Almost a year ago I started the process of plotting the “final design” for my living room. The space had 5 different paint colors and at least that many rugs over the course of the previous year. And three different sofas. And all kinds of side chairs. Part of the problem was that I was constantly rotating pieces for sale through that room which is simply the reality of my business. The other part of it was that I simply couldn’t make up my mind about what style to adopt for our home. I appreciate all styles, and while you can DEFINITELY mix styles and designs eras successfully, if you don’t do it right, your house will look like a thrift store instead of a carefully curated space that you can be proud of.
I shared more about this problem and past design mistakes in this post where I revealed the upholstery makeover of the chairs that go with the settee I’m sharing today. Here’s a peek at those in case you don’t have time to read the post.
Seriously though … if you’re looking around your house and thinking I love everything individually, but it just doesn’t work then you need to STOP. Stop buying or DIY’ing or doing anything more with your house and decor until you have PLAN that helps you navigate social media, Pinterest, and other sources of inspiration. A plan will help you appreciate other styles, while confidently owning and selectively purchasing or creating items for YOUR style. You want tunnel vision when decorating your own house.
For me, coming up with a plan came about in two ways: 1) thinking seriously about what I’ve always loved – colors, clothing styles, etc. & 2) stumbling upon a fabric swatch that stopped me in my tracks. With those two things in mind, I was able to wade through all the pretty things to find what suits my space now, 3 months from now, and 10 years from now.
One of the spaces I’ve struggled to find the right piece for in our living room is the nook. The nook is the bump out with the windows that is too close to the built-in to put the full size sofa there, it’s too narrow for large rugs to properly fill the space, and it’s too big to leave it empty….it’s just dumb. I do not like it….but it is what it is and there’s no way it’s changing anytime soon.
In the past, I’ve tried to put a buffet there, which fits but looks silly perpendicular to the built-in. I’ve tried larger loveseats, pairs of chairs, single chairs, small dressers….you name it, I’ve tried it. Finally, I decided that instead of trying something straight and square that goes up against wall, I’d try something round paired with a petite settee sofa. I wanted the sofa to have a skirt to help it feel more substantial and to distract from the fact that the rug doesn’t cover that part of the room.
I found a round duncan phyfe style table that doesn’t go up against the wall since it’s finished on all sides. It works so much better than squared pieces. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that sooner.
For the seating I stumbled across a pair of mid century settees on craigslist and snatched one up right away. (I now wish I bought both)! It didn’t have all of what I was looking for, but the lines and size were perfect. I brought it to the very talented Andrea of AK Upholstery, along with 10 yards of white denim fabric and a vision for making it fresh and classic.
It was totally cute before, but didn’t go with my house as-is.
And here it is now after all of Andrea’s hard work! Doesn’t it just fill that space perfectly?
By the way, the matching drapes are via Lynn Chalk.
I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. With the exception of some minor details, I truly feel like I can call this space done! Fortunately, there’s an entire house left to pull together, decor wise, so I won’t be bored anytime soon.
How do you stay true to your own design-loves?