How to Bring Your Room Up to Date

If your living space looks a bit tired, consider giving it a makeover. That may not be as difficult or expensive as you think and can be a real mood lifter.

“It’s easy and affordable to achieve a nice update by swapping out some accessories and smaller furniture pieces,” says Christy Howe, a designer at Fairfield Galleries in Fort Wayne. “The best way to get started is to come in and take a few laps around the showroom. Find out which looks draw you in. If you’re not sure how to integrate fresh ideas with your existing furniture, ask one of our designers to help.”

Snap some images of your existing room and bring them to the store, Howe suggests. Or, if you’re planning a major revamp, set up an in-home appointment with a designer.

“We’re very customer service oriented and happy to help people put together a new look. Sometimes people just lack the confidence to go forward because design is not what they do every day. We can help. We don’t impose our personal tastes on you – we help you to figure out what you like.”

Take advantage of the deep product knowledge and personal design expertise store professionals offer, Howe urges. That’s something you can’t get online.

“Along with advice about patterns and colors – the fun stuff – we can also answer questions about how a piece of furniture is made, which fabrics are most durable, and how to combine furniture pieces and accessories in ways that are attractive but also functional.”

A living room or great room is often the first candidate for an update because it’s heavily used. Fairfield Galleries carries a huge selection of sofas and sectionals that anchor these rooms, plus accessories that complement them.

“You’ll mostly find neutral and tonal sofas and sectionals in our showroom because most people think it makes sense to stick to neutrals for the big pieces and occasionally freshen up the look with smaller pieces and accessories,” Howe says.

“We’re seeing a lot of vivid colors in artwork right now – deep ocean blues and sea greens, splashes of tangerine and hot pink. There’s also a softer version of this same color palette in more muted tones like soft pinks and sage greens.”

Area rugs, artwork, spot tables made of wood or mixed metals, décor pieces, ottomans and “poufs” – soft stools used for child seating, footrests or a surface to set something on – offer opportunities to add color and personality to a room with neutral furnishings.

“Just replacing your lamps can really freshen up a room,” says Howe. “We have so many nice choices for lamps that use different materials and colors.”

But there’s more to a room than color.

“Along with color, give some thought to textures,” says Howe. “Layering in some items with velvet or knotty fabrics or perhaps a jute or sisal rug can make for a nice change.”

In Fort Wayne, Howe sees many customers moving away from strictly traditional styles to a more transitional look with a subtler color scheme.

“It depends on the customer, but most people today don’t want blatantly matchy-matchy furniture,” says Howe. “You want to add ribbons of compatible colors, but in a less overtly intentional way.”

Mixed metal accents are popular.

“Gold accents are back, but in a champagne gold tone that mixes well with bronze or silver. Items like large clocks and mirrors are still trending, but in updated versions.

“Everything is oversized and large scale in accessories, from large florals or abstract patterns on pillows to large pieces of artwork on walls.”

One of the most functional and versatile furniture pieces today is the low-slung console table used in any room as a TV or lamp stand, as a dining room or kitchen storage sideboard, as an entryway table or as an anchor to focal-point wall art. They come in many styles, often with concealed storage or open shelving.

“Not everyone wants to hang their TV on the wall because that tends to lock you into one furniture floor plan,” says Howe. “A console table is more versatile.”

When it comes to other rooms of the house, there are easy ways to upgrade a space by replacing your old headboard with a new upholstered one or swapping in new chairs for your older but beloved dining table.

“People still like to have large dining tables for gathering the family together,” Howe says. “Dining and bedroom furniture are the pieces we tend to hold onto longest and there are ways to update those rooms without replacing all the furniture.”

Freshening up your home is easier than you think – and can be a lot of fun, too.

“At the end of the day, we just want people to walk into their homes and feel good about what surrounds them.”

Learn more by stopping in at Fairfield Galleries, 5010 US 33 North, Fort Wayne, or call (260) 489-5526. ❚