Before and After: One Family's Journey

Before and after stories/photos are some of my favorite. Whether it is a beauty or home makeover I am always fascinated by the end result. How did they get there?

For me, one of my favorite before and after stories is my client Michele and her family. It started many years ago when her parents moved to be closer to her. The goal was to repurpose some of the furniture from the old family home into the new one. This was right up my alley; I love making old things new again.

We started in the living room; covering a camel back sofa in the 80s style floral (think Golden Girls). Since it was going to be in an open-concept room, we had to consider the style of the kitchen and eating nook. The kitchen chairs were covered in a powder-blue vinyl. Another important design element was two giant glass curio shelves that displayed treasured Lladro statues. All of these statues are glazed in soft blues, bone and taupe so our color palette was set. And we began designing the rest of the room.

I slipcovered the sofas in a textured brown fabric. Then we found a beautiful embroidered faux silk, in brown with blue and bone flowers for the drapes. We were able to make a valance for the kitchen to tie the kitchen chairs into the design. Our final step was to add an area rug and a floral arrangement in the same colors.

This story doesn’t end there. A few years later, the whole family moved to Texas and they brought the sofas with them. Now, the sofas sit in a family room with a completely different color scheme. The drapes and rug are dark green, red, burgundy and mocha. Since the sofas had been slipcovered in a neutral shade they easily fit into the color palette of the new room. For this project, I also slipcovered two barrel chairs, brought from New Jersey to Texas, in a red to help bring the room together.

Below, from top left to right, the sofa that started in all; repurposed for the first time in a textured brown fabric (pictures 2 and three); the sofa in the family room in Texas with a different color scheme (picture 4); barrel chairs slipcovered in red for the Texas family room (picture 5) and lastly, the blue and brown pillows, the rug, tables, centerpiece and curios with Llardro statues, from the South Jersey home in the Texas living room with new blue and brown floral valenace.

When Michele made the move to Texas, she was able to bring much of her furniture with her to her new home. These pieces included an upholstered headboard I had done for her daughter’s room, which was, unfortunately, damaged in the move. Not one to fret, Michele asked me to make a slipcover for the upholstered headboard (yes this can be done). She chose a cool green and white geometric print and matched it to a window bench in the room. Luckily, we were able to repurpose the window treatments I had made to match the original headboard. Spreading the print around the room, we added a runner to the dresser and a small pillow to the bed. Michele purchased bedding that really complimented the room. And finally added a comfortable chair in the green to finish off a great room for when her daughter visits.

I could go on and on telling you about the repurposing we did in these houses. This story shows by using fabrics and creativity they could keep their favorite things, but apply them in new ways. It brings me great joy to know that I have had a part in this family’s journey.

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