Existing and New Furniture United by Color, Scale and Style: Part 1 of 3

How do you choose home furnishings around existing furniture when designing a new space? I assist all kinds of people with many different situations. Many have similar styles and ideas, and others are so off the radar it takes some work and patience to achieve a coherent design. So how do you get down to the details and work around furniture that you already have in your home?

The first rule is to find out what style you fall under. I like to ask people, “Are you traditional, transitional or contemporary?” This is a good question to ask because it gets you thinking about the style of your current pieces, which determines what to look for in your new furnishings. If the existing furniture is 18th century traditional, then it’s not good to mix that in with contemporary. That could be a significant problem! It’s important to design your new furnishings, draperies, rugs and/or accessories around what you already have in your home.

18th Century


Color will play a key role in bringing your furnishings together. If it’s stripes, patterns, floral, and/or solids, make sure your new furniture doesn’t clash with your existing furniture selections. You can only get this right once, and it’s a good idea to make sure you have an idea of what colors you want to stay with!


Scale is an important element that many people choose to neglect. If you have vaulted ceilings, you do not want to have “low” furniture, as your space will feel empty. You want to make sure your furniture supports the space! You can bring artwork, new windows, skylights, floor mirrors, and/or lighting to balance your space out.


In the end, you want to make sure your existing furniture coordinates with the new furniture that you’re going to incorporate into your space. When you have your style down, color and scale are the two elements that need to be on their “A-Game.” If you think it’s difficult designing your space around existing furniture, imagine working with an empty palette! Until then…remember color, scale, and style are three very important design elements!

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One Response

  1. Rather interesting place you’ve got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more soon.

    Kate Hakkinen

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