My family and I have moved 4 times and lived in 4 very different homes in the last 13 years. I have learned a lot through those experiences and share some tips in my article Top 5 Things You Need to Do Right after Moving into a New House. Still, the challenges of moving are complex.
Each time we have moved, the layout of the new house has been vastly different from the previous layout. Since we are not rich and cannot purchase all new furniture and decor for each new home (LOL!), I have had the challenge of restyling all of our furniture and decor with each move. For anyone that has moved and has had this same challenge – you know this is not easy!
It can be incredibly challenging to figure out where to put your furniture and decor in a new space. It’s not as simple as “put the living room furniture in the living room” or “the dining room furniture in the dining room” and so on. I struggle so much with front entryways – you wouldn’t believe how different front entryways can be from one house to another! ; )
One of the biggest challenges of restyling is letting go of your bias from your previous home. If something worked in the living room before, shouldn’t it work in the living room now? It can be hard to even picture certain pieces of furniture or decor somewhere else in the house. So even with my professional training and experience, I sometimes struggle to figure out new layouts and placement of our belongings. I always try my best to make everything work to minimize the need to purchase something new and spend money. After all, moving is expensive enough without having to buy a bunch of new stuff!
To prove that this can be done, I want to share some of my pieces with you and the stories behind them – including our Chinese cabinet which has been with us through our entire 13 year journey.
Here are the stories behind some of the main pieces of furniture & decor that I have had to “restyle”.
The Red Chinese Cabinet from Singapore
This beautiful, red, refurbished, antique Chinese cabinet has so much sentimental value for my husband and me! This was the very first furniture purchase we made together as a married couple. We bought this cabinet in Singapore when we lived over there as Ex-pats. When we bought it, it was purely because we thought it was beautiful and unique; we really didn’t think about the functionality of it. We just really liked it! Little did we know how much use we would get out of it and how many different spaces it would occupy.
This piece has been very versatile for us. In our urban condo in Singapore, we had it in the front entry way, in our first home in Austin, we had it in the dining room as a buffet. In New York, we had it in the living room as a media cabinet – we had our cable box and DVD player sitting on top and the TV was mounted above on the wall. Currently, back here in Austin, we have the cabinet back in the front entry way. After 13 years I have never grown tired of the classic, yet modern style and lines of this cabinet, and it will forever be in my heart.
The Blue Console Table
I bought this console table to fill an empty space in the bay window of our breakfast nook in our home in NY. Then, when we moved here, I tried to put it in our new breakfast nook, but it just didn’t fit. The new space is smaller and square shaped rather than being rectangular, so it made the space feel crowded. I was sad to remove it from the breakfast nook, and honestly, I didn’t know where to put it.
I reluctantly put it in the guest bedroom, but it never really made sense in there. I even thought about selling it, but 1.5 years later, I finally found the perfect space for my cute, little, aqua table – the covered back porch! This is not a place I ever imaged it would go, but for many reasons it just makes sense here – read all about why in my “Backyard Tour . . .”. I’m so happy I get to keep my table! : )
The 2nd Area of the Front Entryway
My new house has a very long front entryway/hallway with two parts to it. There is the area when you immediately walk in with the Chinese cabinet, and then there is the area further in under the stairs. I have never had a layout quite like this before. At first, I had no idea how to style it and I didn’t even have any furniture to put here. It’s a challenging space with a rounded wall and it tends to be a darker area with no natural light. I wound up re-purposing the furniture & decor from all over.
The red clock used to be in my living room. The console table and painting used to be in the dining room. The pillows in the baskets used to be on the sectional in my living room. The smaller pieces of decor were from all different areas of my previous home. The only new items are the planter and the rug. Can you tell that I had my previous house decorated in teals and reds? I was able to combine this color scheme into this small area and I just love all the brightness and happiness it brings to the space!
In conclusion, this biggest piece of advice I can give you is to try your best to lose your bias and keep an open mind about all of your furniture and decor. Just because something looked good or was functional in the living room of your previous house, doesn’t mean it will be again in the living room of your new home. Have patience and try different pieces out in different areas to see how it all feels and flows. It can take several months, even years to figure it all out! Restyling and re-purposing is not easy, but it can be done : )