A new sofa and all that goes with it

When you are looking for a sofa, there are a lot of things to consider: namely size, style and color. We’re going to be looking at which sofa was the best choice for my friend’s living room. (We looked at all her options here).

This is the room we’re looking at, and that blank space across from the ottoman in where the sofa will go. 

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And the winning sofa is the this one!

(The legs are going to be switched out to mid-century looking ones)

(The legs are going to be switched out to mid-century looking ones)

There are many reasons why this sofa was the one we picked, but I want to show you the floor plan because it’s part of the main reason why the size of the sofa was important:

Everything that is marked is existing, but I did mark where she will add a floor lamp in the future.

Everything that is marked is existing, but I did mark where she will add a floor lamp in the future.

The first thing I want to point out is the circulation in the room. In order to get to the dining room, you walk past the sofa and chairs. Hitting the side of the sofa when you came in wasn't going to be a good idea. In this floor plan there is about 44" from the doorway to the side of the sofa. The second part to this room is that when you are in the dining room looking into the living room, ideally you want everything to be centered. So it looks better if you don't have the sofa go all the way to the side of the fireplace but rather center it. Size was important for the room to function and while all the sofa options met our requirements, I wanted to point out why we had to work within those constraints. 

In terms of style, the sofa's clean lines were a great contrast against the curves of the chairs. By replacing the legs, we'll also make it more mid-century modern which is definitely my friend's style. And the fabric is a cotton neutral that picks up on the grays in the art and rug. 

The other part about this sofa is that it’s super super affordable. I didn’t mention this last time, but this friend is adopting a baby in the next two months (so EXCITING!). That means that her house budget is on the small side at the moment. So, by selecting a sofa well within her house budget, she’s able to also buy other things around the house...like accessories :)

Which I was really looking forward to doing too!

Since this sofa is pretty simple, pillows and accessories are really needed to jazz it up. That’s the funny thing about design, right? Once you find what you’ve been hunting for, you usually have to integrate it into the space and with the rest of your stuff. Here are the guidelines that she and I came up with while scouting out accessory options:

  • Play up the yellow, green and red tones in rug
  • Have patterns that were more geometric and less floral/feminine
  • Incorporate more gold tones in the room (it’s in a lot of her existing pieces and she really loves it :) 
  • Stay away from the citron color because even though it would look amazing with the rug, sofa and ottoman, it would also fight with the yellow pattern on the chairs
  • Repeat patterns from her art, rug, side table in the accessories (if possible)
  • Source as many of the pieces as possible from independent vendors and Etsy artists

This is what I found!

1. Orange Wavy Pillow / 2. Agate Starburst / 3. Yellow Dot Throw / 4. Fiddle Leaf Pillow / 5. Hot Air Balloon / 6. Cobalt Vase / 7. Indigo Lumbar / 8. Poppy Pillow / 9. Candlesticks / 10. Candle / 11. Brass Planter / 12. Pink Patterned Pillow / 13. Ceramic Dish / 14. Mustard Pillow / 15. Star Tray / 16. Bird Pillow / 17. Orange Dish / 18. Indigo Frame 

Each one of these pieces connected to my friend's style in different ways, but the guidelines helped narrow down the selections so that everything was intentional. In order to create your own guidelines, start with the "holes". Where do you need to put something? We want to avoid just buying stuff and focus on the places that need something. Once you have a list of "holes", I would recommend creating your guidelines based around this list:

  1. Colors (pulling from your rug, art or accent colors you want to use),  
  2. Prints/Patterns you like (and ones you want to avoid)
  3. Storage? If you need it, look for things like boxes, trays or baskets that you can put specific things in. If you don't need it, then look at those storage items as ways to fill larger voids (like the bottom of your bookcase)
  4. Must haves (this would be anything you've seen in a magazine or would meet a specific need like showing off family photos)
  5. Something that is found in nature or can hold something natural like a planter or vase.  Organic matter (branches, succulents, small plants, fresh flowers, rocks, shells, found wood, moss- even faux flowers!) is a subtle way to breathe life into a space and I believe it makes everything less sterile and more comfortable :)

Accessorizing a room once you have the main pieces -like a sofa- in place, is crucial to making a room feel finished. How much you accessorize is a personal preference, because it's your house so it should feel like you. My biggest tip is that you probably need less than you think you do. It's normal to feel like you need a lot of things to fill up empty space (and you do need options to pull from). Start with a few pieces and then evaluate how it looks. Keep adding and evaluating after each addition to find a balance- I know you'll figure out the right amount for you. And one last thing- don't stress about it!  

This is one of the most fun parts about design- enjoy it :)

What do you like to accessorize with? Which guideline do you like to go by?