When living in a small space, you need to use every piece of furniture to its maximum potential. "I want people to know they can take items from big-box stores and use them to create different looks and to serve different functions," says Style at Home contributing design editor Samantha Pynn, who explores that in the HGTV web series The Switch. With a few simple changes, a dining table can become a work surface, a TV unit can become a bar, a lady’s dressing area can become a gentleman’s retreat, and a living room can go from spring to summer.
Whether you want a quick and easy style update or you’re looking to give a room a new raison d’être, having smart, versatile pieces will make it a snap.
You don't have to spend a fortune to have a chic and stylish dining room. A simple round table from a big-box store was given a glam makeover with a coat of spray lacquer, then accented with a set of garden chairs. "The chairs were already painted a dove grey, so all I did was cover the seats in this graphic acid yellow fabric," says Samantha. Bright porcelain dishes found in Chinatown for a steal add a pop of colour and pattern.
No matter how much space you have, you always end up working at the dining table. Samantha’s main rule for turning a dining room into an office? "Don’t default to utilitarian office supplies," she says. Instead, splurge on chic desk accessories like a stylish Rolodex, a classic phone and a pretty table lamp. Corral small items on a tray to keep your desk neat. When you’re ready to turn the desk back into a dining table, you can just lift away the tray.
The jumping-off point for this feminine boudoir was an ornate silver mirror with serious wow factor. A $20 lamp base was dressed up with a luxurious blush-coloured shade, referencing the hue in the photograph. Books and accessories in the same silver and pink tones provide the finishing touches.
Traditional masculine patterns and textures define this manly retreat. A leather briefcase holds everyday items, such as watches, cufflinks and cologne. To prevent the vignette from looking too boxy, a globe and shapely trophy lamp bookend the display, giving it balance and interest.
Green and fuchsia toss cushions serve as the foundation for this fresh, colourful look. who splurged on the silk floral-patterned cushions. To balance the cost, she paired the pricey cushions with some inexpensive kelly green beauties. Blue garden stools tie in with the aqua throw. A great alternative to a traditional coffee table, the stools offer extra seating when guests come to visit.
For the switch, one piece of art was replaced with a blown-up photograph, while the garden stools were exchanged for a modern coffee table. "Glass-topped tables are ideal in small spaces because they read as light and airy."
The marble slab on top of the chest acts as a large coaster, so there’s no worry about spills or scratches wrecking the dresser's finish. The artwork and television from the first look were exchanged for an inexpensive custom yellow piece, which becomes the focal point and provides colour inspiration for the bookshelf displays. The wallpaper was removed and bright yellow accessories were added to liven things up.
A refurbished vintage dresser flanked by simple offthe- rack bookcases provides a home for the television. The large piece of art layered behind it balances the tall bookcases and appears as an extension of the TV. The pretty blue floral wallpaper lining the back of the bookcases tricks the eye, making them look full and robust. VIA