Design Dilemma

Sofa Pillow Styling: Basic Tips

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

In my mind, the best party would be one where I was invited to a city loft filled with a dozen sofas and hundreds of pillows stacked up on shelves and someone hands you a glass of champagne and says “go style some sofas with some of these killer pillows”.  Add of course there would be some design loving friends and bloggers present – call me crazy but that’s my idea of a really good time. 

Nancy from Minnesota wrote to me the other day asking about pillow styling on her neutral sofa and how to go about picking accent pillows that look modern and fresh. Every sofa needs a few toss pillows for comfort but also to give it a finishing touch. I believe in mixing them up so they’re coordinated but not too matchy matchy. 

For any sofas anchored on a rug, that rug should be the first thing you pay attention to – the pillows should complement and not compete. The simplest way to do it is to use a color that’s already present in the rug. Below is a neutral ‘goes with everything’ gray striped rug and a basic white sofa.

Mixed Neutral Palette.  There are four patterns on this sofa and they all work together because they all carry a varying shade of the color in the rug from light gray to charcoal. Include a classic stripe, a geometric or two (notice one is large and one is smaller in scale) and then add a contemporary floral or paisley or block print motif with a pop of color. gray and white rug and pillows on sofa

hampton sofa + striped rug + pillows: graphic gray / mod floral / small chevron / stripe

 

Monochromatic Palette.  Use a similar formula to combine any number of toss pillows in a single color. Below a large scale geometric is paired with a smaller scale floral and combined with a navy border pillow and an embroidered medallion pillow in indigo. Use one or two more of the same patterns on chairs that sit adjacent.

monochromatic pillow styling

manchester sofa + seagrass rug + pillows: trellis + floral + medallion + border

 

Complementary Color Palette. Complementary colors are ones that are opposite each other on the color wheel, the blue and orange, purple and yellow, red and green and their varying shades. Coral and teal are also complements since coral is a version of orange and teal is a blue hue – below you see a combination of the two using a larger scale and medium scale botanical, two solids, and a small scale geometric.

blue and coral pillows

chaise sectional + trellis rug + pillows: coral needlepoint / teal lumbar / coral geometric / spruce solid / russet botanical

 

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Brooke’s Office Basics

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Brooke wrote to me a few weeks ago asking for suggestions on what to do with her catchall office space and looking for a few tips on how to pull a look together in an affordable way.   Here’s Brooke’s summarized email: 

“The room is 11 x 10 with 8 foot ceilings and the only thing that has to stay is my grandmother’s desk, a family heirloom.  As far as my style, I prefer light colors, whites, creams, warm grays, some navy blue and punches of color.  I’m not a huge floral print person,  but I’m obsessed with stripes.  I love minimalistic, simple non cluttered, but you probably couldn’t tell from the photos.  LOL!  Oh, and I love texture.”

Here’s Brooke’s catchall space that she can’t wait to clean up and organize and turn into a functional and comfortable home office, once she has a style plan in place.  Ignore the mess she says! 

brooke office before

 

And here are a few of the images Brooke sent me for inspiration: 

plank ceiling athomeinarkansas

 

navy chevron wall

 

bookcases for storage

 

image sources: 1 / 2 / 3

She loves whites and texture and pops of navy, so here’s a basic plan for including all of those elements:

brookes basics office plan

sources: accent chair / chevron pillow / rope ottoman / billy bookcases / geometric panels / parson’s desk / rattan office chair / navy stripe indoor/outdoor rug

How fantastic would  white plank walls be in this space like the ceiling in the first image?  With Shelley’s DIY instructions, Brooke could install them herself.  I love the idea of an accent chair in a corner to plop into to read or have a conversation with someone else in the space. 

Texture is easy to add with accessories – any basic chandelier can be wrapped in rope , or consider Ashley’s jute wrapped pendant as an alternative to the ceiling fan.  A stool wrapped in rope can become perch too – or the Crate + Barrel Samar ottoman is another option for a textural accent.

Pottery Barn’s desk chair is a little pricey, but the idea is to keep an eye out for a nice wood desk to pair with the white desk for contrast, or continue to use the farmhouse version shown.  Billy bookcases are affordable, add necessary storage, and they’re easy to personalize – add fabric or paint to the back and crown molding to the top like we did in this playroom. The dark wood desk will stay in the space and be placed under the window or on the opposite wall next to the closet.

A pair of geometric window panels would add a welcome pattern and Brooke loves stripes so this Dash & Albert striped rug brings the look and since it’s indoor/outdoor, it cleans up easy.

With the basics in place, all Brooke needs to do is layer with more colorful and meaningful accessories like a cool lamp and some artwork.  Brooke wrote that she loves globes so I can see a collection of them up on top of the bookcases.  Add more textural accents and perhaps a few pieces in gold or antique brass for warmth and this would be one fine office! 

What say you readers?  Any ideas for Brooke you can think up to help her spruce up her space? 

 

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