Green Velvet Sofas

So you all know I adore blue, but lately I have been having a love affair with green.  Weirdly, its a color I actually avoided in the past, but now I find it popping up in the interiors we design.  It started with grassy green lounge chairs in a family room, then a limey curved headboard in a bedroom, and now we are doing an olive velvet sofa in a formal living room.  This green velvet sofa is going into a room that has very little color- mostly blacks, whites, grays and camel- so it will really be a special piece.  I love the idea of anchoring a room in one colorful piece and letting textures, shapes, layers and a few great pieces of art create the rest of the intrigue.  Trust me, this room will be anything but bland and I can’t wait to share it with you guys.  In the meanwhile, here is the some of the inspiration we used during the design…

green velvet sofa lauren liess

It started with Lauren Liess’ green velvet sofa.  No one works green better than Lauren.  I never considered it as a neutral before seeing it in her home.

padma lakshmi green velvet sofa architectural digest

The sofa we are using will be closer to this color.  The room has a lot of dark woodwork, so we didn’t want the green to be too dark.

green velvet sofa with beni ourain and brass coffee table

I love how this room pairs green velvet with a modern brass coffee table.

We will be doing this, but the base will be more antiqued and we designed it custom(!)

green velvet sofa with asian ming chairs

I love how green velvet pairs with these ebonized ming chairs.

I couldn’t talk my client into this seating, but I did  convince her that the room needed something Asian.

We will be doing black lacquered Chinoiserie chests instead.  Yummy!

green velvet sofa in front of  the window

The sofa will be in front of a big bay window, just like this one.

green velvet sofa with black modern chairs nicole cohen

We were inspired by the modern mix in this room by Nicole Cohen.

Out space will be more traditional, but will have some key modern pieces mixed in.

* * * *

So that’s just a taste of our inspiration and a few ways you can work a green velvet sofa.

As for our project, we will be re-tiling the fireplace next week, then painting, then grasscloth, then the first round of furniture!

I’ll probably share a few peeks on instagram.  Just need to pick the perfect hashtag for the project ;)

Tiered Dresses and Sofas

I think I have a thing for the modern tiered ruffle.  Last week while reading my House Beautiful I spied this gorgeous skirted sofa with a waterfall pleat detailing.  It adds the perfect feminine touch to a modern sofa.  Then when I saw Blair wearing a dress in a similar style, I knew I had to do a post.  Just loving the depth and layers to her frock. Inspired by her accessories, I’ve made a little outfit for the sofa as well.

Here is the outfit version, styled by Atlantic-Pacific

And here is Verellen’s Jasmine sofa, virtually-styled by me…
I’ll take all of the above please.  Do you dress like your sofa?  Maybe you should.

my tips for a successful slipcover

Thank so much to everyone who checked out my guest post last week over on Amber Interiors.  In case you missed it, I revealed a new slipcover for my modern sofa.  I was able to completely change the look of my sofa by recovering it in a linen fabric and adding a skirt.  Since it’s a slipcover, I can take it off and on to change up the look or to get it cleaned.


A few years ago, I never would have thought I’d have a slipcover.  I perceived them to be frumpy, beachy and granny.  Only for really ugly sofas or people with kids.  But I’ve learned they can be tailored and chic and provide you with great flexibility.  I thought I’d share a few tips for those considering a slipcover.


First, let’s look at my sofa again.  (If you want to see Martin in his original form, please click here.)

Tip #1 Get a custom slipcover

Custom slipcovers may cost a little more, but will fit your sofa like perfection and the quality will show through.  They come in pieces: a fitted section that covers the body and arms, and then separate covers with zippers for each loose seat or back cushion.  A better fit means less shifting with daily use.  I’ve never had to re-adjust or tuck mine.

Tip #2 A single skirt adds casual elegance

This is purely my opinion, but I love the look of a straight skirt across a sofa.  I didn’t want any added seam definitions.  Sometimes I’ll run a seam along the base of the sofa (where the feet begin) to help hold it in place, but for my own sofa, I wanted more of a flowing feel.  I also did NOT want any pleats.  Many slipcovers have a pleat at each cushion, or one in the middle, but I wanted a single piece of fabric across my base.  I thought it looked cleaner, and thus kept the sofa more modern.


Tip #3 To welt or not to welt

Adding welt (cording) to the cushions, arms and back can help add definition and be a nice tailored look.  I decided that since my sofa frame was so modern, I wanted to soften it up a bit, so I opted for no welt.  If you take note, Old Martin, has welt, and it makes him seem a lot boxier.  


Also, some might say welt cording helps keep the cover in place, but you also notice when the cording is “off track” on the arm or sofa.  My edges are less defined, and for me that’s convenient and beautiful.

Tip #4 Don’t ignore the back

If you don’t specify, your slipcover fabricator may put the zipper right down the middle of the sofa back.  The horror!  My sofa floats in my room, so that would certainly not be OK.  I have my workroom put the zipper in the back corner every time.  It’s a nice clean look and it gives you flexibility.  Your sofa may be against a wall now, but it doesn’t mean it always will be.


Note the single seam across the back of my sofa.  The zipper is tucked into the left side pleat.

Tip #5 Choose the right fabric

Cotton and linen are the most common slipcover materials.  Cotton can be thrown in the washing machine.  White cotton can be bleached.  It’s hard to beat that in terms of practicality.  For families with young kids, I like to have two made.  This lessens the wear and tear on the slipcovers and allows one to be on while another is being washed.  For my own sofa, I was less concerned with practicality and more concerned with look and feel.  Fact of the matter is that linen just has a classier look and feel than cotton.  I spot treat any stains and find that it’s held up great so far.

These tips are just my opinion.  I’ve done slipcovers several ways.  For my own sofa, I felt a tight fit, seamless, skirted slipcover was a modern bohemian interpretation.  If you are a regular reader to this blog you probably recognize this fits me to a T.  Thanks for reading and a big hug to those of you who sent me kind words and compliments!

Happy Monday.  Any one else secretly excited for Bachelor Pad to begin tonight?  Tehe.

my own personal battle of traditional vs modern

I’m feeling a little bit bothered about the lack of traditional furniture in my home.  I’m craving softness, curves, tailored perfection and a bit of flash.  What I really want is a carved french sofa.

French sofas.  Sigh.  Just thinking about them makes me feel happy and romantic.  Refined and delightful even.

via nuevo estilo

They are traditional, but not fussy. I love that they are classic, with just the right amount of ornate detailing.  Yet they still come across as clean and simple.
suzanne kasler’s showroom for Hickory chair

And despite their differences, they are the perfect compliment to modern furniture (and art.)
I’ve always been inspired Rashida Jones’ apartment.  She mixed a french sofa with black panton chairs (similar to my tulip chairs) and gorgeous, colorful rug
  via Domino
I’ve often wondered if I could incorporate a french sofa into my mix.  Much to my dismay, my place had been overtaken by midcentury furniture.  I’m hoping to regain balance somehow.

Lets review my current furniture situation….

Eames-Syle lounge chair and ottoman, from the side of the road
2 BRNO chairs in this lovely blue upholstery, Ebay
4 knoll saarinen tulip chairs, sans cushions for now, Craigslist

Framed, 60’s era silk scarf by Victor Vasarely, from Nana
for more info on my scarf art, check out this post 

arc lamp, from Structube in Montreal
… first of all… ACK!  how did this happen?  I used to have traditional taste!  I liked ornate and curvy and carved and substantial!  How did my house get so modern?  
How can I tone down the mod and add a few pretty curves?
Can I introduce this gal…
natural linen settee, wistera
Or does it just not make sense any more?
I think the solution is to pare down and separate.

1-I think we are going to sell the arc lamp.  It just doesn’t work in our space.  

2-And perhaps separate the Eames(ish) lounge chair from the BRNO’s??
What I’d really like to do is sell my stupid not-so-comfortable-sofa and get myself this little lady.
Shelter Arm Slipcovered sofa, Restoration Hardware


It’s a cozy dream, I love the skirted base and finally the dogs could be allowed back on the sofa. (thank you slipcovers!)

Could Shelter Arm and Linen settee work together?
And what if I mixed in the BRNO’s covered in worn brown leather like this.
leathahhh
Let’s ignore the fact that what I have proposed would set me back thousands of dollars and involve discarding a perfectly good 6 month old sofa.  What do we think?  Is it a good marriage of modern and traditional?
Or should I just be content with what I’ve got?

of course I treated myself to a few extra goodies… this is my day dream after all…


sorry for the long post!  I’m just feeling stuck in my current furnishings situation.

can I make this awesome?

So despite everyone’s best advice- be patient, tackle one project at a time- I’m jumping around again and I’m back to thinking about my settee.  During my lengthy search for a cute armless loveseat, what I failed to mention is that I actually already have a loveseat.

This guy is a little worndown, and he’s not armless, but his proportions are right.  So my question to you is- Do you think I can work some magic with reupholstering?
What if I did away with the skirt?
And changed out the legs for the cute little curved feet I like?  Why can’t this…
Turn into this
And I would need to choose new upholstery fabric, because this guy has seen better days…
I think I would just do away the wimpy tufting on the back… it’s not doing a lot for me.
What do we think?  Can I achieve the mood and spirit of this piece?
Or should I sell mine off, and buy this great, inexpensive piece from Overstock?  (Thanks Nelya and Erin!)  Only $320!
While that is a great deal, I am spending SO much money on this house, every little bit hurts.  Plus I would still want to reupholster it with a more snazzy fabric.
So, guys, for real…. give me your opinions!!!  What would you do?