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Published June 28th, 2017
At Home with Amanda
The TV room before. Photos Amanda Eckk

Happy summer! For some of us it's the time of year for getting away with family and friends for some much needed R&R. For others it's all about packing up and moving into a new home. That's a dilemma I totally understand. My husband and I have moved 10 times in our 18 years of marriage.
One of the challenges we faced when moving was how to incorporate our existing furnishings into our new space. Do you toss everything and start over from scratch? Do you just use what you have and "make it work"? After much trial and error, I believe you do a bit of both.
Let's look at how we used my hard-won experience to help a recent client who moved from Texas to Lafayette. Above is how the space looked like before we started.
Our clients wanted to use their space for watching TV, entertaining friends for cocktails and as an area for family game night. The existing club chairs, upholstered ottoman, and game table were pieces they wanted to keep but needed help with space planning and ideas for new pieces of furniture to help pull everything together. They also wanted to select a new paint color for the bar area.
Working together through the options we decided to move the existing club chairs and ottoman into the front family room and sourced some new furnishings. We kept the existing game table, but selected new chairs. The new sofa and coffee table created a space for TV viewing. Four new club chairs and a round wood table created the perfect space for having cocktails with friends or reading a book. We chose the warm toned Functional Gray by Sherwin Williams for the bar area.
After our in-home session we sent this design board.
As you can see we were able to create three separate areas for entertaining while still maintaining an overall cohesive feel. (See below.)
Moving into a new home can be daunting. Adding the task of creating a cohesive space can feel downright overwhelming. If you are up for the challenge, here are some tips on how to make moving in easier.
 Have a furniture plan before moving into the new space. Map out furniture layouts on paper and tape them to the wall of each room to help the movers (or dear hubby or friends) place existing pieces.
 Unpack sleeping spaces first. After a full day of moving all you are going to want to do is crash in your nice comfy bed.
 Next move onto unpacking your bathrooms and kitchen. Being able to take a shower and eating a home-cooked meal will help you feel more human.
 After a few days (let's be honest ... a few weeks) of settling in you can then start thinking about "decorating." I suggest setting aside a full day of unpacking all your accessories and wall d├ęcor and laying them in one room. This will enable you to take inventory of what you have. You can then start "shopping" your items and placing them in rooms.
 Don't be afraid to mix things up. Use a piece that was once in the bedroom and move it to the living room. Sometimes just switching a piece of furniture or art to another room makes it feel fresh and new.
 This is also a great time to get rid of items you feel won't work in the new space. It's okay to let some things go and make room for new.
 Once you have placed everything, walk through and make notes of empty spaces that need to be filled. Measure those spaces and make notes of the colors in the room so when you are out shopping you are not just purchasing on impulse.
 Last but not least, take time to live in your new space. Don't feel you have to pull it together all at once. Maybe just work on your entry first (refer to my May article on Making an Entrance, www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1106/At-Home-with-Amanda-Making-an-entrance-6-Ways-to-spruce-up-your-entry.html). Once that's in place, move your way into the family room or dining room. Just take it one step at a time.
Still overwhelmed (or know someone who is)? Call me! I would love to help you make that new house a home. One of the design services I offer, Designer Day, is perfect for homeowners who need help with getting settled. This is the same service we used for the Lafayette client we talked about earlier in this article.
I hope you are able to take some ideas for your own home. I look forward to being with you next time.


The TV room after
As the Owner and Principal Designer of Lamorinda-based Amanda Carol Interiors, Amanda Eck believes your home's interior should be both approachable and well- appointed. She often asserts, "Beauty is a necessity." With a distinct sense of style that mixes contemporary and classic design she fashions spaces that are both elegant and inviting. Her design aesthetic is inspired by anything visual but especially fashion, architecture and art. Visit http://amandacarolinteriors.com for more design ideas.

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