Tag Archive - what to do with

Living Room Solutions: Back to Back Sofas

Anyone out there have an awkward living room?  Welcome to the club.  Ours is long and narrow with multiple doorways and no symmetry.  It has been a really, really tough room to figure out.  I think we may be getting close??  In a long (or perhaps very large/open) room, I love the idea and look of multiple seating areas.  It has a cozy feel, and it gives you the option to have a ton of seating when you have parties.  Back to back sofas are a terrific way to create two seating areas, and really work in a long living room like mine.  “Sophisticated” is the word that jumps to mind when I see this kind of set-up.

gianetti home

gianetti home

velvet and linen

velvet and linen

source unknown

source unknown

elle decor

elle decor

I LOVE the moroccan stool at the end of this pair of sofas.  I wonder if there is one on the other side?!  Swoon.

Rue

Rue

And Sarah, I seriously love her.  Her shows are the only design shows I watch.  And I will even tell you a nerdy fact about me – the ring tone on my cell phone is the theme song to “Sarah’s House”.  (blush)

Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson

My mouth dropped when I found this photo.  What does this color scheme make you think of?

source unknown

source unknown

A table in between the sofas allows for lamps to be placed in the middle of the room, and I like this look, too, although my living room is not quite long enough for this to be feasible.

phoebe howard

phoebe howard

source unknown

source unknown

source unknown

source unknown

dick clark architecture

dick clark architecture

phoebe howard

phoebe howard

christina murphy

christina murphy

Then I discovered there is such a thing as a conjoined sofa.  Yes, you are reading that correctly.

oak ridge revival

oak ridge revival

Can you believe that thing?  How in the world do you get that into a house?  Can you imagine the size of opening you would need?!

Nevertheless, I found several lovely images of rooms with conjoined sofas.  Check ‘em out.

elements of style

elements of style

james howard

james howard

miles redd

miles redd

jeffrey bilhuber

jeffrey bilhuber

windsor smith

windsor smith

jeffrey bilhuber

jeffrey bilhuber

What do you think of conjoined sofas?  I like the rooms overall, but the sofas look a little strange to me.  Maybe I just need to get used to them?

I thought I would show you my old living room layout.  This worked okay, but then a pair of my chairs got drawn on, I couldn’t decide on a new fabric, I found another pair of chairs I loved, and then a pair of settees, and the rest is history.  In fact, a few of these pieces I have sold, and they are residing happily in their new homes now.  Oh, and this room is a different color.

You can see the sofas back to back here, and I know all of the inspiration photos show matching sofas, but I liked the difference in styles together.  If the sofas were different sizes, I wouldn’t have been able to pull this off.

AStoriedStyle.com

AStoriedStyle.comAStoriedStyle.com

Although this layout worked for awhile and was pretty in many ways, it just wasn’t quite right.  I’m working on it!  And the settees I ruined?  They are back from the refinisher, and they are looking fabulous!  Can’t wait to show you!  I am working on finding the right fabric for them.

What do you think of back to back sofas in a living room?  Would it work for you?  Are you into the conjoined look?

Written by Grace

Denim: America’s Fabric

There is something decidedly American about denim, and I do love the homey feel it brings to a room.  So much is right about it – it’s comfortable, it’s casual, it goes with everything, it gets softer with use, it’s easy to clean, it can withstand nearly anything…the list could go on.  But somehow, in the 80′s and 90′s, denim on upholstery meant overstuffed, saggy, generic blah.

curbed.com

curbed.com

I think everyone I knew had one.  But there’s hope for denim!  Done right, it can look classy, and dare I say, chic?

Don’t believe me?

cottage living

cottage living

source unknown

source unknown

meg braff via house beautiful

meg braff via house beautiful

house and home

house and home

source unknown

source unknown

restoration hardware

restoration hardware

house beautiful

house beautiful

source unknown

source unknown

southern living

southern living

real simple

real simple

So you want a denim sofa but don’t want it to look drab?  Here’s the scoop:

1.  Go as dark as possible.  A deep indigo or navy will read much more updated than the cornflower blue acid-washed hues.

2.  Add some detail – nailhead trim, tufts, lacquered white legs or frame.  A little oomph will go a long way!

3.  Stick to mostly straight lines.  Too much curviness will look “basement couch” fast.

But Grace, what if I own the denim sofa you are talking about?  In fact, I am staring at it right now.  

Spice it up!  Add some bright modern-looking pillows or a trendy pattern.  Take the cushions to an upholsterer and add a contrasting welt to the edges.  Or maybe do this?

What are your thoughts on denim upholstery?  I’d love to hear your comments!

P.S.  Thank you so much to everyone for participating in the survey I posted last week.  It has been so helpful in planning for the future, and I feel so lucky to have such diverse, knowledgeable, engaged readers!  I am so grateful!

Written by Grace

Paint By Number – The Everyday Rembrandt

 

AStoriedStyle.com

tumblr

tumblr

I would be interested to know how many of you would have known instantly what the above paintings were if you had not read the title of this post – just curious on what the age range is on knowledge of this type of “Everyday Rembrandt”.  

Have you seen “Paint By Number” paintings before?  If you frequent thrift stores, resale shops, flea markets, or estate sales, chances are good you have come into contact with this type of craft.  Or maybe your Mom was a PBN connoisseur?  Or your grandmother?  Hugely popular in the 1950′s and 1960′s, the first Paint By Number kit was revealed at the New York Toy Show in 1951.  Though sales were slow in the beginning, by 1954, over twelve million kits had been sold.

AStoriedStyle.com

I find them fascinating for a few reasons.  First of all, it was time consuming to paint all of those little sections.  You can almost tell how “into it” some people felt – if they patiently colored each section or breezed through just to get it done.  My favorite is when you find ones that are signed like original pieces of art.  I love it!  I would probably sign them too after painting in all of those tiny number sections.

AStoriedStyle.com

Though you can still find a ton of these paintings using this search on Ebay and this search on Etsy, they are getting harder to find and more expensive as time goes on, and they become more collectible.  Since I have gallery walls on the brain, I like the look of people using the vintage paint by numbers with that goal in mind.

AStoriedStyle.com

Country Living

Country Living

happydogsplay.com

happydogsplay.com

The Rug Company

The Rug Company

AStoriedStyle.com

AStoriedStyle.com

Amy & Joe Keller

Amy & Joe Keller

Shannon Berrey Design

Shannon Berrey Design

AStoriedStyle.com

Country Living

Country Living

Country Living

Country Living

Of course, someone has to take it to the next level by painting entire wall murals based on their favorite Paint By Number pattern.

Tutorial for this project here.

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

 

Tutorial for this project here.

Easter Kiwi

Easter Kiwi

 

Tutorial for this project here. - LOVE this one!  The artist even left her son some “empty numbers” to paint as he would like.

Katie's Pencil Box

Katie’s Pencil Box

Yes, they look great as a gallery wall, terrific as a wall mural, but even if you just have one, they bring a pleasant feel to a shelf.

AStoriedStyle.com

I have one on my mantle!

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

And actually, I just bought this little beauty on Ebay for the gallery wall in my girls room.

AStoriedStyle.com

In fact, there is such an interest and (dare I say, a cult-like following?) in collecting these pieces, there is now an online Paint By Number Museum.  (air quotes around “museum”)  If you have one of these, you can find out if it is a valuable one or not by entering the information on the site.  Truth be told, there are a bajillion of these out there (you can get them anywhere from $5-$40 from what I have seen) so there are not many that are worth much.  But who knows?  You may have one of the really early models!

Of course, if this is simply too kitsch for you, maybe you could do a Paint By Number sweater?

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

What do you think of vintage Paint By Number art?  Do you have any in your home?  In your family?

Written by Grace

One of My Most Favorite Rooms Ever

My head is pretty much a continuous current of design.  Ideas are bouncing around everywhere, and I get inspired by everything from a local art exhibit to the paint trim pattern on the mini train you can ride around my city.  (You would have seen those photos if you follow me on Instagram @astoriedstyle)

But there are rooms and elements of rooms and color schemes and patterns I fall in love with instantly, and I remember them forever, fondly thinking about them from time to time like old friends.

Today I am sharing one of my old friends with you, a room designed for the 2011 DC Design House by Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home.  I j’adore her fabric line, and her style in many ways is my happy place.  Natural elements layered with lots of texture, a little industrial, and a touch of moodiness, all brought together with some color.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

What adds a more organic textural feel than grasscloth wallpaper?  I love how it’s on the ceiling, too!

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

This lamp from Stray Dog Designs had me at one glimpse of its emerald green shade.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

It’s so difficult to say what my favorite part of the room is because I sincerely love so much of it, but the “Princess and the Pea-esque” hideaway is way up there.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

What a wonderful window seat to to snuggle in and read your favorite novel!

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

Sweetly styled vignette – I love the feel of imagination and coziness this evokes.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

Lauren has tons of fabric from her own line (I mentioned them in this post) in this room, including the “Happikat” in fog shown here on the drapes.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

If you have seen my dining room, you have seen my Mad Hatter chairs in action.  There is so much color and history in the shape of this chair.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

For the backs of the Mad Hatter chairs, Lauren used a Michael Smith fabric called “Grace” in the Willow colorway.  Great name, right?  I lllloooovvvveee this fabric.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home

You can read all about this room and get more details on Lauren’s blog, “Pure Style Home”, here.

Are you as fond of this room as I am?  What is your favorite element of this beautifully designed space?

Written by Grace

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