Sunday, January 16, 2011

A chance encounter and a real-life tip

Recently I was at PHF looking at commercial carpeting for our new showroom, and I ran into Dennis and Florence Long, a really nice couple who were there to shop for some upholstery fabric. It turned out Florence had attended one of our workshops!

Florence told me how much she learned and was inspired. She showed me how they came prepared with photos of their space to help in their selection, just as I had taught. In looking at her photos and the direction they were going in, of course I couldn’t help but add my two cents! :)

Here’s a tip I want to share with all of you. The situation that we have here is the Longs are reupholstering their beautiful but slightly weathered sofa. They know they want to tie in the new fabric with the area rug beneath the sofa, which is two shades of blue. The fabric they were looking at was another blue that would tie in nicely with the area rug.

This is something I see all the time: My suggestion to the Longs was to remember our 60-30-10 rule. They were tying in with the dominant color in their space: blue area rug, blue accents in art throughout the room. If blue is already the dominant color, I told the Longs, a very large furniture piece like the sofa should tie in to a secondary color.

I noticed a subtle gold line running through the area rug and suggested that instead of a blue sofa on the blue area rug, which would have made the middle of the living room look like a giant swimming pool, why not instead pick up on the gold and make that the secondary color, and accent with some blue and brown pillows?

Here’s the fabric I recommended. It’s a color they won’t get bored with over time, it’s neutral, and it won’t leave visitors to the Longs’ house thinking, wow, they really do love blue.

I also recommended that they reupholster the side barrel chairs in a coordinating fabric that has some gold but also blues and browns in it, and they can also use the same fabric as accent pillows on the sofa.

This coordinating fabric has a subtle abstract feeling. You can almost see light waves, which will tie in with the eclectic island style the Longs want to go in.

They were thrilled to death and I was thrilled to help them. Design dilemma solved, and I’m off again to get back to sorting out the design dilemmas of our showroom!