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Design solutions: Victorian decor and condo kitchen questions

Looking for help with a decorating challenge? STYLE AT HOME senior design editor Margot Austin has the solutions for you.

Q I'm a senior who's about to downsize to a smaller home or apartment. I have lovely Victorian parlour furniture purchased in Belgium approximately 22 years ago. I have one large four-seater sofa and two matching wing chairs covered in an old rose-colour mohair. What can I do to update this look? I really don't want to be a stuffy old grandmother! Elizabeth Carol Lee, Dartmouth, N.S.

A You're in luck! Granny chic is super hot right now and anything but stuffy. The look is typified by Victorian or other curvy antiques reinvented with bold fabrics. On their website, British carpet specialist The Rug Company showcases its gorgeous wares in granny-chic rooms. I hope the one above, featuring a carpet by fashion designer Matthew Williamson, inspires a fresh start for you. First, find a good upholsterer, then start your fabric search. Consider wide stripes, graphic geometrics or overblown modern florals. Not into crazy prints? Then opt for a saturated solid colour. How about swapping old rose for fiery fuchsia velvet or linen? You can have the wooden legs or any other exposed wood painted glossy fuchsia to match -- or even dressed up with silver or gold leaf! Before going ahead, check that your furniture will fit in the new space; only a tape measure will tell you. Measure the pieces, the space and any doorways leading to it.

This article is featured on Condo design and decor

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