Our Fixer Upper

Vintage Modern Living Room Reveal

Did you know it’s easy to mix new & vintage to get the look you want? In this post I’ll show you how we mixed vintage with new pieces to get the look we wanted. I will also share how having help with your design process can save you time, which saves you money.

Before Photo of our Mid Century Home Living Room
“Before Photo”

While running a business, I quickly realized that searching for new items for our new home was time consuming and overwhelming. Hours of searching online and going to Ikea was all it took for me to appreciate my friend Laura more than ever. As I mentioned in previous blog posts, Laura Werner is a professional interior designer that I met when she came to our shop, Firehouse Antiques, to buy decor pieces. I wanted quality items and I was not finding them during my search. Typically I pick and shop vintage so looking for new furniture and decor was a little out of my comfort zone. Laura’s profession is to shop for other people, she knows what sizes fit in a space and she attends markets and shows for the newest on furniture and trends, the same way we do with vintage and antiques. She finds her clients several options and then ultimately lets the client decide. She also helped keep my style focused on a modern look while bringing Jeff and my personalities into the space.

After Photo of Mid Century Living Room
“After Photo”

She found the sofas, end tables, chairs, lighting and rugs, and we shopped for the vintage pieces. Keeping in close contact about sizes and color helped us to choose the vintage pieces, while she found the new items that would coordinate. We worked well with each other and when I found something I liked, I would send her a photo and measurements. This way she would tell me if it would work or not, and as we continued to collaborate, she helped me understand her process and I have grown so much as a person. It really helped us narrow down our purchases and it insured that we didn’t make a purchase we couldn’t use, which saved us time and money.

1960s Made in Denmark

Our first vintage piece of furniture we bought was several months before we moved in. It was from Wilson’s Auction here in New Harmony. We were so happy to find two of these teak bookcase desks or secretaries by Bornholm Mobler made in Denmark in the 1960s. With shelves, cubbies behind a sliding doors and a pull out desk and drawers below, it was a perfect piece for us to use in the living room. We have one in our living room and one in the guest bedroom for now, its possible the second one will be for sale in the future so contact us if this is something you are looking for. The next items we found were a coffee table and matching end tables. We traveled to Illinois to get these. An antique dealer friends of ours told us about two dealers who set up at the Nashville Flea Market with Mid Century Furniture and said they had great prices. We contacted them and found exactly what we were looking for and the best part is that David Hadfield refinishes or cleans up what he finds so they are ready for your home. You can find him on Facebook or at the Nashville Flea Market. The other dealer I will share later in another reveal. Living Room Reveal photo of Sofa and vintage coffee table and end tables

Now comes the best part of this entire process for me, our living room went from empty to complete in one day, actually less than a day, I believe it was about 5 hours. I went with Laura’s suggestion regarding our sofa and I am so happy I did. This sofa is a great quality. I wanted this to be the home we retire in, a forever home, so I needed beautiful timeless choices that would last. Everything else you see Laura found for us to accent the room and she brought them on set up day. Some I loved and some she took back. I didn’t have to search or shop and I can replace these choices later if I want, but for now, my living room is complete and that is a wonderful feeling. She chose items that she knew matched our travels, some art in pencil that reflects our travels. One print she found reminds me of a beach trip we took last year to Hawaii. From candle sconces to mirrors, she thought of everything and she was bargain conscious.  I would have loved to gone with a vintage sofa but recovering can cost more than the deal you may get buying vintage. Mid Century Living Room

As we’ve finalized these details it was tough not to publish all the sneak peaks of the house because of my excitement, but I am so glad I waited.  So get ready for weekly blog posts, posted in a row, since we are now moved in and ready to share. When you have a single fabulous contractor that does everything, it takes time, but it has been well worth the wait. When I found out our contractor has done a little of everything, including building a boat, I knew I could give him almost any challenge. I will save that subject for another blog post when I let you know all about our fabulous contractor and amazing assistant wife. So, until next week, when I reveal our Bathrooms!      

For more information about the new furniture & decor choices we made, contact Laura Werner.

Laura Werner, Cindy Smotherman Collaboration

Hey everyone! My name in Cindy Smotherman. I’m a beginner blogger. My husband Jeff and I live in small town America, the Town of New Harmony, Indiana. We have over 27 years of antique experience and we own and operate Firehouse Antiques. Check out our page and feel free to contact us!


  • Rosemary Jerrells

    Cindy, I absolutely love what u have done to the house!!! I love the before and after pictures. Laura is doing a great job in picking the furniture out. Love the color scheme, also.
    Thank u so much for sharing!!!

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Thank you so much Rosemary, it’s been a long time coming. I guess doing it right takes time. We are so happy to share it & really appreciate your kind comments. Stay well my friend.

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