When Emily approached me about designing my new apartment for the blog I was ecstatic, but mostly terrified. Ecstatic in the fact that she entrusted me to design a space that we would feature on the blog allowing all of her readers into the design process of my space and each and every step. But, terrified that it would be chronicled on the blog and every winning decision or mistake I made would be there for all of you to read through. Trust me folks, there will be mistakes, and I can assure that there will be moments where you think, what the heck is he thinking putting those side tables with those lamps, or that art with those sconces. But, there is a method to my madness, or at least I am pretending there is.
When I first started milling around for inspiration for my living room I knew that I wanted to go bold. Not bold in the fact that I wanted pink and yellow stripes on the wall and flashing neon signs over the doorways, but bold in a more refined, dramatic, and masculine way. I spent the evenings with my imaginary boyfriend, pinterest, and we kept each other company at night. Things started to look like this:
I wanted something masculine (obviously), something graphic, something rugged, and something that seamlessly incorporated old architecture and pieces with new modern and architectural lighting and accessories. After I had decided on general direction it was on to picking out some new pieces of furniture that would go with the few pieces that I wanted to keep after my move.
Once upon a time picking out furniture for your home meant either running to your local department store to find a pretty limiting selection of options or flipping through piles of catalogs where your eyes melted out of their sockets while perusing through all those beautiful glossy pages as you tried to imagine what that leather chair would look like in your space, or how the L-shaped sectional would fit around your already existing coffee table. You then had to find the little tiny letter that corresponded with the piece you liked and follow it down to the bottom of the page where the fine print was worse to read through to find dimensions and prices than the ingredients in your favorite breakfast cereal.
Flash forward to today, where we have about 1.5489 gazillion online retailers with about 89.4057 trillion options from each of them (completely accurate numbers – feel free to fact check). It is overwhelming, it is a lot to process, and it is just stressful. The product images can be dated, the fabric selections can be limiting, and the prices can just be frightening. As much as I wanted to keep the sofa that I found for $30 at a thrift store in Utah, the peeling fabric and wannabe solid construction had seen its day and it was time to go. So, I was on the hunt for something affordable, well designed, and customizable.
Right around this time a company that encompassed all three (and more) reached out to introduce themselves and that is when Interior Define became the answer to all my questions, besides the ever looming question of why I am still single. If Interior Define were a man, I would be fully satisfied with my life and everything it has amounted to throughout these 27 years of my existence, sadly they just make furniture, so although their furniture does not have human arms, I am sure that one of their sofas will act as my shoulder to cry on after the many terrible first dates my future holds. I digress.
Interior Define is new to the game but they are big time players, they offer a well curated selection of sofas, sectionals, and chairs which are all fully customizable and 30-40% less in cost than any comparable retailers. Not only do they have a great website to view everything but you can also discuss anything over the phone with one of their designer consultants or in person at their new storefront in Chicago.
Brass Barcart | Gold Wall Sconces | Abstract Art | Sofa | Gray Linen Curtains | Leather Chairs: similar | Antiqued Mirror Credenza | Horns | Souk Wool Rug | Hanging Rattan Chair | White and Brass Lamp
As I began to refine things down and pull products together I made some decisions (still am making decisions) and pulled together a moodboard with some of my instinctual favorites. By instinctual I mean, my dream products that I would most likely cut of my two pinky toes, or donate my kidney for, or possibly trade my first and second boyfriends for. Basically a dream board which would then inspire my decisions as I came off my dream cloud and back down to design reality.
I had decided on a color palate, and I had decided on the fact that I wanted a dramatic and dark space, seeing as how I had floor to ceiling windows and got a lot of natural light in the space. Lastly, I had decided that I wanted it to lean more masculine and more colorless than some of my previous spaces. Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE color, I don’t think Emily would have hired me if I were a colorless, gothic soul, that sucked the life out of her designs. But, I was ready for a more adult, refined space which I had always dreamed of living in.
The process of choosing a sofa is not easy, let alone picking one out online. Luckily for me, Interior Define has a wide selection of amazing fabrics to customize whichever frame you fall in love with, an insanely easy and user friendly online shop, and they send through these very handy cards which show the shape, size, and dimensions of each of their products with a plethora of sample fabrics.
I was torn between wanting a more modern sofa to juxtapose the worn leather club chairs that I was also on the search for, or going with something more traditional, that I knew I would love for years to come, but maybe didn’t have the clean modern lines of the latter.
So naturally, I drafted them both up in some moodboards, to see visually which appealed to me more.
Decisions, Decisions. The first option had their very modern, and very simple and clean lined “Gray” Sofa. My first instinct was that I liked it but I was not sure how practical it was with the low back and the big chunky arms. Option two was their “Rose” sofa, which is their version of a traditional english roll arm sofa. I have always loved that sofa style especially when they are upholstered in more modern fabrics, so I decided to throw it up in the moodboard even though I thought it may lean a bit too traditional with all of the other more masculine and traditional items I already knew I wanted or had.
Once I had the second option for the sofa in the board, I instantly started liking the way that the room was coming together. It worked well with the wood elements that I wanted as well as the more harsh and masculine iron, brass and metal elements that were in there. Lastly, the higher back, the curved arms, and the wood legs were all what made it a winner for me. I worried that the more modern sofa would be too boxy with the big metal and antique mirrored credenza and that things would just start feeling too heavy especially with the dark gray walls that I wanted.
Next was deciding on fabrics, which with all the good options they have became a very difficult decision considering as how they just introduced 50 new fabrics into their arsenal. I was swayed between two options. Do I go dark and monochromatic and stick with a gray to play with the walls, the linen curtains, and the pull out the gray stripe in the rug. Or do I go light and more taupe or beige to pull out the warmer tones of the wood, the creams of the rug and to pop more off the soon to be gray walls behind it.
I am still torn between the two color options, but as it is right now I am leaning towards a gray fabric choice in a more modern fabric weave.
Things are coming along quite well, and I am getting very excited about it all, so stay tuned for what crazy decisions I think up next. In the meantime head on over to their site to check out some of our favorites. Our friends over at Interior Define have been kind enough to send through a discount offer to use on your next order. $100 off any order over $1000! Use code: EH100 upon checkout ***Discount offer good from 10/01/15 – 10/15/15
Not only that but because we all love beautiful free stuff we have teamed up with them for a BIG giveaway. One lucky winner will win a $1000 online credit on Interior Define to shop for any sofa!
Here are the steps to enter:
1) Visit Interior Define
2) Join their email list
3) Pick your favorite Interior Define product
4) Comment back on this post with the link to the piece you’d buy with the credit if you won!
Giveaway Rules: The giveaway is open to US readers only, and the $1000 credit must be used in a single transaction toward the purchase of a couch before 12/31/15. The entrant must register their email address and the giveaway ends on 9/30/15. The giveaway winner will be randomly selected from the comment section below and we will email and announce the winner directly on this post.
A big thanks to Interior Define who sponsored this post as well as all of our other collaborators who allow us to create original and interesting design content for you. Don’t forget to come back soon for more updates and makeover takeover magic.