Encourage or discourage - too Elvis?

JamieAugust 10, 2012

I'm looking for 2 loveseats. I want low backs - 30 inches or less, and nothing hugely bulky. I don't want to spend a lot. These are a good brand. There are plenty of loveseats available for recovering, and if I were buying to recover I would not choose these. I'm wondering if I could use these as is. My floors are wood, and my windows are smaller, and there are many trees around the room. Would that tone down the blue to an acceptable level?

A favorite designer, Bunny Williams, often uses blue upholstered multi-person seating. Of course, her rooms are huge and she is very particular about the shade.

Encourage or discourage?

The room is being painted -- no more blue -- and the floor refinished and the window treatments changed. The loveseats would face one another in front of the FP. One possible rug is a light bluish with antique gold and some other colors.

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SunnyCottage

I don't care for them. They remind me of two enormous blue velveteen bunnies (or elephants? ;-)). Perhaps in the right mod setting they'd work, but I'm just not seeing them in your more traditional, charming space.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:15PM
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My3dogs

I happen to be right here, so I'll weigh in! I think, with the right paint color, the right window treatments (patterned) and the color sprinkled through the room in say, pillows, or a few vases on the shelves, that they COULD work. They look large for loveseats - do you have the dimensions? Have you seen them in person and sat on them?

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue sofas in decor

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:15PM
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SunnyCottage

Ah, I guess my reference should have been more to velveteen rabbits. Never mind that - make it "blue suede shoes" instead. It's not the blue that I find objectionable, it's definitely the velvet fabric.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:17PM
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GreenDesigns

Works great with white and a bit of tan like in the original picture. What might not work so great in your space is the wood color you're having the floor stained. If there will be any hint of orange or yellow in it, (Sorry, like your rug) I don't think even a big rug will work that great to neutralize the orange and blue combo effect.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:22PM
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marcolo

I think they're wicked cool. However, they are a big statement and you would have to commit to decorating around them. No: "But I was thinking of this color for the walls" or whatnot. You have to make the room work, and I think that means a bit fresh and eclectic. Traditional? No go.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:26PM
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kswl2

Pass. They are not interesting enough to redo your whole room around, imo. Nice scale, though, if you did want to reupholster.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:37PM
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mclarke

You say "Too Elvis" like that's a bad thing. :)

But seriously, I think the color might work if there were some other bright blue in the room. But then there would be more bright blue in the room. And from there it's a slippery slope. Velvet paintings of sad clowns... leopard-print curtains...

No, actually, I kinda like them. They do look comfy. If that matters.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:43PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Not for me, not for that room...too too blue.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:53PM
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palimpsest

I don't think they look Elvis-y in the room that they are in, which is traditional eclectic, so I don't think you would have to take your room to high kitsch levels either. They are a bit strong for the room they are in right now, but only by current standards of decor. A bright velvet upholstered piece was almost required in a room 40 years ago.

There was a red crushed velvet chair in my parents bedroom, that was otherwise Chippendale furniture, blue delft and blue Jacobean print, and an avocado green striae velvet loveseat in the LR, and my parents' house was (is) Extremely traditional. But that's how it was done. Not all this crushed velvet that pops up in the market is from decommissioned brothels, it's from our parents' and grandparents' houses where it was in the traditional mix.

I agree with Marcolo et al. that it would be a commitment to the blue, but it would hardly be a commitment to go all tacky.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:35PM
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joyce_6333

Definitely not my style. Just don't care for them, and they look really soiled.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:39PM
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graywings123

I don't like the way the cushions are sitting. The back cushions are not attached, the arms are too skinny. They may look better in real life.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:57PM
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teacats

Ahem -- I do think that the two blue loveseats would work in the room very very well ....

Paint everything in the room fresh white ... add the two loveseats -- and an artwork/s that would tie in the blue ... maybe add a few blue&white china/pottery items ....

If possible -- the rug would work -- BUT a rug with a hint or two of the stronger blue would be even better ....

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 4:14PM
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lazydaisynot

I wouldn't rule them out if they're in good shape, clean and comfy. My take on these would use grass green with pear green, some khaki, maybe a touch of navy, with white walls and trim. I'd aim for a fresh look and would go more contemporary with the rug. Would not use a rug with any pastel blue, even though the rug you're considering is very pretty. But that's just me!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 5:02PM
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rosie

I'm another of those who like them too and think they're lovely in that room, but then I really like blue (and I've always loved good-quality velvet). Bunny does too, of course, and occasionally uses some very bright blues. If you really do like them a lot, since you love her style, maybe you could try to guess what she'd advise? And how she'd use these if it were a go?

What I'm wondering, since you asked, though, is do you actually like them enough to build your room around two big blocks of that gorgeous color? I would, but are you only anxious because of a pull to a safer center, or are they already a bit too much or just not what you really want?

Palimpsest is right on, BTW, that colors in this current era are pretty darned subdued compared to some others (an endless series of solid beige microfiber sofas comes to mind). Vibrant colors seem brighter than they did then in comparison. A lot of people have never had a chance to see then at a friend's house, much less live with them. FWIW, I suspect that blue would be both a tad duller and darker in your lower light level. Could you bring a pillow home?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 6:04PM
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bananafana

I like them. The velvet looks distressed, which would be cool for a vintage look in your room. I can see it with the wood floors and an oriental type rug. Vintage eclectic?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

What Marcolo said. They could be amazing if the room was done exactly right which would mean throwing out any traditional decorating ideas and being open minded (decorating wise).

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 6:15PM
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mellyc123

I like them.

Velvet is hard to photograph (for me anyway) the light reflects and it looks soiled when it is not.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 7:43PM
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krycek1984

They look like old grandma couches. Plus, they look soiled. And if they aren't soiled, who would want couches that *look* soiled when they aren't?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Boopadaboo

I totally agree with laisydaisynot! Love them, if they are clean and in good shape. Are they a good price? Then I would go for it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 8:55PM
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pesky1

Discourage. I'm afraid with the scallopy-ginerbready trim in the room, even if painted white, they're just going to make it feel dated and not in a kitchsy, contemporary way. With different fabric, they'd be great, but the blue velvet, not so much.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:32PM
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jterrilynn

I like them, couldn't do two though. I think one would look great with two very cool chairs. If you can pull off a whole electic look around one sofa and some chairs it could look fantastic.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:46PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I had a blue velvet chair that i loved...swivel rocker. I've since reupholstered it in gold. The thing is, the blue I had was a soft blue gray....this blue is too in your face for my taste....even with the "dustiness" of the velvet. I suspect in RL the undertones are even more powerful.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:45AM
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oakleyok

It's not really the blue, it's the fabric. The fabric looks like it's thread bare in many places. Even if you decorated so the blue would fit in, the fabric would still bring the room down.

I'm also confused by the last picture. That's a totally different room than the two above. Which room do you plan to use the sofas in?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:14AM
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dainaadele

I would kind of update the look to removing the skirt (basic screw on legs) or replace the skirt with something that reflects the room decor (cotton eyelet maybe?) and replace the side pillows with something of a a modern feel to them. Use a splash of blue somewhere else in the room and the end result could be a kind of modern shabby chic. -just ideas...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:23AM
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Fun2BHere

Just removing the skirt and taking away the side cushions would update the sofas quite a bit. I don't mind the blue velvet. With the right rug and accessories and lots of white, they could fit into an eclectic room easily. I love this color of blue mixed with acid green or chartreuse.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:55AM
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palimpsest

I changed my mind. Only a taupe colored sofa that looks like it was designed and manufactured (in China) yesterday that is inexpensive, because it IS cheap--is acceptable in the current, acceptable taste, decorating. Don't spend a lot because anything more than a couple years old is dated and should be disposed of.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 2:38PM
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rosie

Pal, and everyone else, I was just wondering just what would most characterize this era in future, and what had come to mind was possibly a lack of personalization and depth of development--as a function of all the inexpensive goods readily purchased these days and as easily replaced.

In the past, my household of possessions, inherited, gifts, careful purchases, finds on curbs, etc. was (had to be, as for most of us), the acquisition of years. And, for better and worse, it looked like it. Now it no longer has to be that way for most households--the vast supply of inexpensive color and style-coordinated case goods allows virtually instant decorating, and redecorating.

Just the other day I hit some chain stores and bought a young relative a large metal-framed mirror I wouldn't mind having myself, a decent-looking wood wall shelf, a 24x24" "painting," and large, rather lovely glass vase to use as a waste basket for her vanity, all for just short of $50, including tax.

Jamies, will those quite unstandard pieces work for your design, do you think, or do you have to keep looking? That's a very nice room, BTW. I actually need all those bookcases and was imagining it maybe in all white like the other one but with that wall filled with books (adding both more color and gravitas) and those blue sofas--or one. Are they too long? Very inviting fantasy, though. :)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:40PM
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palimpsest

It's a transitional sofa.

It's This sofa, actually, which is available with different cushion options and skirt options including what is shown on Jamies' sofas, and what is shown on the sofa in my picture.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 4:59PM
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palimpsest

These are both silk velvet, and I can't specifically identify either fabric but the Scalamandre offerings in both the slightly crushed finish and the smooth finish retail at something like $600 a yard.

The fabric on Jamies' sofas isn't quite this, but it's not that far off. At 11 yards each, that's $13,000 just for the fabric, if it's the "real thing". I could live with a fair imitation of it to save $12K.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 5:13PM
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EG3d

I have a blue leather chair (custom color from Ethan Allen) and with a camel beige leather sofa and drapes, beige accents, blue and black accents, some pumpkin color as pop accents, wood tables - I love the color combination.

more photos later

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 3:44AM
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lynxe

"It's not really the blue, it's the fabric. The fabric looks like it's thread bare in many places. Even if you decorated so the blue would fit in, the fabric would still bring the room down."

"Plus, they look soiled. And if they aren't soiled, who would want couches that *look* soiled when they aren't?"

I do not agree with these comments. We have an old loveseat in a very faded but genuine cotton velvet. Actually, it's moved far beyond faded and into territory encompassing ripped. I don't know what the correct upholstery terms are, but it's got gathered fabric held or topped by fabric "buttons," and some of those are missing: one of my cats, when a kitten, would entertain himself by biting them off.

Maybe I have skewed taste, but I think the loveseat looks perfectly fine in its room. Not to mention, it's a little ironic (to me) that, even while some people want perfectly perfect rooms, many others want the perfectly imperfect look of a room that has evolved over many years. I don't think one way is better than the other, but I do place myself in the latter camp. With the loveseat, when you look at the rips and tears, you can see the original late 1800s red damask showing through under the faded 1940s cotton velvet. One might think that it was a family heirloom passed down over the years.

I do agree with pal that the loveseats are transitional. We have a sofa in generally the same style, although the arms on ours look to be higher and there's no skirt.

And of course pal is correct: every piece of furniture should be in the taupe family. ;)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Locrian

Hi Jamies. Those love seats are to die for! Absolutely love them =).

What colour or tone are you refinishing the floor? Natural? Dark? Medium? Neutral? Honey? Amber?

Actually, I also like the navy blue trim in the room with the white walls. It looks very crisp and chic. Have you thought of keeping the navy blue?

And...too Elvis? Heavens NO. Now if you had a candelabra, lace doilies, a vase of red roses, and a baby grand piano in the room, I'd be inclined to say Liberace. Especially if you had brocade anywhere in the room ;-)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 1:30PM
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tinam61

Lynx- I agree! I don't think the fabric is worn or soiled - I believe she said it is distressed? Or maybe another poster suggested that . . .

tina

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 1:46PM
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EG3d

Those sofas DO NOT LOOK SOILED - at all. I like them also. Just choose neutrals to work with the blue like I have - white and a camel beige. I have a pumpkin color as an accent.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:44PM
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drybean

What did you decide? I like the couches, although I do think I might just do one with two chairs.
Your room is going to look fab. Those built ins are fantastic.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:15AM
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