10 Ways to Shake Things Up

For her Sag Harbor, New York, coastal cottage, Catherine Lippincott followed her own decorating rules to capture her personal style, mixing bold and tranquil colors with old and new finds.

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Photographer Peter Murdock

Make a major impact with modest alterations.

After devising a furniture plan, Catherine and Tom inventoried what she had that would work with the scheme. For example, with just a few tweaks, an old four-poster bed found a place in her bedroom. To give it a more modern look, Catherine had the bed painted black with a satin finish that matches the iron extensions and canopy frame Tom affixed to the posts. Now the canopy, made from old Indian bedspreads, reaches to the ceiling. Moral: Consider a face-lift for what you already have before writing it off.

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