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Living Loving & Decorating with Blue


Wow! It's been a month already since the launch of Allured By Design. There are days I'm still in disbelief that my design blog is an actual manifested dream turned into a reality, that I've worked my butt off to make happen...to share my love for all things interior design with an audience that loves it just as much as I do. I'm so thankful to everyone that's been following along and have taken the time to either peruse my blog, read my shared blogposts or to visit my Instagram page @alluredbydesign and like and comment on my design photos.

I've shared quite a good bit of photos within my first month, that so many have fallen in love with. But of the many I've shared thus far, both on my blog and on Instagram, the photos that have garnered the most attention and inquiries are my living room photos.


Sources:

Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Asolid Photography

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Furniture: Sofa - Christian Street Furniture, Coffee Table - American Factory Direct, Rustic Chest - Niche Modern Home

Decor & Accents Atop Chest: Blue Candle Holders - Pier1 Imports, Apothecary Vases - Cost Plus World Market, Mercury Vase & Blue Agate Stones - Home Goods, Le Mur Painting - ZGallerie

Clearly when you scroll through my IG feed, it's evident that I love the color blue. But just in case it's not, let me be the first to share here and let everyone know...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE BEAUTIFUL COLOR, BLUE!

I love it so much I chose it as a main theme for the living room of #HousePiazza.

Crazy Wild Fact: #HousePiazza is the official name and title of me and my husband's home. The name is indeed inspired by our love for Game of Thrones and a nod to all of the noble and royal families in the novels and series. Our favorite families being #HouseStark and #HouseTargaryen

Selecting blue as a theme was quite easy, considering it's not only my favorite color but it's also my husband's favorite color as well. In addition, we both have a love for deep rich blues. So selecting various shades of blue for our living room was quite the fun. As I mentioned above, with the release of my blog and the sharing of many of my living room photos, I've had quite a few inquiries from folks that also love the color blue and would like to decorate with it as well but are either...

  • Afraid of playing with color

  • Not sure how to incorporate other colors alongside of blue

  • Not confident on how to execute a cohesive look

In addition to this particular blogpost, I'll also do a video tour of my living room as well, in an effort to not make this post longer than my normal posts, which are already quite lengthy. There are just so many home accent & decor goodies, as well as great furniture pieces in my living room. And, I'd really like to be able to share with you as many details as possible, all of the items in my living room...and doing so may take up some time. So this written post will shed some details, while the video tour will divulge more. So stay tuned for that.

Also, the video tour is mainly for those that may not care to read as much but would prefer viewing a video instead. See, I'm spoiling you all already. That's a sure sign of trouble. YIKES!

But let's get into the process...

I can't say what every Interior Stylist process is for designing and decorating a living room, but for me it began with selecting the color and fabric for my sofa and love-seat, which were the two most crucial items for our space. The way the seating is arranged and styled in a living room generally sets the tone for everything else within the space, for further enhancement. But sometimes a painting or even a coffee table may be the first choices for a living room before one can decide on their seating furniture. However, for me the process was choosing my sofa and love-seat first, and I built everything else around it from there.

Because blue was both me and my husband's favorite color, and we had just did an Ivory sofa in our former home...I really desired to go with a darker hue. In addition, Charlie and I would like to grow our family of two and have kids some day in the near future. As a result, doing away with a lighter sofa was imperative (at least for us). In particular, I tend to fancy deep rich shades of blue such as...indigo, cobalt, sapphire, royal, and navy blue. So I began my search working to find different sofas in all of those shades.





Design Tip: When selecting your fabric and print, I highly recommend bringing home a swatch sample so you can see how the lighting in your home will work with the sample, before you order and

purchase. Lighting is always always always KEY in making a room look amazing or dull. If you're going with a darker hue, as I did, having a generous amount of natural light coming in from your windows makes all of the difference, in addition to general lighting staged around the space.

As popular as the blue trend currently is, at the time I was looking three years ago, the choices weren't as plentiful for deeper blues in upholstered fabrics. Instead I was constantly finding lighter hues of blue. However, both Christian Street Furniture (local New Orleans store located in Metairie, LA) and West Elm did offer beautiful rich shades of blue. West Elm offered this gorgeous blue ink shade in a performance velvet fabric, while Christian Street Furniture offered indigo blue shades in chenille, microsuede, and linen.

The velvet option was my undoubted favorite. Velvet shows up absolutely beautiful on just about any color. But blue velvet...let me tell you, has to be the most beautiful combination of color and fabric I've ever seen. Clearly many others in the design world feel the same way about the combination, because it's such a wildly popular trend today that I don't see dying anytime soon. Blue and Velvet just works extremely well together. So it's definitely a win-win combination and a great look for anyone to execute.




Sources:

Sofas: All sofas shown above can be found and purchased online via ZGallerie. A direct link to their site can be found by clicking here or visit http://www.zgallerie.com

However, in spite of favoring the velvet fabric, we opted to go with the indigo blue shade in the chenille fabric. I know, I know...after all of that talk about the great combination of velvet and blue and how amazing it looks one would think, what the hell? Why didn't you go with your favorite option? But trust me there's a reason for it. Sadly, the sofa that we wanted from West Elm, inclusive of the color and fabric was on back order indefinitely. And, unfortunately at the time West Elm couldn't provide me with a future date as to when they would start offering the sofa and love-seat in that particular color and fabric once more. I was definitely disappointed and even gave thought to waiting it out, as a New Orleans location would soon be opening up and possibly carry the sofa I wanted, in the fabric and color I desired.

But my husband who was super antsy about us getting a new sofa sooner than later, convinced me to consider the options I originally fell in love with from Christian Street Furniture. And, so we did. The great thing about chenille is contingent upon the grade...it can often times feel just as soft as velvet, as it's actually woven to resemble velvet. (Click here to learn all about the difference between chenille vs. velvet). But because my velvet desire had yet to be fully quenched, selecting the chenille option in the end allowed me to layer both my sofa and love-seat with a variety of velvet toss pillows. So ultimately, I got my velvet fix in the end through my accents. And, this is where the fun really begin...


Toss pillows truly allow you to bring creativity and really enhance your space with beauty. As a bonafide toss pillow fanatic, I like to select pillows with not only a great texture but also a gorgeous print or pattern. It's visually appealing to the eye and adds a little bit of depth to your space. Also, toss pillows aren't limited to just sitting on seating furniture. You can be creative with them and stage them in other areas in your living room space like near a window, at the foot of a vase, in a basket, and even nearby your fireplace. But, of course safety first! I wouldn't suggest staging toss pillows near the fire place when the fire is burning. More so as a (pre-lit) gathering place or storage area, for additional toss pillows that you or your guests can grab to sit or lie on once the fire is lit. See the photo below for reference.


So the blue seating furniture is selected. Next you begin selecting your furniture pieces that compliment whatever hue of blue you've chosen, and that's exactly how I proceeded. Actually, mines was more of a simultaneous process because I had a clear vision initially of how I wanted to execute and what colors I wanted to combine. But this post is specifically for those who aren't sure of where to begin working with the color blue.

Design Tip: If you opt to go with blue upholstery or even just blue decor in general...blue works really well with whites, creams, ivories, neutrals, greys, gold, silver and just about any metallic. And, if you really want to be bold and daring you can even introduce other colors to mix with your blues...such as greens, yellows, and dare I say, even pinks.

Because I personally love the contrast of blue and white, I opted for my furniture pieces to be antique distressed whites and a little bit of rustic whitewash pieces as well. I'll disclose more details on those pieces in the living room video tour. To balance out all of the rustic furniture pieces, I layered with glam elements and brought in gold and silver metallics. Yes, it's perfectly ok to mix metals - I highly recommend it. This of course played into, as well as displayed my rustic glam design style. I also added another neutral color to my palette, a smokey grey with the addition of my two greek key ottomans.



Sources:

Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Asolid Photography

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Wardrobe: Top - Ann Taylor Loft, Pants & Shoes - Banana Republic

To style my coffee table, I decided to make all of the colors in my living room even more visible through various home accents, by placing them atop of the table. Further style details of my coffee table will be shared in the living room video tour. In addition, I also introduced brighter blues through selected decor pieces for my coffee table as well. The brighter blues offered a really great contrast, opposed to having every accent be in the same darker hue of blue. For me this was a personal preference. You can totally opt to stick with a more monochromatic look by accenting with the same or similar hue. But I love variety and I like to display my love for variety when I'm decorating.




To soften up the room a bit more from so many darker shades of blue, I also added a white accent chair, which I fell in love with the moment I saw it. What I love most about our accent chair, known as the Jonathan Club Chair, is the added nailhead trim. This provided additional texture, character, and even more depth to our space. And, my personal favorite...it provided me with the perfect reading corner.


Sources:

Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Asolid Photography

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Furniture: Chair & End Table - Niche Modern Home

Decor & Accents: Ralph Lauren Sequin Pillow - Home Goods, White & Silver Pillow - Steinmart, Lamp - Georgian Furnishing/Bergerhome, Candle & Candle Holder - Pier1Imports, Gold & White Dish - Niche Modern Home

And, this goes without saying but even more so...it provided another area for me to display my love for toss pillows. My name is Tachic Hickman-Piazza and I have an addiction to buying and hoarding toss pillows. The first step to recovery is admittance right? Help me Lord!

If your living room space is large enough to do accent chairs, I highly recommend adding one or two. Our living room could only afford one after staging both a sofa and a love-seat. Had more space been allotted, I would've definitely preferred to do two instead of one. But, thankfully my idea for two wingback chairs was able to be fulfilled in my home office area instead. Also, I can't stress this enough...should you decide to do a "living room set" say NO to a chair that's apart of the set as well. One or two pieces from the same set, not bad. But three, four and five pieces all the same, please say NO!! In my last post, my design tip stressed and encouraged everyone that's stuck in the furniture set twilight zone, to get out of the comfort zone of purchasing sets. You can read that post here and find the full design tip within the post.

So after all is said and done, you're vision for your seating furniture, your coffee table, end tables, and home accents are all coming together. But you still don't have anything on your walls to bring your space even more to life. Bare walls are just that...bare and boring. To me, I feel like the way your walls are styled be it with color, texture, or paintings...really speaks to the person's style and personality. Not that everything else doesn't because it's all relative, and the way a person's home is styled in general is definitely a reflection of their personal style. But walls are a whole different entity.

First and foremost, and I probably should've stressed this much further up. But if you're absolutely clear that you'll be decorating with blue...the color on your walls are most imperative to make your blue pop and make it centerstage. If you're going with a darker hue of blue as I did, I would highly recommend going with a brighter color on your walls (whites, creams, greys, or brighter neutrals). If you tend to favor warmer neutrals on your walls, that's fine as well. But be careful of how warm you go when working with darker blues and be conscious of how much natural light in addition to regular lighting is in your space. In the end, it's ultimately your choice to go as dark as you want to go, both on your walls and in furniture pieces. Just remember...once again, lighting is always always always KEY! Especially when working with darker colors.

As I recommended earlier, bringing fabric swatch samples home to test out in your space, also test your desired paint colors on your walls first and view it at various times of the day (morning, noon, evening, and night). View how the paint color looks with your fabric swatch of blue at each time of the day with both natural and regular light. This will save you from making a grave error in selecting the wrong paint color that really doesn't pair well with your shade of blue. My living room walls are botany beige, which is a warm, yet bright neutral and works really well with all of the deeper shades of blue I chose for our living room.

So outside of your wall color, a gorgeous painting or a beautifully framed mirror will completely transform, further enhance, and bring your look altogether.


Source:

The painting in this photo, titled Indigo Bloom is currently sold online @ High Fashion Home. A direct link to their site can be found by clicking here or visit http://www.highfashionhome.com/indigo-blue-framed.html

It literally took me over a year to finalize which painting would be perfect for our space. I even sent one painting back because there was too much green in it and not enough blue. I came very close to purchasing the painting pictured above, but it was way too massive for our space. Maybe in the next home, I'll be able to do that one because that bad boy is stunning!! I don't even think stunning truly describes the beauty in that painting. But ultimately, we went with this absolutely gorgeous "Le Mur" painting from ZGallerie and I must admit after sending one painting back, I truly wasn't sure if the Le Mur would or wouldn't work. But the day it was delivered, the smile on my face said everything. I fall more and more in love with our painting with each passing day and it truly enhanced our entire living room space and basically pulled everything together.



Sources:

Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Asolid Photography

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Lagniappe: Additional Source Information for all furniture pieces and decorative accents will be shared on my Living Room Tour video. Please follow my IG feed for date announcement

To finalize...in addition to paintings and mirrors, don't be afraid to add wall panels or a gallery wall to your living room space as well. I'm a huge fan of gallery walls, but they can be tricky to properly execute. They'll definitely be a future blogpost on gallery walls in the near future, as I have a beautiful one I created in my home office. As always stay tuned for that.

In the video tour of my blue living room, I will also address me and my husband's mantle and give full details on the styling of it. Instead of placing a TV above our mantle, we opted to place a mirror above it. We purchased an entertainment unit from the Summer Hill Collection (referenced in my last past - find it here), which is where we placed our flatscreen TV since the model we built, didn't come with custom wall units or built-ins. So I'll definitely get into details on our entertainment unit as well on the video tour and all of the fun I had in styling each of the shelves within the unit.

Have fun exploring the world of blue as I did, and please feel free to reach out to me with any design questions. You can contact me directly from my About Me page or click here.

Design Tip: Also, I highly recommend doing a search in the HOUZZ app or via their website @ www.houzz.com and look at photos of various ways to decorate with blue. Type in Decorating With Blue in the search bar and a variety of inspiring images will pull up. Be creative with your word play in the search bar and feel free to type in any type of phrase with the word blue in it. (Blue Sofa, Blue Chair, Blue Pillows, etc...)

Although lengthy, (I told you it would be a lot to cover) I hope this post was an enjoyable and informative read and if nothing else...I hope I was able to offer some tips and more confidence to anyone that desires to decorate with blue, but have been afraid to do so. And, finally please follow my IG feed @alluredbydesign for date announcement of my Living Room Tour.

With Love,

Tachic-

#Blue #decoratingwithblue #bluelivingroom #livingroom #bluepainting #rusticwhites #jonathanclubchair #LeMur #Indigo #DeepBlues #Cobalt #Sapphire #CoffeeTable #ChristianStreetFurniture #IloveBlue

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