Lessons in Décor from the La-Z-Boy Design Dash
Spoiler alert: It’s not all leather recliners
Published May 30, 2017 9:15 AM
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If you were given one hour to shop a La-Z-Boy showroom, what kind of room would you put together? The La-Z-Boy Design Dash event gave design bloggers the opportunity to do just that. Now is your chance- Be sure to vote for your favorite for a chance to win $15,000 in La-Z-Boy furniture to design your dream home.
La-Z-Boy invited me to attend Design Dash and without knowing what to expect, I headed to High Point fully expecting hair-pulling as bloggers raced for the best side table. Instead, I was immediately welcomed into the fold of a well-curated group of successful business women who are part of a strong community of design-minded bloggers. I caught up with each woman on her sofa to hear about her process, her thoughts on the Dash, and what inspires her.
While the answers varied, there were common denominators: This event broke any preconceived notions we all had about La-Z-Boy furniture (it’s not just leather recliners!), and showed that you can in fact do-it-yourself (or with help from the La-Z-Boy design team), and that you should always decorate with what you love.
Read on to learn more about each design and get to know the bloggers behind the rooms, which were created with a little help from La-Z-Boy’s design services team.
What does the word “design” mean to you?
It’s how I live and breathe. Since I was really little, I was drawing floor plans and elevations. My husband is a landscape architect, and I got my degree in interior design so we talk about design all the time. That doesn’t mean my house is perfect, but I am always thinking about it.
Vote for Cassity’s room here.
What was your design process for the competition?
I didn’t know what the room looked like so it was a little different. I am usually a form follows function girl. I think about what that space will be used for, and ask questions: What are the traffic patterns going to be? Where are you going to be sitting? Is it about storage? Is it about dining? I never want to see a lot of stuff out, so I always need to have good storage, too.
What’s been your favorite part of Design Dash?
I just love the people! I love the other bloggers; these are my friends, and we got to meet two new ladies from Glitter Guide. The Dash yesterday was so fun because I didn’t know what I was going to do and what would be available. I had been on the website to scout, but when I got there, I missed a lot of the things I had been eyeing.
Cassity’s Pick: Verve Sofa
How do you define design?
Design means feeling comfortable in your own home and having things that you love and make you happy. My favorite room is the living room because I love spending time with family. We downsized recently; we had three in our old house! Now we just have one big one, but I made sure there were comfy chairs so everyone comes together there and just relaxes.
Vote for Debbie’s room here.
How do you approach your projects?
I am an emotional designer. I start with things I love. For this room, I loved the color of the sofa so I began there. Then I looked for things that coordinate with it. I played with a lot of color, which is always fun.
Putting everything together was really satisfying, and I love the way it turned out. Seeing all the beautiful, colorful pieces of furniture available was great, too. We own a La-Z-Boy chair, but I had no idea how many other wonderful pieces they had beyond seating.
Debbie’s Pick: Aberdeen Sofa
What is your approach to design?
Caitlin: We like pulling together different pieces that make us happy and composing it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.
Carrie: I think it’s about combining functionality with form. Like this room, it has a great function, and we also want to live in it. I know some designers will put together these lavish rooms, but you don’t feel like you actually want to live in the space.
Vote for Caitlin and Carrie’s room here.
What is your design process?
Carrie: For me I always start with a mood board, I can’t just talk it out. Seeing a collection helps me visualize what the space is going to look like. It’s tangible, and I can take it to the store. It helps me avoid impulse purchases and over-buying.
Caitlin: For this room, Carrie and I work remotely from each other, so we started the process online. We went through the website and picked a silhouette. We were thinking of doing leather, but then went with this unexpected color because we thought it was something different from what you might think of coming from La-Z-Boy.
We were shocked by all the amazing items in the showroom. We both expected the La-Z-Boy stereotype. We thought we would have more of a challenge. We were not expecting to find so many things we wanted to put in our room. I was really impressed with the lighting fixtures and art.
I was also surprised about the gamut of styles they had. I am a little more modern and have a mid-century style, so I thought there wouldn’t be many options for the midcentury lover, but there were tons.
Caitlin & Carrie’s Pick: Verve Sofa
How do you choose your projects?
When I find a subject people want to know about, I work to show them how to do it faster, cheaper, and easier. I find the materials that would be the best for the job and I make sure it’s as concise as possible. I want it to be doable. I don’t want a project that takes 48 steps; preferably it’s always something achievable in under 15 minutes.
Vote for Gina’s room here.
How did you approach the Design Dash?
I started with the big pieces. I love tufted furniture because it gives dimension, and I wanted something that was classic, clean, and neutral. It’s an investment piece. I am pretty fickle, and my style will change from farmhouse to modern, but this sofa could transcend so many styles, even if you change color schemes or smaller pieces.
The farmhouse feel, with warm wood, ties everything I do together. I grew up in my grandparents’ farmhouse, so that style reminds me of my family. In my own home, I want it to be comforting, warm, and welcoming, and I hope that translated here.
I don’t consider myself a designer, so I picked a lot of furniture that I just loved so I had options. I learned a lot from working with the La-Z-Boy designers. It was interesting to watch how when you swap out one piece, it can make everything look completely different.
Gina’s Pick: Aberdeen Sofa
What is design to you?
I think design is, simply put, the way you put things together. Whether it is the way you put your outfit together, the way you put colors together on a piece of paper or furniture together in a room.
What was your process for this room?
I like to start with an inspiration piece, so I really wanted to look for artwork first. It could be a kind of fabric or a rug. I try to start with something that is an investment piece that you deeply love and are going to have for a long time—as opposed to starting with something like the fabric of a pillow that is really easy to replace and you might want to update with the season. Not everything has to match the investment piece, but it sets the tone and gives you a jumping off point. For this, I really loved the gold feather piece, and I love this sofa—it’s just so yummy.
Vote for Marian’s room here.
What was your favorite part of Design Dash?
I really enjoyed the finishing details of bringing the room together. The showroom was really overwhelming because there were just so many great things. I questioned a lot of my selections, but then I remembered how everything in the showroom is really pleasing to the eye, even though there are a lot of styles going on.
I realized I probably could have just been given stuff, and it would have looked great together. The fact that all of the rooms turned out amazing is evidence of that; they all have different elements, but came together so perfectly.
Marian’s Pick: Phoebe Sofa
What does the word “design” mean to you?
Happiness, home, and comfort—a soft place to land. I never want our designs to be too stuffy and uncomfortable. I am about function over form most of the time, but find it is not that hard with some thought to make most everything look good together.
Vote for Sarah’s room here.
What was your design process for this room?
I don’t like to rush into anything; when I redo a space I live with it for a long time. I didn’t have that luxury here so that kind of worried me about this project. Usually, I need to see how we use it best and how it functions for our family. I was a little nervous, but it came together well since I really liked all the elements of the room. It was a challenge to make them all work—and even more of a challenge to accessorize the bookshelves.
Sarah’s Pick: Talbot Sofa
What does design mean to you?
I am not that formal, I don’t consider myself a designer. I consider myself a DIY-er. Through DIYing, through painting furniture, through building my own cabinets, I’ve had opportunities to decorate, and I’ve realized I am kind of good at it.
I see myself as a teacher who happens to have a blog. I design with furniture that has meaning to me. Today has been a huge confidence builder; I felt the least qualified. But because of this event, I am starting to embrace that I can design.
What made you want to be a part of Design Dash?
I am super excited to be here. I responded within a minute and said yes and didn’t check my calendar. Turns out, I was actually supposed to go to a wedding this weekend, but I saw that my friends would be involved with this event, plus it’s what I love to do.
Vote for Traci’s room here.
What was your design process?
Usually there is a need, i.e., we need to redo that bathroom. We bought a 1,400-square-foot ranch, and we have doubled the size of the house, renovating every room. I didn’t start with the intention of turning this little ranch into a big farmhouse—I get inspired as I go.
For this project, since it wasn’t need-based, I started with the sofa, and then picked things I liked. It was a natural process. It was hard to narrow it down because there were so many pieces to pick from. I love this sofa, this is the iClean fabric—you could pour stuff on it and it will just come right out.
Decorate with what you love because at the end of the day, it’s what matters most. It is also all about trial and error. I don’t just knock something out in one day. Give yourself room to make mistakes and try new things.
Traci’s Pick: Aberdeen Sofa