This edition of the Making it Yours series (MiY) was inspired by a problem clients often present. They have a lot of the basics in place. They bought the neutral sofa they thought “would work with everything.” They chose a coffee table with clean lines, and white or off-white curtains. Everything is fine! But it’s a bit boring and lacks personality. Then they spot and fall in love with something — in this case a pair of pink Elroy left and right arm chairs — and think, that could never work in a house like theirs… could it?
It totally could.
Today is the first of three parts. We’ll start by modernizing a few traditional basics, pairing them with pieces that you might not expect, and I’ll explain why each choice works. Then as we continue this edition of MiY, we’ll see how the design could evolve over the years as the homeowners grow more confident in their choices, and also how to incorporate the chairs beyond the living room.
It wouldn’t be much of a challenge to pair the Elroy chairs with mid-century modern or contemporary styles, but with a traditional sofa? That’s a bit harder, and that’s where people struggle. Were we to start from scratch, the sofa style would be a better complement to the chairs. The brand’s styling is a perfect example.
I’m working with a similar palette. Light neutrals are a comfort zone for many, and we’re not venturing far out. Beige and white, with a little black for contrast, plus the blush pink of the chairs. Most rooms benefit from a mix of old and new, but it’s essential in this case to help bridge the gap between the different design styles.
I also echoed the curves and circles in a few pieces, including this dresser. I imagine it beneath a TV with maybe a stack of books on top and a few accessories. One would only be allowed to watch classic cinema that pleasingly matches the room.
Now we get to see it all together. I included more information about why I incorporated each piece, from the very important information to “he’s a handsome man.” Useful information, all of it.
And I hope this makes it easier to incorporate something into your home that may be out of your comfort zone! There was a comment about the chairs in my last post: “They are so cool, but probably too fabulous for me.” No way. Just fabulous enough, I say. I’m having so much fun designing around them and can’t wait to show you more.
Brooklyn Upholstered Sofa, Pottery Barn
My favorite configuration for sofas would be three seat cushions with a tight back, just like this. The roll-arms and nailhead detail, paired with the turned legs, are traditional details that give this sofa a timeless style.
Surya Tilda Pale Pink Throw Blanket, Layla Grace
Bringing in a little more pink to tie-in with the chairs.
Silk Hand-Loomed Rosette Pillow, West Elm
We’ve had these on our sofa for years and they’re holding up beautifully.
Cream Diamond Embroidered Lumbar Pillow with Poms, Target (Nate Berkus)
I’m a sucker for pillows with poms or tassels on the corners every time. This one’s no exception.
Woven Mohair Dashed Stripe Black and White Pillow, Rejuvenation
Stripes are always a good idea. Broken stripes are sometimes an even better idea (as in this case).
Bombay Tassel Finials, Anthropologie
Added interest and texture for simple curtains.
Bronze Geo Object, West Elm
A little sculptural piece that relates so nicely to the artwork.
Aina Curtains, IKEA
Unlined, but hard to beat the value for plain linen curtains.
Switch Coffee Table, Crate & Barrel
“Switch” because you can switch the glass and wood shelves, choosing your top surface. A versatile piece that would work in so many homes.
Large Fern in White Pot, Target (Threshold)
The room needs some greenery and life. Or fake life, if you can’t keep the real thing alive.
The Crystal Palace Prints, Inaluxe
Sold individually, but wonderful as a group. There are 8 prints to choose from in the series.
Årstid Floor Lamp, IKEA
A pleated, tapered shade, brass-tone base, and friendly (less than $50) price.
Sunrise Wall Hanging Fringe, Wkndla for Anthropologie
More textural loveliness for the room. More curves too. And pink. More of all the good stuff!
Emery Antiqued Brass Desk Lamp, One Kings Lane
Getting the proportions right with lamps like these is crucial, and they’re right with this one.
Dual Glaze Vase, Schoolhouse Electric
Aw, cutie. You’re not getting the full effect if you don’t visit the site and see a larger image. The bottom half is smooth and matte, while the top is a shiny, bumpy wonder.
Renwick Dresser, Anthropologie
This is the trendiest dresser possible, really. It picks up on everything that’s happening design-wise right now, but it’s not going to be dated when the moment passes. A solid choice in a bedroom too (where one would normally expect to see it).
Ziegler Area Rug, Solo Rugs
The repeating pattern adds interest, but over all it’s a subdued design. Not flashy, just a really pretty foundation for a room.
Pink Elroy Left and Right Arm Chairs, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
I do adore these. I spotted them while doing my pink roundup for Valentine’s Day and now hooray! A whole series born of my devotion.
Mawr White Marble/Gold Metal Accent Table, Target (Project 62)
I wanted a brass drum table, or something shapely to balance the boxy openness of the coffee table. This delivers, and has a marble top as a bonus.
Antique French Empire Trumeau Mirror, Chairish
Six feet tall and stunning. This would add instant luxe to a room lacking in architectural detail.
Stone Grecian Bust, South Loop Loft
He’s a handsome man whose sole purpose is to decorate your house. Very hirsute.