.


Next, prioritize the rooms you want to change. Stick with one room at a time so your endeavors do not become overwhelming. What are the most practical and cost-effective changes you can make? Let’s say you’re starting with your living room which has bold colors and heavy wood. It’s formal, traditional and Mediterranean in style and you’d like to create a casual, light, farmhouse look.


If your upholstery is bold and colorful, you can either buy new pieces or reupholster or slipcover your current ones. A natural, taupe-color linen comes to mind when I think of light farmhouse, especially in a living room. The size and configuration of your space room will determine how many upholstered pieces will fit. If it’s a small room, replace any bulky upholstered chairs for a pair of Fauteuil or Berger chairs (open, wood-framed chairs with back and seat cushions). If it’s a large room, you might keep the bulky chairs, reupholster them, and still add the airier chairs. There are a lot of fabric options for these chairs – the same linen as the sofa, a different color linen, a linen-velvet, or a linen print. The print can be a pattern, words written in script, or an animal pattern – yes, even in a farmhouse. It adds a little unexpected personality. If all of the upholstery is covered in solid fabric, add a bench or two in a printed fabric.


Swap out any heavy rug with a light-colored one. Seagrass or sisal (both woven grass) is price-friendly, neutral in color, and works with any décor. If you have dark wood pieces, some or all might stay. Just sprinkle in other wood pieces that are painted or washed in a light colored. This will break up the heaviness. Once you’ve chosen all your fabrics, next pick out a new, light wall color. Lastly, scan your accessories and adjust those that don’t fit with your new style.


The idea in changing a room’s style is to re-purpose some existing pieces and then exchange or layer in new ones that reflect your new style.

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