The Design Dash, and The Captain’s Retreat

I went to North Carolina a few weeks ago to design a room with La-Z-Boy. (Note: It is OK if you’re incredulous here. I wasn’t sure it was a good fit at first either.)

I was flown out and put up in Proximity Hotel. The event started innocently enough with drinks and dinner, but we were advised to wear comfy shoes without exactly knowing why. After dinner, we all went to the High Point showroom for the “Design Dash,” which was basically a version of Supermarket Sweep. (High school Nicole would have been jazzed!) Eleven of us bloggers were set loose upon the La-Z-Boy showroom, armed with shopping carts and sticky notes. We had two hours to mark or grab everything, big and small, that we would need to decorate our rooms.

The Design Dash

(I grabbed so many fake flowers because I didn’t know if we’d have access to real blooms, but luckily we did.)

We had each gone to a local showroom to pick out a sofa a couple of weeks in advance, and I chose the Kinsley sofa in its stock upholstery and brass nailhead trim. We were also asked to choose a Sherwin-Williams paint color, and I went with Loyal Blue, which is the same color I used for Eleanor’s room. It’s beautiful, and I wanted the chance to use it in another space — without having to work in pony bedding.

Each room had a different layout, with unique flooring, trim, and architectural elements. This is what I started with.

Room Design Starting Point

An hour or two in, and I was at this point.

Room Design Beginning

It was then that I was asked, while being filmed, what I would name my design. My thought process when a little something like this: Nautical? Maybe a ship captain. Wait, why can’t the captain be a lady? Of course it’s a lady! Let’s let the world know that this is a lady captain! So, on camera, I stammered out “this is the Lady Captain’s Retreat.” Oh, you guys. I’m so glad that didn’t make it into the video.

I had a canoe in the room already, but I did go off in search of more props to support my new theme. Model ships? You bet. Messages in a bottle? Let’s get literal!

Bookshelf Styling

Captain's Retreat Chair

The room came together pretty easily, and I was happy with my progress after the first day. We had a little time the next morning to put finishing touches in place. I arranged my flowers and lowered a painting on the wall by six inches. I was also glad to see that my heretofore missing lanterns were found! I had them hung, which through showroom magic looked real.

Hanging Lantern Lights in the Showroom

Nearly everything you see in the room came from La-Z-Boy’s design showroom. I was surprised by the variety they had there. I didn’t design the room for me, but with a few tweaks, I could see myself in it.

We were told on the last day that we could each choose a favorite piece to keep, as a thank you gift. I’d been crazy about that barrister-style bookcase from the start, and now I’m looking forward to its arrival. I think I’m going to claim it for my office because it’s a great size for large art and design books, but I could see it working in the second parlor, too.

Bookshelf Styling

More details. Star bursts (sea urchins, if we want to stay on theme) and compass roses. Brass decanters. A blue and white vase that I love so much.

Star Bursts and Compass Roses

Brass Bourbon Decanters

Blue and White Vintage Pottery as a Flower Vase

You can see my room and video, along with everyone else’s, on La-Z-Boy’s Facebook page. You can also vote for your favorite once per day (which I think is just a total matter of taste because there wasn’t a bad room in the bunch), and you’ll be entered to win $10,000.

La-Z-Boy Room by Making it Lovely

La-Z-Boy Sofa

At the end of the last day, I had dropped “lady” from the room’s name, and it became known simply as “The Captain’s Retreat.” But you and I know who was running this ship.

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  • Linda K
    November 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Great job…this has me rethinking the potential potential of Lay-Z-Boy(not a store I would normally visit.) Which, I guess, was the whole point!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      They had me rethinking the potential. I hadn’t really considered them as a resource before.

  • Gina Porter
    November 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Wow! I could settle into that room in a heartbeat! You do such fantastic work – great eye!

  • Kat S
    November 11, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Ohh, I love it! Yours is my genuine fave and I voted for you!

  • Ceci Bean
    November 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    How fun! It’s like you were on a reality show competition!

  • Virginia (The Heartographer)
    November 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Oooh! You’re so good at softening a traditionally masculine theme; I love it! I’m actually in the process of turning my main floor bathroom into a slightly nautical theme, and it’s the same color vibe. I wish I had room for one of those brass lamps in there somewhere. :)

    I didn’t wanna go TOO on the nose with the theme, but I’m really enjoying adding more nautical stuff bit by bit. My company is called The Heartographer as a play on cartographer; I’m an online dating coach so the idea is that I’m guiding my clients through the crazy waters of finding love online. And I live in a traditionally maritime neighborhood in Seattle, and that bathroom is right next to my office door. So when I see clients in person, I’m hoping it sort of all comes together, haha. Totally pinning this to my Classy Nautical board; thanks for the inspiration!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      I love the play on words, and the meaning! A nautical-inspired design would be perfect for you.

  • julia-tagandtibby
    November 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    adore the gold/brass combo with blue. and the vintage bottles. lovely!

  • Jacky
    November 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I do love that blue, I think it works great for a living room or office. Great job, what a fun way to get to run a sponsored post and provide some great design ideas for non-designer folk like me.

  • Erika
    November 11, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Wow…La-Z-Boy has come a long way!

    Love your design – off to see the others ;)

  • Jessica S.
    November 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Nicely done! You made it seemingly effortless, in the way that you pulled it together.

    I’m sure that wasn’t the case; and that, in reality, it was quite a bit of work. ;)


  • Rachel
    November 11, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Wow, what a cool experience! The other designs are awesome, but I do like yours the best!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you! They all turned out so well — I think it’s hard to choose.

  • Catherine
    November 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Wow, this is really cool! The challenge sounds like it was so incredibly fun, and I had never thought of La-Z-Boy in this way, either. We just ordered new living room furniture in a blue-grey color, and I’m a bit nervous about the color scheme, since I only got to see the fabric swatch. This actually gave me some really great ideas to think about, so thank you!

  • Josephine
    November 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Blimey. It’s amazing! You have quite the vision :)

  • laura
    November 11, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I would have freaked out to be let loose like that to gather goods for a challenge! I love Eleanor’s room color and of course it is stunning in here! Love that sofa with nailhead! The space looks great! Nice styling! Great unique ideas with the accessories you worked with.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      It’s a beautiful color, but I wasn’t planning on using it elsewhere in the house, so I’m glad I was able to work with it on this challenge! And isn’t that nailhead detail nice?

  • Kathryn
    November 11, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Nice work! I wish they had those items on the web, would love a closer look at that table and some of the decor.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      I know. Each showroom carries different items, so they only have their upholstered pieces on the site.

  • alisa
    November 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I love everything in here! Nautical really isn’t my style, but I love the gold and blue (I actually have a room design on pinterest with these colors).

    I absolutely LOVE that console table. West elm? R&B? And the gold wall art: A&L? (arm and leg? haha).

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      A&L, ha! The table, and most of the wall art were all from La-Z-Boy. The smaller plates that I hung with the other pieces were vintage.

  • Aline
    November 11, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Wow, what a great room! And what a funny post!! Loved it (this was my first comment on making it lovely).

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you! And thanks for leaving your first comment, too. :)

  • jandi
    November 12, 2013 at 4:41 am

    LOVE! especially the book case!

  • Gwendolyn
    November 12, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I wish you could decorate my house!

    My husband bought an ugly butter yellow huge leather sectional sofa and I’m so bleh about decorating with that thing in there. It’s so ugly! I *really* wish he had mentioned that when he was going to look, that he was buying ><

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Oh no. There must be a way to work with it though, right? Eep.

  • Amy
    November 12, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Great Job! I love the color scheme in this room. Was the blue and white vase from La Z Boy’s showroom as well? I may just have to pay a visit to my local showroom!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      That one was from the studio prop room. If it was available, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

  • jodi
    November 12, 2013 at 8:05 am

    love it! especially the lady captain part. ;)

  • Brynne@TheGatheredHome
    November 12, 2013 at 8:57 am

    It looks awesome! I love the “captain’s retreat” notion – I think you captured that perfectly! Too cool that you got to keep the amazing barrister bookcase :)

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      I love that thing. And all of our books are still sitting in boxes here, so it’s desperately needed!

  • Kate
    November 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

    So beautiful!

  • Brianna
    November 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

    My husband has a lazy boy rocker/recliner and I have to admit it is the most comfortable chair I’ve sat in and since I was picking a rocker out for our nursery I’ve sat in a lot of them. I loved that it’s shallow so my feet touch the ground and he loves that it has a high back to rest your head on. I just don’t understand why they can make something so functional and yet completely eliminate all style elements. I feel like they’re completely missing the new mom market. My husband wants to put one in the living room too but I think they’re just too darn ugly.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      They’re making recliners that don’t look like the typical old, over-stuffed ones. They would be great for new moms! I know I never even thought about them when I was looking for a glider though.

  • Olivia
    November 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Gorgeous! Our first grown up couch was from La-Z-Boy, which also shocked me. It has totally clean lines but is super comfy. They still carry it, it’s called the Zoe. Such a good couch!

    • Olivia
      November 12, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Okay I lied, it’s now discontinued! Bummer!

      • Making it Lovely
        November 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

        I looked it up though. It’s got great lines!

  • Amanda Jean
    November 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

    LOVE this room. Voted and shared. MUST have that compass rose.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you. And those were from La-Z-Boy, if you’re looking!

  • emily
    November 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    it’s gorgeous! love the contrast of the blue walls and the white sofa. good job pulling this all together in such a short amount of time!

  • Jessica @Sunday Loves
    November 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I love this room. It’s fantastic. I need that houndstooth pillow! It’s hard to tell, is it black or blue?

    • Making it Lovely
      November 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      I’m not 100% sure (seriously, we picked everything so quickly), but I think it was black. I remember thinking that it would tie in to the black and white vase.

      • Jessica @ SundayLoves.com
        November 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm

        This makes me happy. I’m going to have to hit the local store. Houndstooth makes me starry eyed. :)

  • Melissa Simon
    November 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Great Room! Where did that awesome display cabinet come from? La-Z-Boy as well?? I need something for my oddities at home! What a beyond cool lifestyle you are living! The cMaster and Commander of your own Lady Ship! You are an inspiration.

  • lovelldeco
    November 13, 2013 at 5:09 am

    very beautiful, congratulations , this decoration is a pleasure for the eyes

  • Kirstin
    November 13, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I love the room! And totally want that couch. Did you actually have time to sit on it? Besides being beautiful, is it comfortable? Our current couch is too narrow for two people to sit comfortably, and the seat cushions are constantly slipping out. Looking to make an upgrade.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 13, 2013 at 9:37 am

      So comfortable. That’s kind of their M.O., you know? ;)

  • Tiffany
    November 14, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for this post. It seems Lazyboy has some great accessories. I have to check them out so I can purchase the hounds tooth pillow. I love it.

  • Alana
    November 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I love this room so much. There’s beautiful glowing sheen without being too bright. It’s cozy but neatly appointed. And hey–you are the styling queen! Well done, lady!

  • Susan
    November 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Beautiful! I like everything, but love that round table next to the couch. I can’t find it on the LaZBoy website. Can you tell me what it’s called, or post a link to it?

    • Making it Lovely
      November 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      I like it too, and I love the scale of it! I’m not sure what it’s called, but your best bet is to contact your local La-Z-Boy store. You can even tell them that you saw it here and they can take a look and give you more information about it.

  • Ronii
    November 24, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Great work! I’ve been looking for a good quality barrister’s bookcase for awhile, so was very excited to see the one you used in your room. However, I can’t find it on Laz-Y-Boy’s website. Do you know if that available for retail purchase?

    • Making it Lovely
      November 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      I believe it is, but you have to contact your local showroom to purchase one. They have all of the upholstered goods online, but only a select sampling of the other furnishings they sell.

  • My eBay Collections | Making it Lovely
    December 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    […] specific item, like an antique blue and white vase with brass trim similar to the one I used in this room design, so I keep popping over to eBay every so often to see what’s available. Have you noticed […]

  • Neen
    December 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I love how fresh and crisp it looks, and remarkably feminine. I think you did a good job. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many lady ship captains (although Captain Janeway of the Starship Voyager does come to mind). Nonetheless, I love it!