Quick, what’s the first association you have with black leather sofas? Bachelor pads? ’80s decor? The truth is, a leather sofa can be quite palatable, decor-worse. I wouldn’t have thought so, but it’s true. The trick seems to be using it in all white rooms, either sticking to a neutral palette and modern bent, with a bit of rich wood and brass, and maybe a kilim, or going Scandinavian, with pops of clear, bright color. Here are 26 rooms with black leather sofasthat won’t make you cringe. And, if you prefer a softer neutral, have a look at January’s “Montage: Cognac Colored Leather Sofas“ and “Get the Look: 28 Leather Sofas in Cognac, Tobacco, & Caramel” for shopping suggestions.
Contining with this week’s promised Valentine’s Day theme, and further inspired by my post of the month for the Wayfair blog, “How to Decorate with Pink,” here are 20+ living rooms that use pink as the predominant color. Some interiors are done with pink accent walls, or even four pink walls, from pale pastel pink to hot pink; many feature pink sofas, which are especially fun in an all white room, but as we know I am partial to white rooms with color pops and Scandinavian style. I am hardly inclined to go pink myself, but these are definitely pretty in pink.
We all know that a classic brown leather Chesterfield sofa can look quite dignified in a traditional library setting. Thinking of other types of leather sofa in rich luggage tones, one might imagine a Danish modern setting, or something quite Italian and sleek. But there’s an in-between. I actually wouldn’t have guessed that I’d find so many examples of cognac colored leather sofas so easily, and that they’d be in such tasteful decors, including Scandinavian interiors, Brooklyn brownstones, modern houses, and bohemian lofts. These leather sofas mix as well with sheepskin as they do with kilims. Some are clean-lined sectionals, other a tad squishy. While most are in mainly white settings, many are mixed with deep reds, or yellow and green accessories. Here are 26 rooms with cognac colored leather sofas that are worth studying (and emulating). For shopping suggestions see: ”Get the Look: 28 Leather Sofas in Cognac, Tobacco, & Caramel.”
We spend summers at my husband’s family’s home in Cape Cod, and recently got a little condo in South Florida for sunshine doses during Boston winters. That pretty much (most definitely) means the travel budget is depleted. We don’t, have never, taken a grand family vacation. By contrast, our kids’ friends have travelled to some amazing destinations during school breaks (Israel, Tanzania, Norway, El Salvador, Paris, etc.). My kids have pointed out that they’ve never been out of the country, and have asked for “a trip to Canada, at least” just to say they have.
Spending thousands of dollars for the privilege (?) of spending 24/7 with family is not at the top of my list. On the other hand, I too wouldn’t mind a trip overseas, and who knows, maybe we’d even all get along and have fun. We thought, if we were to do this, we’d start off easy, with London. (After all, until just a few years ago, a family trip to Target was a challenge.)
Part of what makes travel hard, for me, is that I like a nice hotel. But that’s a huge budget-eater, especially for four. I was thinking about looking into rentals at short stay apartments in London. Does anyone have suggestions? What does this have to do with bedside sconces? Not much. While I was perusing one of those sites, I came across a photo with interesting placement of reading sconces.
When we built the house on the Cape, I installed slightly odd sconces in a guest room—ones that stick straight out above the bed. Not the best idea, as they get very hot and guests hit their heads when they sit up. That said, I applaud the efforts for trying sconces that go beyond the boring. Here are 20 bedside sconce ideas.
Today I did a roundup on Design Milk of a dozen contemporary feature walls. Here’s an expanded version of 26 rooms with wood-clad feature walls. The array includes large sheets of wood to cover walls, like the first one below, as well as horizontal and vertical slats. Some have a clean, smooth finish, while some of the feature walls are more rustic, having been created from reclaimed wood boards. Our contractor in Florida suggested that along with the plywood floor we want to put down, we should cover the main wall too. It’s a good idea.
Following up on my last shopping post 34 Brass Accents, here’s a roundup of kitchens with brass details: brass handles and drawer pulls, brass lighting, brass ranges and hoods, and even one with brassy cabinetry. Brass hardware could be a good way of freshening up a white kitchen. A lot of the kitchens here are black; while black and brass is striking, it’s too much drama for me personally. I would however adore a gray kitchen and would be happy to experiment with brass fixtures. I also love the way the brass accents look with the natural wood details on the island in the Brooklyn townhouse featured in Dwell. Have a look for yourself; would love to know your preferences. Also, have a look at my post on Lamps Plus, “5 Ways to Add Brass Lighting in the Kitchen,” which includes a roundup of some great brass light fixtures (it will be live at 2 pm ET today).
Home of stylist Sasha Seymour • Canadian House & Home
I used to have a kilim in my dining room, back in the mid 1990s in a rent stabilized apartment on the Upper East Side of New York. My then boyfriend and I got it on a trip to San Francisco, and had it shipped back. It was perfect with our Mission-style cherry pedestal table by Charles Shakleton, and covered half the living/dining room. When we moved on, his brother used it, and later I took it back and moved it with me to D.C., where it graced the floor of my bedroom for a year. I think it may have gone to a friend after that. Maybe Sabrina? If so, she actually lives in L.A. now; I wonder if it travelled back there? Although my (very cute but vicious) cocker spaniel chewed a hole in one corner, the rug held up well. The geometric pattern was playful and young, but the colors lent a note of seriousness.
I’m not really a Southwestern or Persian rug person these days, but even so, I absolutely admire the way these work in the decor. An all white space is instantly warmed up with the rich red tones. Frank Lloyd Wright used them a lot in his interiors. The almost colorless (probably pricey antique) ones in Ellen DeGeneres’ and Portia de Rossi’s kitchen are an interesting choice too; almost like a more refined sisal. I also love how Anne Maxwell of Tilton Fenwick matched the kitchen cabinetry in her Brooklyn loft to the muted blue/gray stripe on the kilim. The juxtaposition of the wicker baskets and kilim with the clean lines of the cabinets and tiles is perfection. These rugs really do work with every style.
Since we looked at homes with surfboards propped up outside yesterday, I thought we’d go inside today. The owners of these twenty homes store their surfboards inside, where it functions as a design element. In the kids rooms, I suspect, the surfboards are solely decorative. Hey, my bike’s in my living room (and both my kids’ bikes), so why not a surfboard?
I’ve done a couple of bunk bed montages, and just recently built-in alcove beds, but today’s entire post is dedicated specifically to bunk rooms. Most often, kids bedrooms with multiple built-in bunk beds. They tend to be done in summer houses in nautical styles, though not all of them. The very simple Scandinavian ones are lovely. I like the idea, and the design of these quad bunks, but I’m not really into having four or more kids sleep over; two boys are enough!
I still have not gotten around to really thinking about what sort of statement light fixture I want for the living room. When we did renovations a couple of years ago, I had the electrician wire it up for something shiny or sparkly in the smack middle of the space (recessed lights and two vintage lamps light it now). The idea was I’d search and save up for a spectacular light fixture. I have long had my eye on vintage Italian crystal floral ball chandeliers like the one in the first photo below. Usually, especially these days, my taste runs towards the more minimal and contemporary, but I can’t get my mind off these feminine lovelies. I’m sure originals are way out of reach price-wise, but I have definitely seen versions of less expensive crystal ball lights. I’ll pull together a roundup of those tomorrow.