• Ashley Harrison

Casual Living Without Sacrificing Style

If you read my blog post "Living Rooms Are For Living" you know that although our living room looked fine, it didn't function ideally for the way we live. I set out to create a space that provides style, comfort, and functionality for our family of six. When it comes to big purchases I like to see, feel, and experience before I buy, so our local furniture store, Stash Home, and their 35,000 square foot showroom was my first (and only) stop for this living room refresh.

Living room BEFORE
Living room AFTER

My husband and I walked into Stash Home prepared to shop. With a new design layout and wish list in hand, showing up prepared saved us time, energy, and stress as we perused the vast showroom of options. I wasn't ready to part ways with all the items in my current space, so the top items on our list were sofas and recliners.


When we renovated our house I had my heart set on a sofa with a chaise (which you can see in the BEFORE picture above). I designed the entire room around this sofa, and wouldn't entertain the thought of a different style. We lived with it for three years and over that time I realized what a silly decision it was to design a room around one piece of furniture that lacked versatility. Sure it was cozy for watching TV, but it wasn't practical for guests, and it limited my ability to make many changes in the space. Once I made the decision to move on from this furniture it was time for a new set of design priorities.


Sofa Selection

A sofa is likely the most expensive piece of furniture you will purchase for your living room, and no doubt one of the most important. I had non-negotiables when it came to looking for a sofa, and this time all boxes needed to be checked before I purchased.


1. Needs to be classic looking

2. Needs to keep its shape

3. Must be durable enough to withstand wear and tear of four kids and pets.

My dreams came true the moment I saw the Sylvie Slipcover sofa by Rowe Fine Furniture. The model on the floor was exactly what we wanted with its classic, clean lines, linen looking material, and down blend cushions. I was speechless until my husband said,


"A white sofa again? Why would you want another white sofa, keeping that clean will be a disaster."


Instinctively, I tried to defend my desire for wanting a light-colored sofa, but because I'm aware of the anxiety that comes with keeping them clean, I understood his concern. Luckily, I didn't have to defend my decision for long because our salesperson quickly said,


"Oh, you won't have to worry about stains on this sofa, the slipcover is removable and with this Inside Out performance fabric, spills will repel right off."


After a quick demonstration, we were SOLD!


"Ok", my husband said, "but what about the shape of the sofa, will it lose its shape and look used after a year of use?"

Let's be honest, recliners have come a long way. They are no longer big and bulky. Stylish options are abundant giving design-minded folks (like me) the opportunity to decorate a room without sacrificing style. We tried all the recliner options Stash Home had in-store and decided on the Hooker Furniture Simon Leather Recliner. I often decorate by mixing tones and warming up whites and creams with woods and leathers. The slightly worn leather look of this recliner was perfect for our space. It's a push back recliner so when it's not opened for reclining the chair resembles a club chair. No obvious signs of being a recliner was a huge win for the aesthetically minded buyer.

Again, the salesperson explained that these sofas may lose their shape from time to time but showed that being a down blend it can be fluffed and look good as new.


This information, these demonstrations, the purchase was truly a no-brainer.


Washable- CHECK

Fluffable- CHECK

Comfortable- CHECK

Classic- CHECK


Give Me a Recliner

When I started really getting into home decor and design I squashed the idea of adding a recliner to our living room. At the time, no one was using recliners to create a "show-stopping space" and I convinced myself that they were uncool. Call it stupidity, call it immaturity, call it what you will, I simply got caught up in creating a space for looks and NOT for the people who live here.


BEFORE: The large chairs in our room with nowhere to put your feet up to rest.

Let's be honest, recliners have come a long way. They are no longer big and bulky. Stylish options are abundant giving design-minded folks (like me) the opportunity to decorate a room without sacrificing style. We tried all the recliner options Stash Home had in-store and decided on the Hooker Furniture Simon Leather Recliner. I often decorate by mixing tones and warming up whites and creams with woods and leathers. The slightly worn leather look of this recliner was perfect for our space. It's a push back recliner so when it's not opened for reclining the chair resembles a club chair. No obvious signs of being a recliner was a huge win for the aesthetic minded buyer.


Hooker Furniture Leather Recliner in our space

My husband was the driving force in the decision to purchase a recliner but I have to admit, you'll find me sitting here most nights right alongside him. My only regret is I wish I would have purchased them sooner.


Importance of Furniture Placement


I would imagine you're thinking, "your space looked fine before" or "how can you get rid of that chaise sofa?" Don't get me wrong, I love a chaise sofa! In fact, I've owned two and they can be an incredible addition to a space. And you'd be right, the room did look fine before but there is such a difference between a room looking great and actually being great. Furniture placement is key and this new arrangement did more than offer additional seating. It opened up things up and made us utilize the room to it's full potential. It created seating that our family can get cozy in, yet areas guests can easily get in and out of. The new arrangement provides for a conversational flow making our main space an intimate and inviting one.


I've answered some frequently asked questions below and if you have any additional questions I would suggest visiting one of the Stash Home locations in St. Louis, MO; Oxford, MS; or Memphis, TN. Their sales staff is incredibly helpful in answering questions, doing demonstrations and pointing you in the right direction. During these times of social distancing, I would also suggest visiting their virtual store and utilizing the online chat feature for questions. Q&A

Q: I like the sofa but I do not want the light color, does this sofa come in other colors?

A: Yes, this sofa is completely customizable. You can purchase it as you see it on the showroom floor (like I did) or you can select your own fabric and finish. If you like a more structured look and not the slipcover, they have that too. If you like two cushions instead of the bench cushion that's an option as well.


Q: What is the size of the sofa?

A: 88L x 39D x 35H Seat Depth: 24"


Q: Is the recliner good for tall people?

A: This is tough to answer because everyone likes a recliner to fit them perfectly and no recliner is one size fits all. That said, this recliner is not a high back recliner. Because of that taller people would have a more difficult time fitting sufficiently on it. We specifically did not want a high back chair in the location we selected for these, so we put the look and size of the chair before fitting everyone perfectly. This is why I would also recommend always sitting in furniture before you buy it. It's difficult to gauge how each individual person will fit otherwise.


Q: Can you give me the price information?

A: I am not an employee of Stash Home, so for all specifics and questions I would refer you to them for assistance.


Q: How long did it take for you to get your furniture?

A: Stash told me to expect 6-8 week lead time. That said, all items were in and ready to be delivered well within that window. They do however have items in-store that are "Take Today" for those who do not have time to wait on furniture.


I hope this helps and look forward to sharing more of this space with you as I make additions and changes.



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