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Rethink and Refresh | Easy Ways to Add Style to Your Sofa

Photography by Kathryn Feldmann

Your home, as mine does, probably has more than one sofa— the bastion of the family room, den and living room. Let’s see what four of Roanoke’s top designers do with one sofa and the console table behind it. Styling and layering can take us in many directions; find out what works in your home and be inspired!

While capitalizing on the stunning antique dresser, Jessica Ellie Proctor and Meredith Draper of Ellie Proctor Antiques and Fine Things love the neutral fabric on this sofa. “It’s like an empty canvas really,” says Proctor. This English arm sofa upholstered in black and ivory ticking stripe provides a neutral background to give new throw pillows center stage. Front and center is a Dhurrie rug lumbar pillow with a Greek key motif. The soft browns, coral and icy blue embrace the same color scheme found in the abstract oil on canvas behind the sofa. The Matouk throw in champagne works well with the ivory in the sofa and background of the large toile pillows. The assortment and various sizes and shapes of the pillows add interest and composition to the tight-back sofa.

“Layering and mixing contemporary pieces with vintage objects gives the comely sofa added intrigue,” says Draper. The silver leaf faux bamboo buffet lamps juxtaposed with the brown obelisk give the vignette a contemporary feel. The cowhide rug not only reflects the honey tones in the bamboo window shades, but lends a hip vibe as well. Proctor adds: “Keep in mind the decorative objects you already have and add new pillows; a new piece of artwork and viola, you’ve completely changed the space and mood of the room!”

Elaine Stephenson Interiors works with clients to use their favorite objects and art to create unique and exquisite spaces. The antique Chinese roof tiles representing different animals are a rare find. Stephenson says, “The glazes in primary colors are so pretty!” The large acrylic painting by Courtney Cronin depicts a beloved marsh scene. Buffet lamps frame the painting and their classic and simple lines are timeless. The vivid colors in the marsh scene are also present in the throw pillows. “The colors and painterly design of the Thomas O’Brien fabric on the pillows are a favorite of mine,” says Stephenson. The pillows work well with not only the painting but also the Persian rug.

Adding a luxurious fringed throw blanket along the back of the sofa makes the sofa even more appealing. “I wanted to create a warm and welcoming space where anyone can curl up with a good book, a cup of tea and spend time among their most favorite things,” she says.

This vignette designed by MaryJean Levin of Halifax Fine Furnishings demonstrates a play of textures. A pair of neutral pillows with an arabesque design flanks print pillows in a timeless chinoiserie design. Behind the sofa, a pair of porcelain lamps in a deep blue brings together the color scheme. “The monochromatic artwork—charcoal sketches from the early 1900s—interplay well with the ticking-striped sofa and the intricate textures and patterns of the pillows,” says Levin.

The uniformity of the lamps and pillows gives the vignette symmetry. An ebony box offers hidden storage for remotes and small accessories. Levin added a sumptuous deep blue chenille throw, left casually at one end of the sofa. “The single off-center throw relaxes the total look and welcomes the sitter,” she says.

Interior designer and Magnolia owner Jessica Durham creates a look with intrigue, accentuating the dark and light contrasted in this sitting area. The dark rug is lightened with the ivory and black ticking-striped sofa. The Kilim stool blends with the rich hues in this space. The pillows with earthy tones of terracotta, clay and coral add warmth. “The House of Cindy pillows are organic and made with one-of-a-kind vintage fabrics,” says Durham. The vertically oriented oil painting by Charlotte artist Lauren Bolshakov creates a mood of serenity, capturing the contrast of dark and light. The tall iron lamps on either side of the painting are transitional and can be styled in both modern and conservative spaces.

The soft loose cable throw with playful pom-poms infuses coziness and a bit of whimsy. Durham suggests “including a live plant with delicate and feathery fronds to add life and texture.” Fresh greenery enhances the earthy tones and organic feel of the space.

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