Double Parlor The Victorian House

The Second Parlor

Blue Sofa, Making it Lovely

It will be painted eventually, and some of the furniture is temporary. Let’s have a look though, shall we?

Blue Sofa in the Second Parlor #makingitlovely

The blue sofa is 98″ long and perfectly suited to that spot. The coffee table is a bit dwarfed by it though, so that may change eventually. One of the rooms downstairs will be getting inky/charcoal/black walls, and I’m leaning toward it being this one, but I’m not rushing into it. The first parlor is going to be turned into a library soon, so I’m going to hold off on painting until after that’s done. The entry, both parlors, and the dining room are all connected, and I want to choose colors for each room that will be complementary.

Double Parlor and Dining Room #makingitlovely

Erin Loechner had a small launch party in Chicago for Clementine Daily a few months back, and Hayneedle was a sponsor. They had generously supplied product to be used in decorating, and I was then kindly offered a few of the pieces afterward. That’s how I came to own the new pink rug!

Double Parlor #makingitlovely

Actually, it’s two small rugs. I thought about splitting them up and using separately, but I decided instead to line them up instead to make one larger area rug. Argh, that angled fireplace though! I love it, but I’m not a huge fan of arranging things on a diagonal, and it has been a challenge. I first tried the rugs running parallel to fireplace, but after living with the placement for a few days, it wasn’t doing it for me. The rugs are flat-woven, so they’re fairly thin, and I just tucked one corner under. It’s probably not the best long-term solution, but it’s working for now.

Fireplace #makingitlovely

Parlor Fireplace #makingitlovely

Erin was also planning to use the same metal chairs that I had in my dining room, so I was able to get a few more to match the existing ones. They’re fantastic with kids, because they’re fairly indestructible and easy to clean (though they can be cold if they touch bare legs). I have enough now to flank both sides of the table, and we can fit 10 comfortably when we need to.

View to the Dining Room #makingitlovely

The head chairs from the table are in front of the fireplace as a placeholder. They’re not quite right in the room (they very clearly look like they should be over in the dining room), but the extra seating in there has been nice.

Fireplace and Dining Room #makingitlovely

Fireplace #makingitlovely

The room would benefit from a pair of boxy, low lounge chairs (with leather and/or brass, ideally). The creamy white walls are inoffensive, but a little boring, and the scale of the coffee table is off. Those are all things that can be addressed over time though, and I feel like the room is at a good place for now. Tomorrow, I’ll show the first parlor and talk a little about our plans for it!

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  • Sarah
    February 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    It’s looking good! What kind of plant is by the fireplace?

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

      It’s a Xanadu philodendron! Jules said I should plant it in roller skates.

      • Sarah
        February 8, 2014 at 6:20 am


  • Laura @ Rather Square
    February 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I like it! Will you keep the light fixture? Is it original?

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:34 am

      It’s not original, but those cranberry Victorian shades are period-appropriate. I don’t know if they’ll stay forever — I’m not a huge fan of Victorian lighting (or furniture).

  • patricia villamil
    February 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    SO happy to see how everything’s fitting. I love it so far. Have you considered a settee victorian style maybe instead of two club chairs, this would be more of an accent and would take less space no? Regardless you might need an extra chair, or ottoman to complete the look. I can’t wait to see Eleanor’s finished room!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:35 am

      The floral chair might move to another spot, so I’m not beholden to this setup. And I’m looking forward to getting Eleanor’s ceiling done, so I can share!

  • kate
    February 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Ikea sells sheepskins at a good price. Maybe throw those over the metal chairs to add texture and softness to the room??

  • Emmie {Blue 11 Interiors}
    February 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    So pretty! I love that blue sofa so much! Actually I just realized that your parlor is kind of the inverse of my living room…yours has neutral walls with a bright blue sofa, mine has bright blue walls with a neutral sofa :)

    • Making it Lovely
      February 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      It is! Pretty sure that’s even the same shade of blue. :)

  • Tracy
    February 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I spy Admiral Murray! We have the same print and LOVE it. Your room is coming together nicely and that couch is fabulous.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Yep, I got that for Brandon as a gift. (Murray Christmas!)

  • Hmmm
    February 5, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    The whole “tucking the rug under the fireplace” thing does NOT work for me AT ALL. I also don’t like the fact that it is obviously two rugs. The gap in the middle looks super weird.

    There is an antique shop in LaGrange (they are on Facebook but I don’t recall the name) that has a ton of vintage coffee tables to better fit that space.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Yep, there are a few great shops in La Grange (including my friend’s place, Nest!). And the seam down the middle is not ideal, I know. I’m trying to make them work, but they may end up in my office at some point. I think a cowhide rug layered over the middle could be cool, but I don’t think I’ll be buying one.

  • Nicole M.
    February 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    A lovely work in progress :) So, I was thinking about the whole rug situation…what if you layer 2 different rugs. One that runs parallel to the sofa and one that runs parallel to the fireplace. Check out an example on the ever so talented Emily Henderson’s site:
    I think it could be a nice solution that would add interesting texture and interest to the space :)
    I am looking forward to the master plan for the front parlor!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:43 am

      That looks nice — I remember seeing the room when they finished up. I’m not crazy about layered rugs though (says the girl who squished two rugs together)!

  • Sarah from a fine line
    February 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    It’s really coming together, and I’m super jealous of that happy fig!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:44 am

      I hope it’s doing well. It has been dropping leaves lately.

  • Jessica
    February 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Love this space! And I think the dark walls would look great in this room, especially with the blue couch against is. The rug isn’t my favorite but I’m loving the idea of placing the two chairs in front of the fireplace. Once you are able to get replacements it will look just perfect!

  • Lesley | Artsy Forager
    February 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Every time I see that blue sofa, I fall more in love! It complements the wood tones in your home so beautifully. I had to laugh at your diagonal fireplace dilemma– my mom has one ( in Florida, too, think its been used less than a dozen times in 20+ years )– and it has been the bane of her decorating existence the entire time she’s been in her house. But I think it looks like you’re dealing with yours pretty well– the folded under carpet would totally have been my solution, too. ;-)

    PS– Hope you got my email reply! Please let me know if you didn’t, sometimes my emails get a bit wonky.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:47 am

      I did, and congrats! I hope you have fun with the watercolor set!

  • Sarah
    February 5, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I love this house! And I love what you’re doing in it! It must be so much fun to have that much space to play with :)

  • Ali Burtt
    February 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    This is looking just wonderful! I’m loving seeing this space develop change-by-change. How marvelous.

  • madeleine
    February 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    boy that room would look incredible with a really big tall piece of furniture. I love all the pieces in it, but they do have a rather low horizontal flow, which is midcentury. But with those ceilings something going big up the wall sure would look cool!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:49 am

      I like the height from the plant and floor lamp, and have thought about putting something in the corner, behind where the floral chair is now. Not sure what that’s going to look like there yet!

  • Mary
    February 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m digging your plans for your space.
    I wanted so badly to paint my living room/dining room a dark charcoal or black but my husband thought I had lost my mind. I can’t wait to see you do it.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Brandon’s on board, so I’m glad he’s willing to give it a try!

  • Traci
    February 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Yes, that blue sofa is so perfect in that spot! I love the color, and is it weird to say that I wish I had access to that room? ;] Looks great.

  • Sarai
    February 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I like the colors, the light, and your arrangement. No worries about the diagonals. But the textures leave a lot to be desired. The room looks so cold. Part of it is the metal chairs, but also that rug has no depth to it. Find something you can sink your bare toes into!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 11:52 am

      That would be nice. I like the rugs a lot, and I’m happy to have them, but I did not choose them myself, you know?

  • katie hill
    February 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    hi nicole! could you please tell me the source of the gold pillow on left side of the sofa? it is just what i’m looking for in my living room! thanks!!

  • Allison
    February 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I adore the blue sofa! I’m sure you’ve sourced it before, but could you remind me where the painting on the mantel came from? I love it! Thanks!

  • Whitney
    February 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Perfect mix of old and new! Love the bold color on the sofa, metal chairs, and modern fiddle leaf fig paired with the rocking chair, vintage art, and the architecture. The @ sign is great too!

  • qlkowa
    February 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Sofa looks perfect!

  • Lisa
    February 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    What I would give for that amount of natural light in our house!

    And that rug, it really brings the room together.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      I love the light. The lack of natural light in the old house made me a little sad, so it’s one of the things I was hoping to have when we moved.

  • Lyndsey
    February 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    i love the room and your ability to mix a bit girly with more masculine pieces Nicole. Definitely a talent i want to figure out for my house! Would you mind sharing the artist for the abstract painting on the mantle and where you got that fabulous brass 2 headed lamp by the couch? looks great :)

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      The artist is Emily Rickard and the light was from Anthropologie. I had wanted it forever, but it was $800. When it made it to clearance for $250, I was finally able to buy it!

  • Laura
    February 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Very nice, love the colors and the way you use what you have, as we all do! I’ve been wondering about the light fixtures in the entry and parlors. Are they original? I’ve never seen lights like them and they are much smaller than we see in old houses in Seattle. I’d like to know how well they illuminate in the evening. Are you planning on keeping them? Just curious. They are delightful but seem small for the spaces.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      They are a little small, and they don’t light the rooms well. I’m not in a hurry to replace them, but I also don’t think they need to stay forever.

  • Sarah
    February 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Why not put a bench in front of the fireplace?

  • Kayli Schattner
    February 5, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Love that space! So bright & inviting.

  • Amanda
    February 6, 2014 at 2:21 am

    I definitely think you should go with dark walls, it will look awesome! I second the idea of sheepskins, I think it will look great. Also I have to say that I love your new house!!

    Nicole, can I make a request? I would love for some more fashion posts with you as the model, like everyday outfits, hair and makeup and such… You always look adorable and I love your style!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      I always feel so silly posting fashiony pictures of myself! I’ll think about it. :)

  • Kerry
    February 6, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Love the sofa! Just saw it at Anthropologie yesterday and the color is even prettier in person. I think the dark walls will work well. But, I agree that a rug you can sink your toes would suit the room more. I also do not like the two rugs put together and do agree that the seam is obvious. Layering rugs would also be an idea. Maybe the flat weave rug with a plush rug layered on top? A home this old (I mean that as a compliment!) and large will be challenge to decorate and I am sure it will take time to get it right, but it will be fabulous in the end.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Did you sit in it? It’s the most comfortable sofa ever. So glad I went for it when it was on sale!

      The rug seam isn’t great, I know. I’ll be keeping an eye out for other options (the pink rugs could be used elsewhere).

  • merlin513
    February 6, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Charcoal walls would look soooo fabulous in that room, really make the sofa pop! :D

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  • Dulcie
    February 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Just curious if you found the fig somewhere in Chicago or western burbs? I am on the lookout for one. Thanks!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      It was from Sprout Home on Damen. I got it a year or two ago, and it was fairly large then and just $50! I bought a smaller one from IKEA a couple of months ago for $12, and that thing died right away. I don’t know what the problem was, but I would definitely recommend checking over at Sprout.

  • Whitney
    February 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Hey! I love how the room is coming along! I have a few questions for you… You have two flat weave rugs, how do you like them? Are they durable? Too thin/light weight? My biggest concern is that my vacuum for carpets will prove to be too powerful and end up sucking them up because they are too light… Have you had any problems with that? Any feedback would be lovely, I can’t seem to find any good places around where I live that carry flat weave so that I can check them out in person.

    Thanks and your blog is wonderful!

    • Making it Lovely
      February 6, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Depends on what the rug is made of and where it’s from. A flat-woven cotton rug from Urban Outfitters is junk. (Sorry UO, but it’s true.) The vacuum will suck it up, the design is printed on it (not woven into it), and it’s not going to last. I’ve had a cotton Madeline Weinrib rug though, and flat-woven wool rugs from IKEA, West Elm, and now these Genevieve Gorder rugs by Capel, and they’ve been great.

      • Whitney
        February 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm

        Yay! You said West Elm! I’ve actually been looking at some from Shades of Light, UO didn’t cross my mind as a rug source. Thank you so much for the quick response!

  • Kristin
    February 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    just wanted to say that I love your style, and thanks so much for opening your home(s) and life to us. I am stunned when I see rude comments, and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog.

  • Lita
    February 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I love the blue sofa… would you mind telling me where you got it from?
    Thank you!!

  • Ilse den Besten
    February 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I love this room and the colour of the sofa. What I love most tough is the big plant in the red pot, may I ask what it is?

    • Making it Lovely
      February 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      It’s a fiddle leaf fig. The plant choice of bloggers everywhere. ;)

  • Alisa
    February 7, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Perusing craigslist today and saw this. Immediately thought of you and your coffee table comment.

    Of course it’s in California… Haha

  • Emily
    February 7, 2014 at 6:26 pm


    I was browsing around One Kings Lane and came across these club chairs. I am not sure how you feel about the color, but I think the shape is perfect. These sure would be amazing against dark walls!

    And a couple of well-priced vintage pairs from Etsy (upholstery needed!)

    • Making it Lovely
      February 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      Actually, I love the color more than the shape on those first one! I’m looking for something very boxy.

  • lindsay
    February 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I love the sofa,plant, & lamp. The rest feels off. Maybe darker walls, traditional rug in bold colors, round coffee table, meatier chairs. Then some modern art to break up all the seriousness??

  • John
    February 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I dunno. This house is completely different than an apartment or bungalow. It’s a huge Victorian that will take a completely different vision. I don’t see pieces from Ikea or West Elm working in this house. The metal chairs don’t work, nor does the white cabinet in the front entry. At all. Not saying you have to go with authentic Victorian decor (barf!), but have you thought about having an interior designer with experience working with Victorian homes come in and do a couple of hour consult for you, especially to advise on paint colors and furnishings? I think it would really help things along.

    Also, pleeeeeease do not paint any of the woodwork! That wood is gorgeous.

    And, how about covering the exposed brick on the fireplace with marble tiles? That would make it look as classy as all the wood.

    • Making it Lovely
      February 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      I’m not painting the woodwork, don’t worry! I am open to changing the brick, though it doesn’t bother me much right now.

      I always love to see how different people approach a space, and I think it would be fun to have another opinion. I do have an overall plan though — it’s just going to take time to achieve, as I can’t run out and get everything at once.

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