Should I Stay or Should I Go? All About Bringing Furniture Along When Building New

We all have those treasured pieces, whether they were inherited, purchased on a special trip, or just imbued with meaning from many years of memories. You know, those things that just make you happy when you see them, that you hope will always be a part of your life.

For our long-term clients Betsy and John Pokorny, we’ve been a part of helping them find some of those objects over the years, so when they moved into their newly constructed home last year, we were excited to discover how some of their favorites would work in their new space. The old Pokorny home on Lake Virginia in Winter Park was an expansive colonial, with dozens of small rooms that we designed together over the last fifteen years.

Their newly built home, a modern farmhouse with soaring vaulted ceilings and striking steel casement windows, is dramatic and open, maximizing views of the sparkling lake. We chose several new pieces that are large and bold enough to anchor the space, and then experimented with some of Betsy’s favorite things that she brought from the old house.








Surprisingly, many of her treasures were right at home in the new environment. A set of French Louis XIV dining chairs, which we had reupholstered in glossy brown patent leather for the former residence’s formal dining room, now work perfectly in a more casual mix around the custom zinc and iron kitchen table.


A cream-colored nest chair that worked well in John and Betsy’s traditional-style old study has been re-imagined in bold red, and now provides a pop of color in their more modern and sleek office.

But sometimes, favorite pieces, like this big, low coffee table, which had played host to countless dinners and dance parties, just didn’t work with the gray and white neutral palette and high ceilings in the new home.


Together we found furniture that works much better in the wide open spaces of the new family room. So the moral of the story is, feel free to bring your favorite pieces into a new space, even if it’s very different architecturally. The serendipity of finding happy new homes for old favorites can be fun! Just be ready to look at things with a fresh eye and let go of what doesn’t serve you in your new abode. Making this magic work is one of our favorite things about working with delightful clients like the Pokorny family.


Photos courtesy of Stephen Allen Photography.

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