Turn a room into something special just by bringing out a few of your favorite things.

Find a common thread, and you can weave a successful room from bits and pieces of your favorite things. Dallas designer Cindy Zelazney Rodenhaver knows the most successful project is one that perfectly suits the family's lifestyle. Here are some of her tips to include favorite things functionally.


  • Start a collection. It's a smart way to bring your personality to the decor, and it gets your family involved. Cindy introduced Mulberry transferware to Kathy, and she fell in love with it on the spot. Now her family adds to her collection.
  • Find a fabric that's versatile. Pretty, inexpensive fabrics are for everyone. Select a fabric and application, such as slip-covers, that will fit your family's lifestyle.
  • Move your furniture around. You can create a new room by adding one piece of furniture. Just because a chair started in a bedroom doesn't mean that it has to stay there. Reupholstering and slip-covering will transform a piece so it matches its new location.
  • Use personal pieces for a foundation. If you love something, use it. Although Kathy's buffet was a different wood grain and style than her table and chairs, they complemented one another in scale. The partnership was emphasized once the black in the chair fabric and dishes was added.

"Mix and Match" is from the October 2000 issue of Southern Living.