Montreal Gazette

What to keep and how to do it when updating your space

- REBECCA KEILLOR

Creating something new is always exciting. But where do you begin with the items you already have in your home if you want to renovate or refresh your space?

Selling, trading or removing furniture and materials in your home can be a big headache. Often, it puts people off beginning the process of making a change.

Postmedia sat down with interior designer Amanda Hamilton, of Amanda Hamilton Interior Design and renovation company Three Foot Nothing, to hear her top tips on dealing with the existing items in your home.

WHAT IS YOUR OVERALL VISION FOR YOUR HOME?

Hamilton says many of their clients have pieces they want to keep when renovating because they hold monetary or emotional value.

With items like this, Hamilton and her team recommend how these pieces might work into the overall design concept.

“We actually love when our clients have a strong collection of furniture, art and accessorie­s as it allows us to draw inspiratio­n and create a vision for the space that reflects their personal style,” she says.

The challenge comes when these existing pieces don't fit in with the new design they're going for.

She says the answer can be to take a few pieces away or add other items to create a more “unified vibe.”

WHAT TO KEEP AND WHAT TO LOSE?

Most furniture, unless it's quite rare or highly coveted designer items, loses significan­t value over time, says Hamilton. Spending a lot of money on well-made, high-quality goods can be daunting. But these items do tend to last much longer than cheaper, more poorly made goods, so in the long term, it's far more cost-effective, she explains. And if they are good quality, you have more chance of reselling them if you decide to.

DON'T DEFAULT TO LANDFILL

Many charitable organizati­ons are particular about what used furniture they accept, but platforms like Facebook Marketplac­e and Kijiji are great for selling or donating items free with pickup.

“I've even left things outside of my house with a sign that says `free' on them, and they are quickly snatched up,” says Hamilton.

REUPHOLSTE­RING CAN COST MORE

Reupholste­ring furniture can seem like a great idea, but you have to be clear about the value of the piece you want to recover, says Hamilton.

“By the time you add up the fabric and labour, sometimes this cost is more than the original piece itself. This is important to consider when deciding whether or not to invest back into a piece. The same goes for refinishin­g millwork like a dining table or coffee table. We are always weighing the cost-benefit.”

MOVING THINGS AROUND

A lot of Hamilton's clients are able to redistribu­te furniture that no longer works for them, she says. Sometimes, they'll move it to secondary properties or gift it to family members or friends.

“While there is the expense of hiring movers to relocate furniture, it's a small investment when compared to endlessly growing landfills,” she says.

HOW TO WORK WITH ITEMS THAT HOLD SENTIMENTA­L VALUE

Hamilton says they often work with clients to include items that hold special value in the design. This usually means refinishin­g or reupholste­ring an item, but it is worth it to the client as it allows them to maintain family heirlooms by updating the items to work more seamlessly with the rest of the furniture.

 ?? PHOTOS: JOEL KLASSEN ?? Interior designer Amanda Hamilton mixed her client's existing coffee table, rug, artwork and guitar with new items when refreshing their space. “We actually love when our clients have a strong collection ... as it allows us to draw inspiratio­n,” she says.
PHOTOS: JOEL KLASSEN Interior designer Amanda Hamilton mixed her client's existing coffee table, rug, artwork and guitar with new items when refreshing their space. “We actually love when our clients have a strong collection ... as it allows us to draw inspiratio­n,” she says.
 ?? ?? This custom bed was combined with a vintage rug that the homeowner brought back from Morocco for a custom design.
This custom bed was combined with a vintage rug that the homeowner brought back from Morocco for a custom design.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada