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Tuesday, January 5

Williams- Sonoma Home

Thank you everyone for all of your emails and phone calls from my most recent sighting on the William-Sonoma Home site.

One of my favorites was from a friend in NY who was shopping on to the WSH site and POOF there was I on its home page!
It's pretty amazing to be in the DESIGNER SERIES of such a wonderful company (that I love to use on projects and my own living room sofa is from WSH). Make sure to also check out some of the past designer in the series: Thomas O'Brien, Alexa Hampton, Carolyne Roehm and Heather Clawson (from Habitually Chic).

Thank you so much to everyone at Williams- Sonoma who made this happen. You are all such a great team and company. So lucky to have a great company like WS based in San Francisco.

Here is the article that you can read online too. You can also check out some of my favorites.

I like an eclectic, diverse interior: a mix of contemporary and antique, with items that are picked up from travels. A room is more interesting and has more depth when you layer different styles.

Think long-term. When it comes to furniture, I always advise clients to buy classic pieces that will hold up over time, and to go for the best quality they can afford. It's worth it to invest in key items like a sofa or dining room table you'll have for years, and save on accessories, which are easier to swap out. I prefer neutral colors, which are less trendy. I've had clients who are crazy about orange or hot pink and ask for sofas in those colors, but I try to steer them toward a more subdued palette of which they are unlikely to tire. I love using pillows or throws as bright, pop accents, but a neutral base is so much more versatile.
Peek inside. The construction of a sofa or chair is really important. Look for details like solid wood frames and hand-finished springs, which will tell you that a piece wasn't mass produced. Cushions are such a personal preference. Some people love a really soft, all-down sofa, but I like a combination of foam and feathers. It's a bit more firm and even after a few years, won't look sloppy or lumpy.

Take your time. Furniture is expensive—don't buy it impulsively. Couples are usually different heights, so making sure that the height and pitch of a chair or sofa work for both people is key. Take advantage of companies that offer fabric samples and live with them for a bit before making your decision. Also, check the sizes of your doorways, hallways, and elevator if you live in an apartment, to ensure that whatever you're buying will fit into your house.

Get crafty. Before any major furniture purchase, I note the dimensions and use blue painter's tape (available at any hardware store) to block out where I think I'd like to put the piece. This can really help you visualize what the room is ultimately going to look like, and the tape peels off easily so you don't have to worry about damaging your floor. The same trick also works with sheets of newspaper, cut in the silhouette of the item you're considering.

Don't overdo it. A sofa is probably always going to be the largest piece in your living room or den, though you never want it to overpower your space. My living room is pretty tiny, so I chose a sofa with an English roll arm, which softens the entrance to the room. Since the arm is low to the ground you never feel like you're smacking into the side of the sofa when you walk in.

Make it work. It's not enough for a room to look pretty—it also has to function well. Put some thought into how you plan to use a room, which will dictate what kind and how much furniture you need to buy. Next to any sitting area, make sure you have enough reading lamps and tabletops for setting down drinks. I like furniture that can multitask, like a coffee table with an extra shelf on the bottom so you have a place to store things like books and a basket to hide your remote controls.

My favorite items at WSH. I chose the Bedford Sofa for my living room and absolutely love it. I know I'll have it for years and the quality is fantastic. I also really like the Fairfax Custom Bench Ottoman. It's such a functional piece: wheels make it so easy to move around, and it works as extra seating, or as a coffee table with a tray and a stack of books and vase on top.


Scott Fazzini said...

GRANT! Congratulations! A truly wonderful article, and a truly gifted designer!

EAC said...

Congratulations! Great advice. And I'm so glad to read that I'm not the only one who uses the painter's tape on the floor test for furniture daughter calls it "Mommy's imaginary furniture".

Ideezine said...


It's always great to share and people do feel a connection with blogging that is unmatched by anything else so far. Great article, advice and post once again.


katiedid said...

Congrats Grant! That was exciting I am sure!

And that is so funny we were in Mendo at the same time! We had other friends there too and didn't see them either. A bigger place than it first appears. :)

style chronicle said...

I saw you on WSH yesterday and was so excited. Way to go, Grant!!

Thank You For Asking said...

I have just discovered your blog and think it is fabulous! I live in San Francisco as well. I look forward to more posts.


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