From old fashioned to modern…

As you go through life, your style and taste is always morphing, at least for me.   What was “YOU” a few years back might not be “YOU” today.   Rather than getting rid of furniture, I like to reinvent them.  As I’ve gone from a more French inspired old fashioned look to a more modern, it’s interesting to see how some pieces have “morphed” with me.


The chair that looks like this today in it’s fairly recent makeover with Kelly Wearstler’s Emereld Cut fabric  ( I used it inside out) now feels more like “me” than before. It looked like….


..this when I found it.  It was done in muted green olive before it’s recent makeover.


This French chair lived like this for a long time, until it needed an update, and it now looks like this….


…in purple velvet.  I use it in a lot of places at home…

Jill Sorensen

…sometimes in here.


This flea market chair(I have two) I had upholstered in this sweet floral fabric a few years ago.  Instead of selling or donating the chairs since I liked the shape…


…I gave the chairs a revival in Kelly Wearstler’s Emerald Cut fabric and painted the legs white.


I’ve paired it with a desk that used to look like this. I loved it’s  vintage feel for a long time like this but decided to instead of buying a  new desk to reinvent what I already had.  I thought about it for a long time, because I don’t like ruining pretty paintwork.  But it was worn, and I would not make any money selling it so….

Jill Sorensen

…I gave it a bright orange color with silver details.   Photograph by Geoffrey Hodgdon.


Here is a slightly messy snapshot of it, where you can see the next thing to get a modern makeover…the curtains!!



This BEAUTIFUL chandelier is in my basement. I probably way overpaid for it at ABC Antiques in New York.  I could sell it, but for a small fraction of the purchase price.   It doesn’t work in any of the rooms in my house.  It has a gorgeous paint job, but I have to be honest I’m….




To try to make it look a little bit like my dream chandelier, that’s very pricey and out of the question to buy.   Because a great red chandelier would look so fun…


….in my dining room!   Have been wanting to do it for a long time, but have been fretting over it.  But when I saw this room…


… in New York SPACES magazine last month I was inspired to do it again!!  But I feel kind of guilty spraying over pretty paint work and it will devalue the chandelier.  At the same time…why buy a new one and not use this one?  So the burning question is…


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22 thoughts on “From old fashioned to modern…

    1. The desk color is a mix of two Benjamin Moore colors. I'm trying to find…will post as soon as I do!!

  1. I LOVE this post! And i adore the first two chairs. Can you share some tips where you find these amazing chairs and where to get them reupholstered? Regarding the chandelier… i hate to say it because i LOVE it the way it is and it would be perfect in my dream home but… i think you should DO IT!! Question – will you paint the glass/crystal clasps too? Remove them? Or include as is?

    1. Hi Erica, the chairs I found in various antique stores in the area can't remember where. Great upholsterers in the area are Jose Goncalves and Already Covered. You can also look in the yellow pages there should be lots of them. As for the chandelier…thinking of keeping the gold around the candle and I won't paint the crystals, they stay as is. Seems it makes sense to paint it!

  2. Do it, do it! I can't wait to see what you come up with. And by the way, I DIE over that orange desk. DIVINE!

  3. Aaaaaaahhhh NO! You all haven't seen this beauty of a chandelier. Actually after seeing this post…I totally get it Jill! Paint it! It is going to look great! Now I am off to paint my chandelier and my chairs…I need an update as well.

  4. yes — it's unanimous. Paint it! Especially after I've seen for myself the wonders you did on those lamps at the shelter, which you and Danielle spray-painted turquoise.

    I ADORE the orange desk. And the purple chair, and, well, everything — love your eye!

  5. Let me join the consensus! Paint the chandelier, it will be stunning.

    I loved the very first chair which developed an entirely different style with the new fabric. The desk is amazing as well, what a transformation! I can see you're having fun!

  6. Now, I hope you aren't sitting at your computer reading this comment…you should be PAINTING THAT CHANDELIER RED, RED, RED! 🙂 It will be a showstopper!

    Your other pieces? Absolutely fabulous do-overs! I love that your furniture evolves.

  7. Yes, Yes, and Yes!!! Go for it. I love the idea of the red chandelier. Why buy a new one, when you already have one that could be fabulous!!! BTW… I just found your blog, and I'm enjoying it very much! Keep up the inspiring work!

  8. amazing–love making the traditional, modern–we have so many really nice traditional pieces I just want to give away/donate because it's not our style anymore….I always thought reupholstering and remodeling existing furniture was pricey and that you'd be better off buying a whole new piece…is this true? thanks for the inspiration!

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