How to Update Your Traditional Décor

You can make family heirlooms feel fresh with 
accessories and new fabrics.

My client, Jeanne had inherited several pieces from her parents and wasn't sure how to make it all work.

Here it is before with the dining furniture in the front 
and the sitting area furniture in back.
Everything was too cramped and that far wall looked empty 
with just the gilt mirror.
I bumped my shin on this table and the rug wasn't working.

 So, we flipped the furniture and brought in a smaller sofa that Jeanne had in another room.

and it feels much more spacious 
(sorry about the dark photo).

When I came back the second time, I had Jeanne put all her great accessories in one place...and we shopped it

and re-accessorized everything.

Her parent's chairs were updated with reupholstery in 
Barclay Butera's Greek Key.
 I made this wall more of a focal point by putting the sofa table (that was dividing the room before) here, changing the mirror and adding dining chairs that can be pulled up to the sitting area. 
The sea fans were brought in from the family room
 (more on the changes in there in my next post).
 We brought Jeanne's grandmother's chest 
(from when she immigrated from Scotland) in here 
and added accessories like these cool 
alabaster grapes from her parents house in the '60's. 
The new square pillows are in 
Martin Lawrence Bullard's "Sultan Suzani."
We were going to recover and stain her existing Bergere chairs, but Jeanne found these on sale at Restoration Hardware
...and I like them better.  

Woodyliana custom made the linen lumbar pillows with Schumacher/Mary McDonald "Madame Wu" fretwork 
(Li hand stitched the iron-on appliqué for durability).
Notice how the pillows match the back of the built-in cabinet?
(We opened the cabinet doors to show you.  
Jeanne painted them a shade from Farrow and Ball).
I'm so happy that Jeanne's family uses 
this memento filled room.

Oh...and we accessorized the entry, too.

 This silver tray was a retirement gift given to Jeanne's dad.

Do you use items passed down in your family?

Can't wait to show you what we did in their family room!
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  1. Jeanne had so many beautiful pieces to begin with, your editing and changes really made them shine.

  2. You worked your magic and this all looks fabulous now. Love the RH chairs. One of these days I am going to get some on sale at the outlet after I finish saving for my trip to France.

  3. Such a nice transformation. MaryAnn, you are the queen of vignettes too!
    Happy Monday.

  4. What a great transformation, Mary Ann! The new furniture arrangement makes such a difference. The space definitely looks more current with your lovely fabric choices. Just beautiful!
    ~ Wendi

  5. You have been a brilliant busy bee!!!!
    Love what you did for Jeanne's home!

  6. It's amazing how a fresh perspective can completely reimagine a space. I love the dining area by the fireplace, and the fabric on the dining chairs totally changes them up.

  7. The room now looks fabulous and more spacious. What a huge difference!! I love that Martin Lawrence Bullard fabric. My friend just used it in her FL home.

  8. Looks much improved! The RH chairs are beautiful!

  9. Great job updating this space Mary Ann. Love those Schumacher lumbars by Woody Liana...she is so good. And how cool to have such a big dining room table to seat a big group. Looking forward to seeing the family room :)

    Have a great day Mary Ann...

  10. I really love this and that the owner wanted to make her heirlooms work! I really liked the way you mixed all the wood tones. I am really struggling with this right now.. I have lots of warm pine and have recently added in some bare/grey woods and some darker woods... The pine is screaming orange and it's really bothering me. I see that you worked in some of these same elements so I am going to "study" how you did this... can't wait to see the rest!! Marcy

  11. This is divine!! Love. it. all. Fantastic job. M.

  12. It is more amazing what fresh eyes can see in a space. I want to use my family pieces more, and this gave me some new ideas. It looks great.

  13. Beautiful job, Mary Ann! The fabric on the chairs give them such a fresh look. I love the idea of having clients pull all their accessories together to shop from.

  14. Love what you put together, Mary Ann! Especially love all of the fabrics!! Can't wait to see more!

  15. Fabulous transformation! I love classics and you made them look fresh and not too fussy! LOVE IT!

  16. Wow. This looks amazing. Some really clever and beautiful changes. I love that you updated their older pieces, it makes for such great personality. And the pillows are to die for. Seriously :)

  17. Outstanding..!Loved the new look especially the dinning room..:)

    Android Developer

  18. What a wonderful transformation....love how you rearranged things. It now has a nice flow to it..

  19. Wow....another FABULOUS transformation! I love how you opened up the room, worked with the wonderful family pieces that she had, shopped things from her own collection of great accessories then pulled the whole thing together with a few new pieces and Li's gorgeous pillows! It has an eclectic feel of old and new and feel so inviting and up-to-date!
    You are amazing and so talented Mary Ann! Can't wait to see more!

  20. With a little tweaking, you really transformed the space. The new fabrics and the RH chairs Jeanne picked out are gorgeous! And those Asian chests of hers...so beautiful.

    We have a few large pieces of artwork that were given to us by my in-laws, and a wrought iron patio set my dad and step-mom handed down to me many years ago.

    Linda in S.D.

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  22. I absolutely love reading these posts Mary Ann - it always amazes me how a few new accessories and a fresh eye can literally transform a room! Now that I have a little "brathing room" you've inspired me to take a fresh look at my rooms!!

  23. Whoa Nelly! Awesome! I love that the family pieces were incorporated in a current way. Next time I go home to visit my parents I will "shop" their storage room;) Great post.b

  24. The entry and the sofa table wall are beautiful...I'll be pinning them! Hoping you had a lovely holiday weekend

  25. Mary Ann,
    Jeanne was so smart to hire you! What a wonderful feel and look you gave to her room. Love all of the touches. Especially love the Madame Wu applique on the pillows. I am having Liana make some pillows for my family room, what a joy she is to work with!
    Happy Tuesday,

  26. Love all these beautiful homes you are sharing, they are right up my alley! Love all the colours, the use of blue and white, touches of black and that perfect mix of traditional with a bit of a modern update. Thanks for the inspiration. Heavenly.

  27. Nice job, Mary Ann. What a pretty home and I love the accessories mixed with the great furnishings.

  28. And I can't wait to see what you did in the family room. It's amazing what moving around furniture, great pillows and a few accessory changes can do. Just love the wall with the mirror and fans and flipping the rooms was a perfect solution!! Great job!

  29. Mary Ann,
    I looked at this last night and had to come back again just to soak up all the great details. I love how you work...with treasures that people already have, but the way you group things and put them all together really brings out the charm and beauty of it all. When are you coming to NY? I think my house needs your eye!

  30. Great re-do using everything she already had! I especially love how you gathered all her accessories and then "shopped" them and rearranged. Brilliant!

  31. Love how this turned out! She must be so pleased!! Quick question -- would a PB slipcovered sofa work with two wing chairs? Or is that mixing casual and traditional too much? Thanks!


  32. I love splash of blues on the textile and the chinese ginger jar. The whole room looks very warm, inviting, beautiful and cozy! Love it!


  33. I love how this looks so fresh and young. Brilliant re-design!


  34. Do you know the paint color on the back of the cabinet? The whole room is lovely.

  35. Just by rearranging the furniture and accessorizing with new, fresh fabrics and Jeanne's heirlooms, you created a beautiful updated room that feels so warm and inviting. Great job! Can't wait to see what you do next! ~Delores

  36. Love this room re do! You really have a great eye for coastal design! XO

  37. This looks great! I particularly like the greek key chair fabric.

  38. What a beautiful transformation!!! It always amazes me how something as simple as flipping spaces and rearranging furniture can have such a big impact. Of course with your attention to detail it all goes up several (dozen) notches too Mary Ann! :-)

  39. So beautiful, love the blue! I love family heirlooms and antiques, nice to see how you have freshened them up with fabric!
    Amaze Me Monday is linked up, would be great to have you share!

  40. Wow, this was awesome and looks like it should be in a Veranda magazine, maybe you should submit some photos, or to traditional home magazine. Seriously............

    Loved the white and the touches of that pretty blue, and swapping the furniture
    was a great idea.

    Good going!! and hope they are loving their new rooms.

    blessings, Nellie

  41. Wow, what a stunning transformation! Thanks for sharing your ideas and decorating tips.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  42. The room looks wonderful with the new arrangement and the family treasures. I just incorporated some of my hubby's parents' treasures into our home and just love it.

  43. wow - the entire house looks so great! you did a really, really good job. love the slipped chairs in the family room!

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