If you’re looking for ways to help your home “age well”—or to make a new home suit your style—start with your favorite furniture. Believe it or not, you can refresh your décor using antiques, family heirlooms, or beloved favorites.
The trend of repurposing furniture is still hot, according to Marisela Panzarella, designer and move-in coordinator at Splendido, an all-inclusive community for those 55 and better in Oro Valley. When residents first move to Splendido, Marisela helps them with space planning and design. Typically, this includes help with downsizing and selecting which furniture to bring—but in the case of Splendido’s spacious new Villa Homes, this is probably not necessary.
“The Villas are large enough that many who move into these gorgeous new homes will be able to fit most or all of their furniture—it’s a question of taking advantage of the move to update and refresh their decor,” says Marisela.
A New Take on Old Pieces
“Even when you’re moving, you can hold onto the furniture that’s meaningful to you,” Marisela says. “Those pieces can be used as accents to your new decor. Think beyond painting—you can reupholster chairs or sofas, change out chair or table legs, and update hardware on drawers.”
You can also repurpose certain pieces. If you have a beautiful buffet in your dining room that you no longer have space for, it can be transformed into a media/TV center, or as a storage/tabletop in your foyer.
“I worked with a resident here who had a Bombay chest in her bedroom,” recalls Marisela. “When she moved in, she had it painted all black and put a glass top on it, and now it sits in her living room between two chairs. It looks stunning!”
Dressers are very versatile. An attractive dresser can be repurposed wherever you need storage. “I’ve seen people place them in foyers, dining rooms, and practically every room of the home including bathrooms,” says Marisela. “Whatever your plan, I’d recommend painting a dresser a bold color—someone here at Splendido painted a dresser a beautiful indigo blue—or consider black with gold accents; that can look very sophisticated. You can even add a glass or granite top.”
“If you do repurpose a piece, the goal is to make it a statement; it’s meant to stand out,” Marisela explains. “You don’t have to base your whole décor around it, but you don’t want it to disappear.”
What to Do with Your Older Furniture?
If you have pieces you don’t want to repurpose, or don’t have room for, don’t be surprised if your family doesn’t want them either. Today’s tastes run toward minimalism—think tiny houses and decluttering—and your children and grandchildren don’t necessarily want a full dining room set or a bedroom suite, even if they are valuable family heirlooms.
“In cases, like this, I’d suggest you try a good consignment shop and see if you can get some money for pieces you love,” says Marisela. “The repurposing trend is so big right now that people are looking for older pieces. However, stores won’t necessarily take everything—they know what will sell and what won’t—so be prepared to be turned away. For items you can’t sell, I’d recommend donating to a good cause like Habitat for Humanity.”
Colors & Trends in 2019
Marisela says new trends in color are emerging for interior design. “Gray is slowly being phased out, although rich dark and saturated grays are still very ‘in,’ as are corals and rusts. Yellow—more specifically mustard yellow—is still very popular and now is even being joined by much more brilliant tones,” she says.
Colors from fashion collections will soon transition into home décor, including shades from dark wine to purplish. “Look for these on walls and couches,” says Marisela. “Deep greens will also be popular when paired with golds and brass accents.”
We’ll also see more opulent fabrics coming back—but used in small touches. “Smooth velvet will be the ‘it’ material for the year; we’re going to be seeing a lot of that!” Marisela says. “And clean lines are still big, as is keeping things simple and uncluttered.”
Take another look around your home, and this time imagine which furniture might be repurposed to fit in your new home or your new décor.