Mixing Old and New in Your Design

Some of my favorite projects are those where I am incorporating a client’s existing furnishings in the “new” design. Mixing old and new is so much more interesting than starting from scratch! Old pieces add character, record history, and tell your story.

how to mix old and new in your design

This client moved into a charming home in an historic neighborhood after many years in a cookie-cutter suburb. The first thing I helped her with was choosing new Benjamin Moore paint colors that she would be the foundation of the home’s design. The living and dining room were previously painted in a fairly vivid yellow-green:

A more grayed-down green took its place and served as a lovely backdrop to her wooden dresser and her favorite piece of art (now above the fireplace). We decided to employ the dresser that was in her former bedroom as a credenza to anchor a wall-mounted television.

gray green living room with white fireplace

Her vintage chair fabric helped establish the direction of our new color palette in the space. What’s new in the room? A new comfy sofa, fresh pillows, then gold and marble coffee table, blue ginger jar lamps, and a gorgeous new rug.

vintage dresser in living room

Holy moly, this rug is just SO PRETTY . . .

blue and pink rug

And I almost forgot the new iron light fixture!

Here is the dining room prior to moving in her furniture:

Her dining room table and chairs were still in great shape.

The end chair from her previous home:

Mixing old and new, the new paint color and a light fixture she had wanted for some time went in first. Then we arranged her furniture and art. Painting the wooden chairs a great blue defined their shape and gave them a new lease on life!

dining room with blue chairs

mixing old and new in a gray green dining room

This was the muddy color in the master bedroom of the home:

She wasn’t replacing her antique bedroom furniture or the drapes we had purchased for her previous bedroom, but she really, really, really wanted a fresh and unexpected paint color.

sherwin williams malted milk bedroom walls

She is loving the beautiful blush pink I chose for the walls and ceiling. The small room looks so much fresher and larger!

malted milk paint color

Mixing old and new is my favorite thing, y’all! Older furnishings don’t have to look stodgy or tired if you use paint colors, light fixtures, and a few new pieces strategically in your home. If you need help with paint colors, I’m your gal! Drop an email to Daria, and she’ll give you the details: [email protected]

If you want to become an expert in all things paint color, check out my professional training program that is completely online!


  1. Marsha Walenta

    Love the gray- green wall color in the living room!

  2. lisa cheff

    Love the living room. Where is the rug from?

    • Kristie Barnett

      Sadly, that rug is no longer available – it’s been discontinued! 🙁

  3. Alyce

    Love everything and especially the Blush Ponk bedroom. If possible, I would like the name of that paint please. Thank you.

  4. Jodi

    Hey Kristie! Beautiful design! This gives permission to use favorite pieces and family heirlooms while updating with new paint and new pieces to make for an interesting and warm home, unique to the family. Inspiring!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thanks, Jodi. It’s those favorite pieces and family heirlooms that make a house a home. 🙂

  5. claudia krisjanis

    love the new green! beautiful backdrop. color please??

  6. Lynne

    Really lovely rooms … all of them. I love the mix of old and new. It gives these rooms such character and charm! Beautifully done!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you so much, Lynne! It’s a very welcoming home – really charming.

  7. Lorene Bastulli

    What is the color of the bedroom walls?…so different, who would have thought! Secondly what is the bedspread or quilt cover or coverlet or rather who by? Love the simplicity…Great job!

  8. Elena Espy

    LOVE all the changes you made and the mix of old and new. Did you take the blush paint onto the ceiling in the bedroom?

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you, Elena! And yes, we did take the blush pink onto the ceiling.

  9. Gloria Staats

    So pretty Christie! What size is the rug!? It does not seem standard.

    Is the master Malted Milk?
    I love mixing old and new!

    • Kristie Barnett

      The rug is fairly small, probably a 5×8, give or take. And as for the master bedroom – it certainly is, Gloria! 😉

  10. Kate

    Why don’t you provide the paint colors?

    • Kristie Barnett

      Hi Kate,
      If you are interested in a paint color consultation for your home, contact my office manager to find out more: [email protected]


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