When planning to remodel a room many of us begin with the color scheme and build our design from there. While this is admirable it may also unwittingly turn us into trend followers. So what other approaches are there?
Much will depend on the scale of the makeover, is it the entire home or is the scope limited to the social areas of the home such as the dining and living room, or the more personal areas like the master bedroom and bathroom.
For the purposes of this piece I will focus on the dining room. As mentioned in a previous post, both ends of the age spectrum from the millennials to the baby boomers are moving into smaller homes and making use of more flexible spaces. Hopefully, the dining room as a place to relax and enjoy meals with friends has not fallen victim to this scaling down and still exists as an area demarcated from the rest of the home. If so, look at the furniture and determine whether it can be revived. As furniture makers we are fortunate in having chairs that we made from solid walnut and that were intended to last if not forever, at least for a few lifetimes and that have over the years been easily revamped by new upholstery. If your chairs are worth saving and are made of solid wood or metal then they can be revived by re-finishing the frame and by re-upholstering the seat or back. If you live in Los Angeles you should have no problem in finding a furniture finisher or upholster but if you are not familiar with how to order fabric what yardage to use, or footage to buy if using hide, then I strongly recommend working with an interior designer. The designer will be able to guide you through the maze of questions about which fabrics need to be backed, how much fabric you will need depending on the pattern repeats of the fabric, whether the chairs should re-sprung and if so whether coil and spring is a better option for your chair frame than webbing.
The dining room can also be remodeled by focusing onbuilt-in cabinets. Built-ins are a common feature regardless of the age of the home and can be revived by re-painting or re-varnishing the doors and frames or by removing the doors to create an open cabinet either with or without shelving. This is how I plan to revamp my dining room and to add the defining touch I will be replacing the cabinet knobs.