One of my favorite clients called me for a consultation. She and her husband have recently down sized to a wonderful Condo in the city. The problem was, they brought nearly everything from their larger suburban house. Some of the furniture; which I has ordered for their home, was just too big for this condo. To add to this cluttered home, they had just inherited some more beautiful but large furniture from her mother. She asked me to come and advise them on what/how to proceed.
This was an interesting process, one that I myself had been through, and in some ways still battle with. If you are like me, you become attached to things. When my parents died, everything I had of theirs was sacred to me. I managed to fit, all of the furniture, rugs, and art from them into my home. Later, I would admit that it had become a shrine to them, and a visual reminder to me of what I had lost. It took me time but I decided to regain control of my home again, I had to reevaluate everything I had in my home. That is just what I did!
This room in my house was one of my shrines. Here I had my great grandmothers dining table, art, and knickknacks from my parents home. I thought being surrounded by these things would make me happy, after all I was rich with memories. When I reevaluated, I realized we needed to live in the room, not mourn in it. So I turned it into a living room.
The rug and the art, are all that made it into the new design. I love the room, it is lighter, more fresh and very welcoming.
Since I had to go through this process myself, I knew I could help my clients. I met with them and we developed our game plan. I made them promise to follow through with my advice.
We started by photographing every piece of furniture and art they owned, and printing the photos. We laid all of them out on the dining room table. I had her arrange the items into three categories Must Keep, May Keep & Could Go.
Once this was done we measured all of the must keep items and started a file with these photos and measurements. The second step was to arrange to sell or donate the Could Go pile, I had not told her but, this was really a must go category :).
Before tackling the final pile we looked for design inspiration on Houzz and Pinterest. I had her pick three photos she liked for each room we were tackling. Once she had done that, we would meet again and continue.
What did these photos tell me? It told me she was looking for a clean, streamline design for her home. Everything was neutral greys, tans and whites…and yet in her must keep pile there wasn’t much that reflected these colors or styles.
One problem many of us struggle with is the fact that we have invested in our furniture, and we think we must keep it forever. Unfortunately, when you move that furniture may not be right for your new space. I told her based on her design aesthetic, it might be time to revisit the must keep pile! I reminded her, we could sell what she does not want to keep!
We are now in that process…I will keep you posted.
Thanks for stopping by.
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