My husband, Chris, and I are renovating our 160-year-old Greek Revival on the New England coast. Our goal is to preserve the character and design period of this home while updating it for everyday use. I’m all about finding rare antiques and pairing them with current design elements like fun pillows that offer bursts of color. Here are some of my tips to freshen any older home with modern elements to create a transitional look.
TIP: Decorate With Old Books
In the family room, the living (and just about every room) I’ve loaded the bookshelves with hardcover books that I bought in second-hand bookstores. I’ve even found a few at our local library’s book sales! It’s not hard to find hardcover books and you can often get them quite cheaply. They add a degree of history to any room and help merge the old and the new. I found this nautical rope bookend which adds a burst of gold color and coastal flair.
Tip: Hit the antique shops!
I love finding gems like this rustic bench. If you’re willing to really look, you can find some amazing bargains. I paired the wooden bench (which I stripped down and restrained) with these cheerful coastal pillows to freshen the look.
TIP: Mix and match patterns
Don’t be afraid to mix and match. You can get creative. I used a blue navy pillow here with gold detailing alongside two very busy patterned pillows.
TIP: Buy Bigger Pillow Inserts
For a better look, when buying inserts for pillows, make sure to buy one size larger than the pillowcase itself. This means if your pillow cover is 16×16–you should buy an 18×18 insert. It will help the pillow stay full over time. Also, I prefer the down alternative. If you’re allergic to down like me, this substitute is a great option and also, less expensive.
Stay tuned for more decorating and home tips from me. Much more to come!