One Kings Lane…and a few of my {antique} pieces' makeovers

As an interior designer, I live for things with a story. If it’s old, got a crack in it, or a scuff, I love it. Gravity pulls me to it. Being in a furniture store with all new stuff isn’t really my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love a new piece, but take me to an antique mall, and gosh, it feels like home.  What’s that old adage….
“What’s old is new again,” right?
This pretty much applies to everything in the design world. I mean, what’s an idea without the influence behind it?
For this designer, I love giving old pieces new life. A fresh coat of paint, a bit of trim, a new fabric….or all three! Comfort is key, but style needn’t be sacrificed either! Your home can be both. Since I began my business, I’ve had the pleasure of working with lots of different types of clients – different styles, different tastes, and very different personalities. (Guess that double major in Psychology and Furnishings & Interiors really paid off! Ha!) These little differences have been great for me though. I love all styles of furniture, interiors, exteriors…you name it. Traditional, modern, classic, and contemporary. Chinoiserie, rustic, mod, and eclectic. Love it all. And this is truly reflected in my own home. I remember Nate Berkus saying one time “Nothing looks better than a contemporary art piece over a traditional chest.” Yep, that about sums me up, Nate. Having a fabulous resource like One Kings Lane is a dream….a place to not only learn about what’s in our home but to shop for incredible pieces too! The OKL resource center is invaluable!
I change my house All.The.Time. My girlfriends say that’s the fun part about coming over….it’s always different. I’ve curbed that a bit since having a baby. What with all this free time on my hands {insert sarcasm}. J What I am consistently drawn to though is modern fabrics (think lattices, crisp ikats, and tribal prints), accessories with patina (think wrinkles in books, cracks in painting frames, and chips on china), accent furniture with a story (grandma’s end table, a coffee table from an antique store, or a re-upholstered stool), and larger neutral upholstered pieces (linen slip-covered dining chairs, chenille covered club chairs, or a leather recliner). The combination makes it our home.
Through the years, I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few hand-me-downs, and when your mama and grandmothers have excellent taste, this is a maja plus! Grateful for these special gifts, I’ve figured out how to incorporate a few of these as statement pieces in our home.
One of my favorites is a particular camel back sofa that sat in my grandparents’ living room for most of my life. My grandmother re-decorated her formal living room in the early’90’s with the fashionable colors-of-the-moment. When I inherited the sofa, the mauve, deep teal, and dark gray tapestry that covered it, well, wasn’t exactly my style. But the beautifully curved back, the singular seat cushion, and the memories were, in fact, just my style. I had big plans for this piece.  My husband and I were in the process of moving, and I had a dream of having this sofa covered in a fabulously indulgent raspberry pink velvet for my home office. Ta-da! Now, it’s where I sit and design mood boards for clients, flip through fabric samples, and spin through my paint chart. It’s preppy and glam and super-girly and nostalgic all at once.
My upholsterer is wonderfully talented. He recovered the piece for me with a laugh – perhaps this color was an unusual choice to say the least. But, the after product is simply gorgeous, and the shiny silver nail heads that accentuate the back add just the right amount of glam. The sofa floats in the middle of my long office/guest room, so the silver nail heads were a fantastic addition. If she could speak, she’d say “dahhhh-ling” in her best Southern drawl.
Before I was married, I found a super-deal on an old pine-trimmed wingback chair from the ‘60’s at an antique mall. Tucked into a back corner, the original fabric still covered it – a not-so-lovely thick woven in blue, green, and chartreuse floral – I am sure this color combo was a “statement” fabric itself back in the day! I loaded that guy into the back of my SUV so fast! I loved the high, straight back, and low arm, but it needed some maja TLC. The first fabric I had on it was a blue, orange, and green ikat, and quickly became our beagle’s favorite chair. One move later, and a new location for the chair, it’s now got a crisp white on the front and a textured basket weave along the back and sides. The look ended up being very “custom”, and I love all sides of this little chair. It’s handsome, linear, and best of all, has a little bit of a past.

There’s just something about a bench at the foot of a bed. Our king size bed yearned for something at it’s looooong foot. Since we have an upholstered headboard, this space at the end really needed the right piece. My monthly trek to Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta produced a little caned bench from the 1970’s. It was poking out of an end booth…kind of front and center for me to see. I made a low offer, and the dealer said “Sold!” Alright, load it up! When I got home, I grabbed a can of grey spray paint and went to town. I mean, I guess I could’ve kept the flaking peach paint with more mauve underneath and the green, peach, and lavender calico on the cushion….nah, who am I kidding. It. Had. To. Go. I kinda splurged on the wild leopard woven ….it’s super unexpected but ultra-cool too. Grey with chartreuse and blue = pretty chic! 
Now, I’ve got a place to pile all the gorgeous pillows from our bed at night. Hehe.

Anyone read Mary Kay Andrews’ Hissy Fit? I love her words “plates need chips, chests need a scratch or two, and floors need a dent – stories to tell your story!” And old chairs need a bit of a past. Amen! I love those words, and think of them often when perusing my route of flea markets, antique malls, and second-hand shops. Maybe next time you run across a neat old chair, you too, will think of her words. 
Happy Hunting!