Master Class in Using What You Have

Designer Liz Caan (who happens to be based right here in Newton, MA) has been on fire lately. I swear, every time I open a national or regional shelter magazine – there she is! Well, sometimes she herself is not pictured, but her creative, colorful and comfortable interiors are.

Naturally, Liz’s work has also taken Pinterest by storm. Most, if not all of her work is shot by acclaimed photographer, Eric Roth, who makes her spaces look even more unique and amazing. What I’ve been most impressed by recently, published work not withstanding, is Liz’s ability to completely reinvent the spaces in her own home by using the furnishings, art and accessories she already has. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, we’re able to readily see the evolution of these spaces over time.


Exhibit A – a delightful living room, which again, I’m assuming is in the designer’s home.

Liz Caan's Living Room | via Interiors For Families



Fast forward to a photograph that was recently featured in a Better Homes & Gardens article about the color “Amethyst,” in which Liz was featured and interviewed.

Liz Caan's Living Room | via Interiors For Families

Although I can’t possibly know everything the designer did to update her living room, you can plainly see how the London shades have remained, but been cinched up a bit more to let in more light. The floral patterned, skirted sofa has been replaced by a solid purple piece with nailhead trim and turned legs – quite possibly a reupholstery and re-imagining of the original. The scroll arm settee in the right foreground has been recovered in purple velvet. Artwork has been supersized a bit, carpet may have been changed out, and new, lighter-feeling accent seating is in place, but look at all of the things that remain the exactly the same while achieving a completely new look! Clover-shaped ottoman, cocktail table, pillows (mostly rearranged), throw, lamps, window treatments, even the paint color.


So if you were standing in the room and turned right, this is what you’d see (in the “Exhibit A” version)…

Liz Caan's Living Room | via Interiors For Families

I just love this shot of the designer with her son, captured by Roth. And I REALLY love that huge otomi painting behind the sofa – WOW! That is statement art. And it totally works here.


And fast forward to the “updated” room, same approximate view…

Liz Caan's Living Room | via Interiors For Families

The big change here, aside from the sofa is, obviously, the artwork swap. Just when you think you couldn’t do any better than the otomi – BOOM! A huge vintage French poster with the absolute perfect colors for this room.


But where did that artwork come from, you might wonder?

Liz Caan's Dining Room | via Interiors For Families

From the designer’s dining room, of course! Can we discuss this blue rug with superscaled Greek key border?? Incredible.


But why would you get rid of that amazing otomi painting?

Liz Caan's Dining Room | via Interiors For Families

Um, you wouldn’t. You’d just put it in the dining room. And highlight it with newly lacquered navy blue walls. If you were Liz Caan.


I hope you enjoy this designer’s work as much as I do. Beyond just sharing these images, I wanted to share the secrets of being able to do redecorate with what you already have, in your own home.

1. Pick a color palette for your main living spaces, and stick to it. Go ahead and change the degree of each color in your scheme from room to room to keep it from getting boring, and to promote great flow. This makes it much easier to move things around when you want to refresh a room or two.

2. Buy what you love. If you look long and hard at purchases for your home, and pass on those things you don’t truly love, you are more likely to want to keep them. Especially if you’ve made a bigger investment in a quality piece, your creativity will be sparked by a motivation to keep that piece, and to maintain its relevance in your home.

3. Have fun with it! I have to remind myself of this all the time, because, in my own home, I tend to become paralyzed with making decisions (all of them). Try not to take it so seriously. Experiment – sometimes the thing you’d never think of in another place is what really makes that space “sing.”


All images via Pinterest. Design by Liz Caan, photography by Eric Roth.


Related posts:

Color in the Kitchen

Going Up: Stair Runners

Comfortable & Classic Family Rooms



Posted in

Kelly Rogers


  1. erika on October 4, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    Which dining room light is that?

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