Rethinking Old Furnishings in New Spaces

wall-decorating-ideasWhen you move to a new home, it’s amazing to see how a fresh space can give your same old things a whole new look and function. A wonderful example of this is Michelle Adams’ new apartment. She is known to most as a founding editor of Lonny Magazine and an acclaimed textile designer, but I’ve always known her as submission #2 of the Happy Chic Home Contest. She entered her former NYC apartment into this contest that designer Jonathan Adler and I hosted on my old blog Design Daily back in 2008. We gave her 3rd place, though if her new apartment design was in the running . . . it would have snagged the gold.

Featured this month in Lonny with a lovely addendum on Decor8, Michelle’s new home is more than double the size of her former 325-square-foot abode. One would think this would be a good thing but she says handling the extra footage was one of the hardest parts about the redesign. Her old furnishings weren’t enough to fill the space and their compact design solutions weren’t necessarily needed anymore. Needless to say, she tackled the challenge head-on with smart shopping decisions and very clever rearranging.

Michelle Adams’ Design Scheme in Her Old Apartment

Michelle’s Design Scheme in Her Extra-fabulous New Apartment
For the most part you can barely recognize the original pieces in this sophisticated new space but look a little closer and the reuse is inspirational.
new-livng-room-design-ideasA jute rug and a white linen sofa still anchor her living room but the ostrich wallpaper and yellow zigzag curtains bring her furnishings to life.
A long credenza is one of those luxuries that her former pint-size pad could have never afforded, but now she can use it as a grand display for her favorite accessories. This snakeskin tray used to be tucked on a bookshelf; now it’s glorified as a sassy bar tray. The tortoise-pattern lamp was once relegated to the corner of the living room and today it illuminates the details of her art and accents.
headboard-ideasYou may recognize these bedside tables from the former living room design–they were pushed together to make a coffee table. The headboard is exactly as it was but set against a charcoal-colored wall, it becomes that much more dramatic.

With a few moves under her belt, Michelle says, “I look for versatile pieces that can be reinterpreted in each apartment I move to (and eventually HOME!).” I don’t know where she’s off to next, but I know she’ll turn her things into something wonderful all over again.

Lonny photography: Patrick Cline


  1. nicole said:

    The wallpaper is a new touch, and i love it! love the ostriches.

    May 13, 2010
  2. Thank You for the nice pictures and ideas of how to make something really nice from the old furniture. I like to have at home something made by my hands :)))

    You've got a nice blog !!
    Office Space

    August 22, 2010
  3. Andrew Jayden said:

    I am totally agree with the view that having interior design with all these kind of furniture fabrications make our home quiet awesome and good in looking. And the good thing is that it will not cost much expensive. Also not only that some accessories also makes our home perfect to live in.
    interior decorators

    July 20, 2011
  4. Anonymous said:

    I like the way you’ve decorated your new apartment, hope i can do the same to my new office space.

    office space

    July 29, 2011
  5. Anonymous said:

    Great pictures and ideas!
    I would like to give old furnishing to my new office space.

    August 29, 2011
  6. Loved
    this picture a lot.Really impressive.Thanks for sharing.Keep sharing and
    updating as well in future too.

    September 10, 2011
  7. bobchrist488 said:

    really impressive pictures.very expensive furniture and goods.moving into fresh space feels like heaven.thanks for sharing the article.

    May 17, 2012
  8. dazy said:

    Very nice article
    and tips regarding home development.I really liked the content.This has earned
    place in my bookmarks now.Thanks for sharing.

    May 25, 2012
  9. dazy said:

    Excellent and
    impressive article with informative and simple description.I really
    appreciate your writing skills and your written content on this blog as
    well.Really thanks a lot for sharing.

    May 25, 2012

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