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Is your Heirloom Furniture an Elephant in your Room

Victorian Saddle Chair meets Bo Concept Sofa and it's love!

Designed by Bess Sturman in 2014, this dark-walled living room started with the client’s heirloom Saddle Chair (left of image)

Do you have one?  A heirloom piece of furniture, a picture, or a clock that you really like.  But every time you look at it it makes you feel your room isn’t really working.  Honestly, does it really go?

Maybe it was inherited through generations of family, a vintage find, or a much-coveted recent purchase from a cool shop.  So why is it that you can like something SO much and yet it loses its edge when it crosses the threshold of your home?

At Sturman & Co. we love mixing items from different eras and, when we design a room, we look first for items that help us to define our client’s personal style.  Often this is where we first encounter The Elephant – a Victorian Welsh Dresser too tall for the modern lines of a new build family kitchen (or even three dressers, really!), or a Wedding Present set of crockery that just must be displayed.  What shall we do?

There are two solutions – one is the Marie Kondo approach of waving farewell to these objects and starting afresh.  This works, but there’s a guilt to getting rid of perfectly good furniture, particularly when you really like it.  If you know it’s the right decision there’s always the option of selling.

But the second option can be much more interesting – work out why it isn’t working for you, then move it, change it, invest some care into your plan for the room and make The Elephant the personality of the room. This takes confidence and often experimentation.  BUT if you can get it right, it’s really right.  A confident statement of your originality and style.

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