Downsizing and A New Lease on Life

I have been working with a designer friend and her long-time friend and client who is downsizing. We needed to decide what to keep and what to sell or give to charity; this was no easy task, since the client was downsizing was from a 5,000 square foot home down to a home measuring just under 2,000 square foot country cottage built in the late 1930’s. The house had been maintained nicely, and some improvements had been made, but paint was the first order of business. 

We also had to determine which pieces of furniture were the most important to the client, and then determine what actually would fit. In their present condition, the pieces to be moved were not going to suit the new cottage surroundings. We determined that painting and stripping of dark, shiny finishes would have to occur in order to make the furniture fit into the French Country Cottage theme on which the client had decided.

At this point, I thought my work was done, but not so fast, I discovered. There was a round oak table with a heavily grained surface that needed to be painted to add a little elegance. There also was a corner cabinet with a shiny and somewhat more modern look that needed some work. Once we got into the house, a neighbor donated a tiered pie crust table painted in a Shabby Chic type finish, but it was a bit too busy for our plans. Additionally, two perfectly sized, upholstered side chairs appeared, we were thrilled with the lines. Off to the Pacific Design Center we went for fabrics, looking for the perfect covering for the chairs and a pair of settees that found their way to the little cottage by way of the same sharp-eyed neighbor, again the perfect scale for the scale of the room.

Once we chose the fabrics, we embarked on a search and rescue mission downtown to find some additional pieces that would suit the clients needs. The client found a dainty bench with an upholstered seat, a wee bit dowdy, but perfect for a space in the living room just outside of the dining room. I added it to my painting projects, now up to four pieces.

As with all design projects, this one was a journey and a fun one for the three of us, especially for me, a new friend. We will continue working with the client, and soon we will be deciding on artwork; there is no shortage of pieces to choose from, the client is a very talented artist.

It has been especially rewarding to be able to use many favorite pieces that have strong sentimental meaning to the client. We hung her grandfather’s antique mirror in the dining room; it looks like it was meant to be in the room, and its guilt frame ties into the chandelier and new shades with the gold lining— a perfect compliment. We have more to do to bring this little cottage up to date; but as I mentioned, it is a journey, so we are enjoying the ride.

Oak table painted a Dark Engine Gray  

Oak table painted a Dark Engine Gray

 

Less Shabby More Chic Tiered Table  

Less Shabby More Chic Tiered Table

 

Second Hand Store Bench  

Second Hand Store Bench