Formal to informal

gottaloveitSeptember 14, 2012

We are buying a new home which is very formally decorated and our furniture is anything but....I am torn between trying to use my old furniture in this new house or going in debt to furnish it formally. ALL of the drapes throughout the house are formal and custom and mostly floral. Not me at all, but there is a fortune invested there...especially in the dining room where the drapes are baby blue. Help !

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If the drapes are floral, formal, not your color, style, etc then do not decorate to match them. Yeah they may be expensive, but so is everything else you will buy to match something you don't like.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Decorate in the style you love. Get new custom window treatments to match your style (cheaper than buying new furniture) and sell the old ones on eBay, donate them to Goodwill, or put them into the recycle bin.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:47PM
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I don't care how custom or expensive a window treatment is ... if I don't like them they will be removed. I would rather have naked windows than frou-frou poufy valances and drapes that I hate. Pretend the house came with no drapes, really!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:58PM
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The fortune invested was theirs, not yours.

Make the house your own.

Gorgeous fireplace!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Also is that a picture of your new home or your current one? Your furniture or theirs? I see nothing formal about it but the drapes. The rest looks country casual and the colors blend with the drapes. Take everything out of the room, including the drapes and anything goes with the nice floors, woodwork and great fireplace, which also doesn't look formal to me.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Another vote to simply remove the curtain treatments -- and make the house into YOUR home ....

You could sell them on your local Craigs List -- or donate them to a local charity ...

And please post more photos -- very pretty fireplace! :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:25PM
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Start removing layers of those draperys....begin with the swagged valance....then see what you think...continue until it looks OK....and if you are down to bare be it!
My son and his wife bought a house with layers and layers of "stuff" at the windows.....they started with the sheers, then the draw draperys, then part of the valance...leaving them with just a pared down valance and the blinds.
They had paint rags for years!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Honestly, I think you will be "helping" the house by removing the window treatments...I think the house will actually look BETTER with less formal window treatments. The "bones" don't look terribly formal to looks gorgeously rustic and could go in a variety of directions. Really, really pretty house, post more pics!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:17PM
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IF you feel the need to keep the current drapes don't buy new furniture just bring the colours of the drapes into the room using throw pillows or other accessories. Just go to your local home discount place and pick up a few things, in your taste to match your furniture but have a bit of the colour of your new drapes.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:41PM
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That room is gorgeous! The drapes and valances I see just don't appeal to me or even go with that beautiful space! Go with your taste:)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 12:12AM
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I agree that the dining room drapes are quite formal and traditional--looking a bit outdated with the swags, but don't be too quick to get rid of them completely. As Lindac said--you may be able to use part unless the color just doesn't appeal to you. After all plain blue panels are not necessarily formal. If it were me, I'd remove the valences in the DR and hang the panels from rings and without the tiebacks. To me that would be much less formal and could work with multiple styles. I'd probably mix it up with brown or beige accents, unless the shade of blue just wouldn't work. See the picture below of blue curtains that seem more current because of less frou frou with them. You might choose much less formal furniture or spice it up with brighter colors to accent.

The LR drapes are just relaxed Roman shades or a valence--neither of which are formal curtains, but I can see how the feminine looking floral wouldn't work for many people. I'd replace them with something else.

Find images of window treatments you like (ck out You don't have to go custom in order to have decent looking window coverings. Go with what you can afford first of all. Lowe's has Levolor cut to size lined bamboo Roman shades similar in color to your trim, and they can be used alone or with curtain panels. They're not very expensive. There are other options as well depending on the length curtains you need.

Someone above said the fortune invested was theirs, not yours, and that's true to a point. But when you pay $$ for a home that includes drapes, part of the $$ includes paying for drapes--perhaps not the original amt they paid, but you're paying for them nonetheless. And if you have to go into debt to replace them, then it's wise to try to use them if they can work with your lifestyle with a bit of re-purposing. God's blessings in your new beautiful home!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 1:27AM
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Would love to see these outdated formal drapes and beautiful fireplace but I'm one of the few here that can't see pictures that are uploaded from one's computer, only pictures that are embedded from online :(

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 1:32PM
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Iove that house!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 3:47PM
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I think informal will look wonderful in that room.

I agree with the person that said get rid of everything and make it your own. Now if they had left you that little drp leaf table at the end of the couch, that would have been a keeper.

Those floors! Do you know what they are?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 4:27PM
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Love the house...especially those floors!
If your furniture is not formal, then I'm assuming that you are not a formal person, so I don't think you should try to become formal to suit the space, you should recreate the space to suit you! Although formal and probably expensive, the window coverings do look outdated, so try not to feel too bad about taking them down and starting fresh :-) bye bye floral!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 4:36PM
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