My 3 Secrets to Living with Antiques Without Getting Bogged Down in the Granny

Do you love antiques?  I certainly do – surrounding yourself with things that have history and meaning is a wonderful way to live.  Unfortunately, it’s easy to unintentionally overdo it.   So here’s 3 of my secrets to keep you from getting bogged down in “the granny”.


 1. Start by paring down so the focus can be on the things you really love.   Then group these things in a cohesive, interesting way.

2.  Let in some light.  Antique interiors are often characterized by heavy, frilly window treatments.  Getting rid of those and replacing with simple but minimal window treatments lets the sun shine in on the rich woods and fabrics.

3.  Choose a new background color.  You can usually tell what decade in which a room was decorated by the undertone of the wall color.   Choosing a new, updated color that coordinates with your antiques is a great way to freshen things up.

You will see in the following before and after photos how I applied these 3 secrets.  Here is the “before” of my client’s home office:

dated antique room and mauve walls Office Before


A lot of clutter + pinky-mauve walls + window treatments that completely block out light (never mind the bookcase in front of the window) = an underutilized room.  What I love about this before and after is that the only things that had to be bought were some simple window panels and a gallon of paint.  Get ready for the “after.”

The Decorologist after photo art grouping using antiques

Antique Office by The Decorologist

 So now that you know my secrets, see what you can do to fall in love with your antiques again!


  1. Jamie

    Wow. I had to scroll between the two pictures several times to convince myself that it was, in fact, the same room! Great job as always!

  2. Sheila Zeller

    Great transformation, Krisitie!
    I love your expression… ‘bogged down in the Granny’ – honestly, where do you come up with these? I laughed out loud!
    Have a great weekend 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett

      I think I might have coined a new phrase! Kinda like “gettin’ jiggy with it.” 😉

  3. Kelley

    Wow! What a difference!

  4. Kelly

    What a unbelievable transformation! You really updated the room and still used her vintage pieces. Great job!

  5. joy

    this is really nice, good tips

  6. Linda

    The after is like a breath of fresh air. Great job as always Kristie!

  7. Sherry Daniele

    Once again, you’ve breathed new life into an ‘old’ space ;). How refreshing it is to see your ‘afters’, Kristie!

  8. Sherry Daniele

    p.s. LOVE your new profile photo, too.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you, Sherry! How was your weekend with Tobi Fairley? Wish I could have been there!

  9. Susie

    Love it!!!! Thanks so much for helping us “unbog!”

  10. Michelle at Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust

    You’re such a genius. I can’t believe the difference in this room. It was so dowdy before. And now it’s . . . WOW! Thanks for linking it up to Fabulous Friday. I know my readers enjoy seeing your great ideas. PS – I’m giving away a cute dress – you would look adorable in it. You should pop over & enter.

    Warmly, Michelle

  11. Debbi S

    That is a great transformation. I agree that paring down is the true key. Taking “everything” out of the space, including window coverings, and starting over in a room with a new focus, like wall color or a new interesting chair, is the way to make it a “new” space. Great job.


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