Posts Tagged ‘ask kate’

Decorating Around a Leather Sofa

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Hey everyone, it’s the start of a new week! Let’s kick it off with a recent reader submission, an email from Kristin who posed a design dilemma many people (*ahem* ladies) face when decorating their living or family rooms, and today’s focus is on that piece that so many dudes love, the leather sofa or sectional. I received this recent email from Kristin:

“Hello! I have been following your blog for years and I share a lot of the same styles but have a dilemma. My husband and I have a decent size house but one living room with a leather furniture set. I love the airy and clean looks of your decorating style, but the leather furniture purchased by my husband is big, dark, and manly.  We don’t have many windows and the walls are a light beige (Latte by SW) and I decorate with a lot of whites, blacks and beiges but I just feel STUCK! Any suggestions for making the room feel more light and feminine?”

Hi Kristin! This is a common dilemma, since many people own leather sofas and sectionals, and pieces upholstered in a traditional dark hide can feel visually heavy in a space. But I think it’s less about making a room feel more feminine and more about creating a room that is balanced with clever layering and accessorizing since (done right) leather sofas can be both attractive and comfortable. Here are five ideas I came up with to decorate around leather sofas.

1.)  Lighten Up.  A traditional leather sofa is dark by nature so the easiest way to balance that out is to accent and/or surround it with plenty of light for desirable contrast. A paler hue on the walls, soft cream or white accent pillows, and/or a light or white coffee table will accomplish just that!

leather sofa painted hive

The Painted Hive

essex leather west elm

West Elm via Apartment Therapy

leather chesterfield white walls

source unknown

leather sofa colorful rugs sfgirlbybay

SF Girl by Bay

   

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Using Pattern to Dictate Palette

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

I’ve had my head wrapped up in ideas for my fabrics for the past few days and then realized some of you asked about pattern mixing in the comments on my youngest daughter’s room (see it here). One question was how to go about mixing patterns successfully and Michelle offered up a few really great tips last week.

My approach to effectively use multiple patterns in a room is to start with one pattern that will dictate the palette and go from there. I pick a patterned fabric I love (or sometimes rugs or wallpaper or artwork) and use that as a jumping off point for the additional colors and patterns that will be included in the space. Here are some examples of the technique in some beautiful designer spaces and then a quick example of my own.

This wallpaper in this sitting room sets a lavender and green palette with the lampshades playing off the green and the purple zebra mimicking the hue found in the flower pattern above.

purple and green palette

New England Home

 

Two colors next to each other on the color wheel will work together, below is a beautiful medley of bold green and blue in a floral paired with geometric print wallpaper and accent pillows, that print taking its color cue from the botanical. Mixing florals with geometrics is a win win combination!

blue and green palette

Thibaut Design

   

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