It's easy to get stuck on the style trappings of your existing furniture. Say you purchased an ultra modern sectional back when you were in a hardcore minimalist/Marie Kondo phase, where way less was more, but now you've grown tired of the streamlined look, or perhaps you love the look of a Chesterfield sofa, but it doesn't play nice with your bohemian decor leanings...how do you make it work without sacrificing what you already have (or just plain want)?
It's all about creating the aesthetic you want with the small things: rugs, pillows, throws, accessories and the like. That same Chesterfield you couldn't envision not in a traditional setting can easily transition from classic to totally au courant by layering it with a traditional Persian-style rug, a nubby blanket and a peppering of kilim throw pillows.
To show you how to work those soft goods to your style advantage—and walk you through how to build four attractive decorating schemes—we worked with Interior Define to lay out the basics using the newest piece to the ever-growing collaboration between the Chicago-based furniture company and Apartment Therapy. The Ms. Chesterfield (Maxwell's sleek and sexy reinvention of the once clunky board room staple) is not a shrinking violet, which made it the ideal protagonist for our styling feature to prove that you can transform just about any sofa with a few key pieces.
Style Cheat Sheet
Here's how to build the following styles in a few easy steps (as seen in the video above):
- A patterned rug (try IKEA's iconic Stockholm!) gets things started off right.
- Introduce throw pillows with a mix of striking abstract and geometric motifs to amp up the modern look of your sofa, no matter its style. The ones featured above (left and right) are from West Elm.
- The Happy Modern look is all about bright pop-y colors and contemporary textures, so have fun with lighting pieces like a canary yellow floor lamp and an oversize woven pillow or throw.
Polished & Welcoming
- Start with a neutral, textural rug, like this one from World Market.
- Next, opt for dual coffee tables—you can easily use two side tables—to keep things versatile (this way, they're far easier to move around to serve whatever purpose you may need on any given day).
- Then, it's time to layer: An industrial-style table lamp, a cozy throw blanket, and textured pillows all help to bring this look together.
- Like both of the previous looks, let the rug be the driving style force for the look you're trying to achieve. Look for a heavily patterned kilim or a vibrant Moroccan shag or berber floorcovering.
- Keep things casual and free-spirited with a warm brass side table (used here as a cocktail table), a plethora of throw pillows both on the couch and on the floor (World Market is a great resource), and unique touches like a vintage pashmina or beads.
- A tight black, white and metallic color palette (with a punch of jewel tones from the Ms. Chesterfield) is a modern approach to the glam design aesthetic, and it's easiest to start your room's decor scheme with a rug in the monotone colorway. Look for something with a rug texture (like this one from West Elm similar to the option shown above).
- Go all-out plush with your textiles: Fuzzy Mongolian lamb and posh suede pillows, and a super luxe (faux!) fur throw.
- Top it off with plenty of marble via your coffee table and lighting.