When blogger Caitlin Covington of the fashion blog Southern Curls and Pearls was moving into her new home, she knew she needed to bring in reinforcements when it came to her living room design. Enter our Design Solutions team in our Charlotte, North Carolina store. Once her space came together, we had to share here on the blog. See our Q&A below.
Ballard Designs: Caitlin, we love the way your space turned out, but first we want to talk about how you got to this point. We know you’re a new homeowner. What led you to meet with our Design Solutions team?
Caitlin Covington: When my husband and I bought our first house together, we didn’t own much furniture (since we had both lived in small apartments before). The thought of furnishing and decorating a new house top to bottom seemed quite daunting! Our living room is a huge open space and is the first room you see when you walk into our house, and that felt the most daunting of all. I love Ballard Designs furniture, and I was confident that the Design Solutions team was perfect for the job. I wanted our living room design to feel both elegant and comfortable since it’s that’s where we spend the majority of our time hanging out.
BD: Did you go into your appointment with inspiration? And if so, what inspired the pieces you selected with Laura’s help?
CC: I went into the appointment with a general idea of the furniture and colors I liked. My main concern was that I wanted our living room to “flow” with the rest of the house. I showed Laura some photos of our bedroom furniture and our dining room table that we already owned so that she could get a feel for the style of furniture I Iiked. She did a great job of showing me Ballard Designs pieces that she thought would fit with my style! Picking out the color palette was the easiest part – I knew I wanted to stick with neutrals, grey and soft blues. Ballard Designs has so many fabric prints, patterns and textures, it was really fun to experiment and pick them out!
BD: How do you and your husband plan on using this space, and how did that impact the furniture pieces you chose?
CC: Our living room is the very first room you see in our house (we have an open entryway), so I wanted the space to really make a statement. We entertain guests in the living room and also watch TV in there together at night, so while we wanted it to be elegant and sophisticated, we also needed it to be comfortable – especially the sofa!
BD: What part of working with Laura did you find the most helpful?
CC: Laura was absolutely wonderful throughout the entire process. She put together an entire presentation with several different living room design “options.” It made it so easy for us! We actually loved every single one of the options, but picked the one with the Sofia settee and chairs since those pieces really spoke to me. We ended up going with her exact fabric and color recommendations as well (again, she made it so easy). Laura also had some great ideas that I never would have thought of, like installing sconces next to mirror over the console table. That little touch adds a lot of elegance and coziness to the room, and like I said, I would never have thought of it!
BD: Combining fabrics and furniture styles can be scary! Talk to us about the process and how you and Laura landed on the pieces you chose.
CC: Laura assured me that a mix of fabrics and furniture styles was the key to achieving an elevated and comfortable style in our living room. Since we were mainly working with greys, whites and blues, we stayed within our color palette while picking out fabrics and patterns. It was so helpful to be in the store for this part – Laura had a ton of fabric samples for us to look at in person, and we played around with the fabric samples by putting them all together to see how they looked. She even brought in some wood samples so we could look at the fabrics next to the furniture colors.
BD: We know it took some time for all of your furniture pieces to arrive. Once everything arrived, were you pleased with what you chose and how it worked together?
CC: Absolutely! This was the best part of the entire process – every time a new piece arrived, it was like Christmas morning. You could slowly see the puzzle pieces coming together, one by one. The furniture looks even better in person than I imagined! It was so cool to see our living room design “come to life.”
BD: You’re a fashion blogger, so we know you have you have great taste and a unique sense of style. How do you think your personal style is reflected in the space?
CC: There are little touches of fashion throughout the space, which I really love. For instance, we have a pair of my blue suede heels on our built-in-bookshelves, and we dressed up this mannequin with a few of my pearl necklaces. And of course, there are some fashion and style books on the mantel.
BD: What spaces in your home are you working on next, and did your experience with our Design Solutions team teach you anything you’ll use in future decorating adventures?
CC: We are currently working on an outdoor space, our back patio! It’s completely empty right now and my husband and I would love to use it this spring to entertain. My experience with the Design Solutions team taught me so many things, mainly to not be afraid of mixing patterns and textures, and also that little details make the space more complete! I definitely want to experiment with mixing a patterned outdoor rug and some colorful and printed outdoor pillows on our patio.
BD: There are a lot of custom elements in the space, like the Sofia Settee and chairs which have two coordinating fabrics, the custom drapery panels, and custom pillows. Was it easy to make these style choices with the help of our consultant?
CC: Yes! Laura actually made all of those recommendations for us! We loved how it makes our space so unique, and really fits the dimensions of the room perfectly. I really loved the idea of the two coordinating fabrics on the Sofia chairs and settee – it’s a small detail but really makes an impact when you look at the room as a whole.
BD: Now that you’ve been living in the room for several months, what is your favorite part of the space?
CC: Our favorite part is the comfortable big couch – I love sitting on it and drinking my morning coffee with the sunlight streaming in! The velvet that we picked is so soft, it you just want to curl up in a blanket every time you sit down. In general, I just love all of the comfortable seating, too – we had a birthday party for my husband last weekend and there were plenty of seats for everyone. Making memories with friends and family in our living room is exactly what we wanted!
BD: Does the room function like you hoped it would? Are there any tweaks you’ve made to your living room?
CC: The room functions exactly how we hoped it would! It’s the perfect space for entertaining guests, and while it looks sophisticated and elegant, it’s still super comfortable and the perfect room to hang out and watch a movie in. The only tweaks I make to the space is adding fresh flowers every now and then, it keeps the living room design feeling fresh and adds a pop of color.
BD: Thank you so much, Caitlin, for partnering with us on this makeover. We love the way your living room turned out, and most importantly, we hope you love it too!
Find more styling and decorating tips on our blog and website.
- How to Layout a Room
- 15 Ways to Layout Your Living Room
- How to Mix Patterns Like a Pro
- Our Complete Styling Guide to Bookshelves, Consoles, and Coffee Tables
We partnered with Caitlin Covington to sponsor this living room. In exchange for product, she agreed to use our Design Solutions program and document the process.