Sofa Layering 101

In my opinion, it's time to start thinking about layering up your sofa like "making your bed." Don't skip out on all the extras or else your living room, the space where you spend most of your time, will be feeling a little lackluster. Inspiration please...

Here are three fail-safe rules to follow when layering your very own sofa.

#1 : {Texture and Pattern are just as important as Color}

Texture adds coziness and pattern adds depth. Mix 'em up with abandon.

#2 : {Consider a color scheme...and then throw in one element that is completely opposite of it}

I know, this probably seems extremely counter-intuitive, but I feel it's critical to keeping things interesting. If your room is all about cool blues, mix in a warm yellow-orange. If you love emerald green, mix in a reddish-orange, etc. Just a touch is ok, but make it meaningful.

#3 : {Symmetry is a yawn}

The old rule of two matching pillows and calling it a day is OVER my friends. Single pillows of different styles are so much more interesting; tuck in a blanket or your favorite vintage textile and a sheepskin for coziness and you're golden. Singles are also less expensive and less of a commitment...go for it! 

Still in need of inspiration...a few looks to consider...

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6



1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7


One Chest Three Ways

Someone with extremely good taste snatched up this French-Style chest from our OKL shop within a matter of minutes over the weekend...

Interesting story: I found this piece in an underground (literally) warehouse. It almost felt like a bomb shelter in there, with narrow winding hallways and treatures stacked floor to ceiling. A group of "dealers" aka "hoarders" own the place and open it up every once it a while to sell off their inventory. I saw it as I was on my way out and couldn't leave without bringing it home with me. What stories it must have to tell!

Sure, it's a more traditional, French style with it's turned Queen Anne front legs, guilded detail work and shabby painted finish, but I also happen to think it's one of the most versatile pieces for the home, no matter what your style might be.

Allow me to demonstrate how something like it might fit into your mix.

This first vignette is for the {color extrovert}...

Chair // Pillow // Rug // Stool // Lamp // Abstract Art // Poppy Art

A piece like our French chest helps to ground a more modern and colorful arrangement like this. Use it as a side table between chairs in the living room or have it stand alone in the entry. It's got the vibe of a collector, maybe someone who's studied art in Europe but lives in the burbs now and has kids.

The second vignette is for the {color introvert}...

Rug // Chair // Side Table // Woven Jars // Mirror // Pendant // Sconces // Large Art // Small Art

I think this type of chest lends itself well to those who love tonal shades. Mix metals and add in some black for edginess. I think this style would easily mix both in an uptown brownstone or a downtown loft. 

The third vignette is for the {naturalist}...

Rug // Chair // Pillow // Lamp // Abstract Art // Brass Peace Hand // Cactus Photograph

All of a sudden the chest feels a little Southwestern here, no? It balances out the organic nature of the leather and handwoven textiles so nicely. I think it'd be perfect in an Austin bungalow; I'd pour myself a margarita here before I went out to a locally sourced Tex Mex supper.

Check our shops on OKL and Chairish for more versatile {and painfully un-versatile...I've never been a practical sort of person really} finds daily!


Light, Darkness and Time

When I was studying art in college, I became particularly interested in chiaroscuro, or the contrast between light and dark. In a composition that has chiaroscuro, the light has a richness to it and suggests volume not only by what is revealed, but what the light does not touch, what is shielded by darkness. I could go on and on, I have probably written over 100 pages in my life about the concept if you are interested in it, but I was thinking this morning more about the idea of light and darkness in interiors.

Oftentimes my clients come to me to help them create spaces that feel rich and interesting. And I always tell them, it's all about layering, just like putting together an interesting outfit. But if you really get down to it, layering is all about the suggestion of volume and what's underneath and how the light reveals it in an interesting way. 

I think this is why both ambient and natural lighting is ultimately so important too. You want a space to sort of evolve as light reveals different parts of it, no? When I look at some of these images, I can't help but think about how different these spaces must look at different times of day...

Kind of reminds me of Monet's Rouen Cathedral paintings or Haystacks series. Light marks not only the illumination of a space, but the passage of time as well. So, how does your own space reflect how your time passes? Sorry to get so metta on you, but both Art History and interiors are both pretty metta I guess. How's that for some deep thinking on a Wednesday? xx


Over at my house...

Today on @Instagram I posted this snap of our xmas tree.

Fun fact: even though this is the seventh Christmas I've spent with my husband, this is our first real tree we've ever decorated together and are able to call our own. We're traveling to Seattle for the Holiday this year to be with family, so it was sort of a last minute decision to get a tree, but I couldn't be happier about it. It literally lights up one of my favorite little corners. 

Speaking of this corner...a few weeks ago I shared this snap I took for an upcoming feature on Chairish...

It's the other half of the corner. You might notice two things I haven't shared with you yet. #1: our rad new overscaled photography in an acrylic frame. It's the best thing this room has going for it right now. It's 4' high x 8' long. That's feet I'm talking here people- it's massive! Every other piece of art I tried in here just felt dwarfed- we have 10'+ ceilings and a big open floor plan that connects this room to our dining room.

I wanted to feel relaxed in here, and for me, there's no more relaxing a place on earth than Palm Springs. My hubby and I found this vintage photo online and he sized it for me to print onto three engineer prints which we picked up from Kinkos. They were under $7 each, so the entire piece of 4' x 8' art cost about $20. We mounted the prints on a thin piece of plywood and hubby built a frame an inch or two inside from the edges and mounted it on the wall. We found a 4' x 8' piece of acrylic from a plastics company here in Richmond for about $50 and we drilled holes through it and the board so both pieces could mount on the frame. Simple. A piece of art this size for under $100 and a few hours of time...I'd say completely worth it!

The #2 awesome thing here is my parsons chairs. I've had these chairs for years...I first wrote about them in 2011 @here. They've needed to be recovered for some time, but I've always been dragging my feet until I could afford the perfect fabric...which for me was always and has always been David Hicks' La Fiorentina. A few months ago, I happened upon an entire bolt of it for $9 a yard, so I snatched it. I just brought these chairs back from the upholsterer a few weeks ago and they've dramatically improved the coolness factor in the house for sure. 

I hope the holiday season is treating you well so far!  


Styling Up Close

I don't know about you, but in my own home, I'm constantly moving around things on tables and shelves until I find an interesting mix. I might restyle the same vignette a few times in one week even! I know I border on the obsessive about it, but I can't help it, I just love a strong moment!

As the holidays approach, I think this becomes even more important as you transition your vignettes to incorporate all of your seasonal decor. Enjoy some of the up close and personal styled images that are keeping me {and my tables} inspired these days...

What's the key to getting that collected, styled look in your home? Well, you have to collect for starters. This might seem like a no-brainer, but I feel like most people are so concerned with curating their home that they forget they've got to collect first. Also, don't concern yourself with the intended use of a particular object, use it to suit your needs. A tea tray is great for corralling mail, a tassel looks just right on a lamp and a vase might be the perfect place to store all of those drink stirrers you've amassed over the years. Just have fun with it! xx