Hi everyone! Today a long time La Dolce Vita reader and friend, David Altman will be sharing tips for starting over after a move and making a house feel like a home. David leads a luxury digital consulting practice by day and is a style connoisseur by night. His design savvy was honed from a career at Neiman Marcus, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. “We better call the moving company!” Do these words cause excitement or fear? What’s the new town going to be like? Will the neighbor’s be fun to hang with? Will my favorite things fit in my new home? From a Colonial in Bronxville, to a Mid-Century in Columbus to a faux-Hollywood Regency Townhouse in Dallas, I’ve made a lot of money for moving companies over the past 10 years. Pieces have come, others have gone – a few great ones have traveled with me wherever I’ve gone. They may have moved from room to room, reupholstered or fitted out with difference accessories, yet they have adapted and looked great in each home. With a little preparation, some imagination and a touch of fearlessness, the house will become your home in no time! Look for 4 helpful tips at the end of this posting. The Family Room in Columbus was a wide-open space that needed oversized scale. I found a bold red abstract painting to hang over an equally oversized ultrasuede sectional paired with the iconic Knoll Barcelona couch. Fast forward to Dallas! Some of the same pieces – Barcelona couch (check!), red abstract (check!) hung in different direction by accident (oops but cool!) all found a home with a vintage Waylande Gregory sculpture courtesy of eBay and a few coffee table books. You can tell a lot about a person from their choice of coffee table books? Mixing centuries and continents, a vintage Sputnik chandelier and Modernist oil painting hang above an antique Chinese altar table from ABC Carpet & Home that made several round-trips between NY and TX. The same chandelier and painting made the Texas Two-Step into the master bedroom. Remember that Chinese altar table? It got a whole new look in the Dining Room with a collection of blue & white porcelains that I had stashed in the basement. I love it when you can shop from your own closet (or basement). One room that guests loved the most in Columbus was one of the smallest – the Powder Bath with Schumacher zebra wallpaper, high gloss Kohler black fixtures and a collection of antique pencil sketches found on eBay. The sketches found a fresh home in the Dallas foyer along with a driftwood lamp I dragged back from Stellar Union in Southampton. The Saarinen table has a few of my all-time favorites which I see every time I walk in the house – the Steuben Frog Prince (he’s out there somewhere), Tibetan prayer wheel (a gift from an old boss) and a mystical Lingam stone said to increase vitality & pranic energy. Sometimes all you need is a few yards of fabric to give new life. Slipper chairs with their original mid-century upholstery fit the bill in front of the Columbus fireplace. A smart blue & white stripe gave them a different look in the Dallas den. I have treated myself to a few new treasures – a groovy 1960’s Zodiac Mirror and Tortoise Shell scored at Round Top’s Marburger Farm Antique Show, one fine 100-degree October day. Okay, I’m a big ol’ softie but it wouldn’t be home without Jeffrey, my trusty chocolate Labrador who I rescued in Ohio 6 years ago. He’s made the cross-country trips without a peep, made me smile every step of the way and has made his mark on every sofa, bed, area rug. You’ve just called the movers – here are some helpful tips:
- Take pictures of the bigger pieces and write down the dimensions so you can take them with you when you look for your next home. Will that sofa fit? Now you’ll know!
- Keep an inspiration notebook (yes mine is still old school for now) or create boards on Pinterest.
- Don’t be afraid to mix things up – move items from room to room, repaint, refinish, reupholster.
- Shop from your basement or storage room. Old pieces that you haven’t seen in a while look fresh again. Put other items away – they’ll look great when you discover them again in a few years.
Starting over in a new home is a great way to shake things up a bit and give yourself a new look for the new home. I feel another move coming on myself – heading to the Coast!