THE CASE FOR A COLORFUL SOFA

Conventional design wisdom dictates keeping your larger pieces of upholstery neutral to provide a transitional backdrop; meaning most people are steered to white, off-white, beige, and grey. I love a blank canvas as much as the next person, and neutrals do allow you flexibility if you like to switch it up often, but here’s the thing, neutral isn’t your only option.

You’re not a design deviant if you secretly think you’d love a moss green velvet sofa but your mother-in-law, best friend, HGTV, favorite blogger–whoever–told you it would be “too bold” or you really should “stick with neutral”. The truth is, you won’t be as limited as you might think you will be by choosing color.

I could make a convincing argument for just about any color being used as a neutral in a room, and I could definitely come up with at least three design schemes to show you how unlimited you are, but I’ll let a few of my favorite rooms below do the talking.

India Hicks Pink Sofa

McGrath II Pink Sofa

Ann Mashburn Pink Sofa

Miles Redd Red Sofa

Tilton Fenwick Orange Chaise

Ali Cayne Yellow Sofa

Southern Living Green Sofa

Sofia Coppola Blue Sofa

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

Tory Burch Peacock Sofa

Zhush Navy Sofa | Domaine

Aerin Lauder Purple Sofa

After that glorious ROYGBIV of sofas are you convinced yet? I’ll admit, you do have to be more thoughtful if you decide to go with a bolder sofa. It’s definitely not an impulse buy, and you’ll absolutely regret it if you try and plop a peacock blue sofa à la Tory Burch in a room without thinking how it will relate to the other elements within it and the surrounding rooms.

With that said, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. It’s okay to not be “conventional”.  The photos above all embrace color, but are still all very classic to me–your house won’t be a circus. Take stock of what colors you gravitate towards or already have in your home, or better yet, hire someone to help you. 😉 I’m making it a goal to have at least a few colorful sofas in my projects this year.

Cheers to the year of the colorful sofa!

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COUNTRY MOUSE

The weather has gotten chillier which has only upped the ante on my desire for a cozy spot to hibernate. I’ve always thought if we had the opportunity to buy a little retreat I would want it to be by the water, but lately I’ve been thinking being a country mouse certainly has its own appeal.

This weekend I was browsing Rita Konig’s beautiful new website and was thrilled to find some new-to-me photos of Deborah Needlman’s country house in upstate New York. If my inner country mouse needed any persuading this gorgeous spot all but sealed the deal.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

I think what’s most appealing about the idea of a country house is the opportunity to go in an entirely different design direction than what feels appropriate in our city apartment. I would love to furnish an entire home with antique and flea market finds.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

Of course, I wouldn’t be able to resist adding in some of my favorite textiles here and there. I’m imagining a lot of Colefax & FowlerCarolina Irving, and Kathryn Ireland–linens in subdued hues that are a departure from the saturated colors and patterns I generally gravitate towards.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

With touches of Rita Konig’s signature design insouciance the home is feels inviting rather than stuffy. The patina of antiques add warmth and the unpretentious arrangements of pieces let you know you can sit and stay awhile.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

The brass articulating sconces feel very of the moment even though these photos are years old–I’ve had this bathroom image saved forever and somehow never connected the dots that it was part of Needleman’s country house.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

I just love an inset niche in a shower.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

If we ever buy an older home, painted floors are happening in some capacity–I’ll be saving this photo for reference. The white with wood feels like less of a commitment than some of the other examples I’ve seen over the years.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

I’ve written about Marianna Kennedy’s lamps before and this red one with its purple shade is the perfect foil against the chocolate toile wallpaper.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

It might be counterintuitive, but I find a sloped ceiling in a small room to be the perfect opportunity for wallpaper to create an enveloping cozy space.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

This desk scene is another longtime favorite from my inspiration files. The combination of the black walls, bamboo matchstick blinds, tortoise frame, and French desk with bentwood desk chair is a primer in the art of the mix. If you have to bring your laptop to the country, this is the place to do work.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

Then, when you’re done, why not head out to the cutting garden and do some informal arranging in your soapstone sink? I know, it’s perfect.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

Set your new arrangement out on the patio and enjoy dinner al fresco!

Anyone else ready to completely forgo city life and become a country mouse? At the very least it’s given me a goal to work towards–especially since we’ve been hearing such great things about the mountains in North Carolina.

We’re hoping to get an Asheville weekend on the books and I’d love your recommendations if you have any!

CHEERS TO 2016

the-pursuit-of-style-CAM-Raleigh

Before we usher in 2016, I wanted to take a moment to remember the highlights of 2015 because it’s felt like a big one for me. I love having these posts as mini time capsules to remind myself of just how far I’ve come–especially when it feels like there’s still so far to go.

In my New Year’s post last year I wrote that 2014 had been “a building year for me; laying the foundation for the goals I hope to bring to fruition over the next year.” I know well enough that the “building” will never be done, but I like to think I laid a solid foundation this year and have undoubtedly made some big changes.

We started off the New Year still coming off the high of our October wedding. After working for others while juggling client work I decided in February it was time to bet on myself. I opened the doors to my own business and was thrilled to have one of my first projects featured on Domaine.

In April I took you behind the scenes of a project from start to finish in the One Room Challenge (which got a nod on the House Beautiful blog!) I attended High Point Market for the first time as a business owner and visited the Traditional Home/Junior League of High Point showhouse (recapped here and here), which is still one of the best I’ve seen. So much talent!

Summer brought family time on Cape Cod, preparations for a client’s backyard soiree, a trip to LA, and geeking out at my design idol’s store. We can’t wait to get back to the West Cost for a wedding this June.

Summer came to a close with some big news–we were moving to Raleigh! We scrambled to find an apartment over Labor Day weekend and by October 1st we were in our new home.

Seven days later we were in South Africa for what I know will be one of the most memorable trips of our lifetime–full recap (finally) to come. The day before our departure, Domino featured a favorite project which was the perfect send off to vacation

After returning from our trip, it was time to acclimate to life in Raleigh. We’ve felt so welcomed and enjoyed showing my family our new city over Thanksgiving. I travelled back to DC monthly for client projects I can’t wait to share, and have been thrilled to take on new clients in Raleigh (my heart explodes for this nursery!)

Of course the year wasn’t without its lows, losing my grandmother in October chief among them, and on a much lesser note, losing most of our security deposit on our old place thanks to a leaky fiddle leaf fig tree planter (so ridiculous I can only laugh!)

Overall, 2015 felt like the year things finally started to fall into place–especially when I remember this post from just a few years ago. I have big dreams for 2016 and wish you all health, happiness, and prosperity!

FOR THE RELUCTANT RESOLUTION MAKER

New Years 2016

Nightshirt | Cookbook | Water Bottle | Planner

Despite my best intentions the gift guides I had planned on sharing just didn’t get past my secret Pinterest boards this year. This is probably for the best because the internet might have exploded if ‘publish’ had been hit on one more gift guide in 2015.

Lest those secret Pinterest boards die in vain, there were a few gems worth revisiting that I realized were all too perfect for the resolution writing season. My personal favorite for the reluctant resolutioner (or pun enthusiast which I unabashedly am!): this shop. So many funnies – can they make this one for men?

If health goals are on your list this year, the I Hate Kale Cookbook sounds like a winner. I’m gearing up for another Whole 30 and plan to pick up a copy. Drinking more water is also perpetually on my list of goals, and after losing my BKR at the pool this summer it’s time for a replacement.

Not so fun fact: if there are multiple color options available of anything I will inevitably spend 20 minutes trying to decide on the perfect one. I’m thinking Mer looks hydrating. Lastly, there’s nothing as satisfying to me as a brand new planner. I might be a dinosaur, but I’ll always go with hard copy over digital.

 Are you writing resolutions for 2016?

BITS & PIECES

Lindsay Speace Interior Design | Holiday Cards

Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years weeks you’d like to meet… Okay, enough Adele (but can there ever be enough Adele? Evidently not.)
Happy holiday week!

Can you believe Christmas is just four days away? I’m in disbelief. Thankfully my last year self remembered that I feel this way every year and set a calendar alert for Halloween reminding me to start thinking about gifts.

Smartest thing I’ve ever done. Instead of coming up with a cute idea December 1st and having zero time to execute, I was able to order some fun custom pieces like the matchbooks I sent with my favorite candle as a little thank you to clients this year.

Safe travels this week and if you’re battling crowds at the mall for those last minute gifts may the force be with you! 😉