Trapped By What You Have

Sometimes you just need a new way of thinking. How many times are people trapped by what they have? or what has always been?

Last week, I had a wonderful interior designer and her colleague over for an hour. I gave them the tour, and they took pictures and measurements and gave me some great ideas. By the time they left, we’d already made some changes.

When we moved in, the front doors were flanked by two benches filled with slippers

Should I get rid of the benches? Should I get rid of the slippers? Replace one with a console table?

Should I get rid of the benches? Should I get rid of the slippers? Replace one with a console table?

At first, I was asking questions as we figured out the flow of the space, but eventually I got used to things and just left them sitting by the front door. We had benches, they’d always been there, and that’s the way it was.

I planned to recover the box cushions, and they’d live by the front door happily ever after. I wound up with this lovely geometric print–gifted from a friend and promptly did nothing.

Bench It was only when I asked what the designer thought that she said hold everything. Do these benches really work for you? Hmm, no, but we have them, and we don’t know what else to do with them. I was a little embarrassed when she mentioned the MR had a lot of shoes. Oh no, those are just the slippers the last folks left behind. Goodness Kim, why are you keeping these things?

Next thing I knew, I had ladies in high heels moving furniture. One bench went to the laundry room, the little cart where the MR puts his keys came out to the entry. Add some plants and a footstool, and suddenly this area makes more sense.

Corn Plants Gramps Cart

The designer suggested larger pots in a blue or purple tone to add color and bring out the hues in the painting. After the ladies left, I found a pinch pot one of the girls made and a beautiful plate from Sweet Miss’ Fella featuring vibrant red and orange tones. Somehow our little corner is taking shape without spending a cent.


We invited Sweet Miss’ Fella to go on our family vacation this year, and he gave us this lovely plate as a thank you gift–what a nice guy. You may be wondering about the Snoopy Christmas mug. Well, Baby Girl gave her dad a mug filled with memories for Christmas. Now he can read a slip of paper and smile throughout the year. So I know it’s August, but we’re making allowances for remembrances of sweet times.

Our designer suggested a round table with flowers and another ottoman for the other side, but for now we’re waiting on a design plan. I think something with a little height might bridge the gap between the cart and the print. I like how the intricate trim on the placemats mimics the gold swirls of the frame.

The MR was a little surprised when he came home and couldn’t find the little cart his grandpa had made for us years ago, but I do think he’s getting used to the new set up.

Once the designer receives the floorplan for  our home, she’s going to help us with space planning and give us some ideas for furniture. It was very empowering to meet with an expert who could answer questions and give advice. She loved our floors, and thought adding them to the upstairs hangout room was a good idea. With all our corners and angles, continuity of materials will give better flow.

She also suggested changing the carpet throughout the downstairs when we replace the great room carpet. Getting rid of the green all at once just makes sense. The carpet in the guest room is in great condition, if you like forest green carpet…

We’ve spent a lot of money having the downstairs painted, the floors redone, and remodeling the powder room. It was comforting to hear that she liked all our choices and thought we’d done well in the powder room, which is a tricky space with all its angles.

So just because something has always been there doesn’t mean it’s the right answer. Go ahead and shake things up. I can’t wait to hear the rest of her ideas.

Are you rearranging at home? Where do you get your inspiration?





7 thoughts on “Trapped By What You Have

  1. Oh wow, I like everything already. Great ideas about the benches, and the cart, maybe painting the cart silver like galvanized chain link fence would blend in more…………..just an idea. How about that floor in front of the fireplace, did they have ideas about that? So they thought carrying the new flooring up the stairs to the girls suite was a great idea? Me too………..think of the hours and pounds of dog hair that won’t be spent on vacuuming the carpet. Perhaps you could go on line to to that place and give the great carpet in the guest room to someone. It is a huge room, easily the size of someone’s living room. Can’t wait to see more of their ideas.

    • Love the idea of letting someone else reuse the carpet from the guest room. I’m not sure about painting the cart a metallic silver; I’m just glad we found a place that fits its size and function well. Meeting with the associate on Thursday for more great ideas I’m sure.

  2. I had a stager come in when we moved back home. I have ok ideas, but she knew just what to add to give them a polished look. It was so helpful. I can’t imagine the job you have! Great ideas so far, can’t wait to see what comes next.

  3. Pingback: Taking a Look at August | big white house on the hill

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