Designing for the sexes

Abby and Tyler are a young couple, recently married, who just purchased their first home.  As with most newlyweds, they are learning how to blend their styles. Abby likes menswear fabrics, plaids, cable knits and lace. She has a degree in Art History and a personal love of pen and ink drawings.   Tyler likes leather, chrome and a little more of a contemporary style.  So my challenge was to blend the old with the new.

We started with a magazine and looked through picture after picture, allowing each to point out specific pieces of furniture, colors and styles that appealed to them; then onward to a color palette and fabric selection!  They both agreed they liked grays, black, cream and gold/yellow.


Our first find was a beautiful classic paisley fabric from Huntington House.  This fabric became our inspiration. The entire living space plays off of this one key fabric.  To appeal to Abby, we chose a traditional tufted back sofa; but, to appeal to Tyler we put a transitional arm on it.  Abby wanted a wingback chair – so we found one in an updated style, without the ball and claw feet and rolled arms.


We chose a textured, soft-gold for the sofa and added a rich, plaid-stripe and knit fabric on the toss pillows.

To anchor the room, we added a touch of leather on the pair of ottomans and dark finishes on the accent pieces. Polished chrome accents were carefully selected and placed around the room, providing a contrasting sheen, which broke up the flat woven materials.

One of the most dramatic changes in the living room was painting over the red brick fireplace. We chose a faux-finish cement stain in ranges of cream, gray and beige. The new finish on the brick blends with the lighter colors in the room and really complements the walls, which we painted a medium gray.

before-cherry-2cherry-9before-cherry-3cherry-10 Two of Abby’s favorite things in the room are the sketches above the sofa and the belt buckles we used to hang the mirror.



The guest bedroom received a major makeover.  Abby and Tyler wanted a room that was warm and inviting for their guests. So the decision was final; the stained trim had to be painted!


A change of wall color to a watery blue and trim color to a bright white gave us the backdrop we needed to successfully use fresh-white bed linens and black contrasting furniture.  Instead of two nightstands, we chose to put a small desk on one side of the bed, for functionality. We took great care in finding just the right down duvet and bed pillows for guests. Now, this guest bedroom is both inviting and functional, not to mention . . . beautiful!





This project was so much fun to work on! Abby and Tyler now have a home that is “theirs.

Cherry Yount | Furnitureland South Design Consultant

To contact Cherry, call 866.436.8056 ext. 2859 or email

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