A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

Brainstorming Den

Posted on | January 26, 2010 | 33 Comments

den ideas 500x440 Brainstorming Den

I’m still contemplating paint colors for the den. Maybe if I gather together my inspiration for the room the color choice would become more clear. Above a rolled armed sofa from george smith (Too pricey, but something similar), a tufted arm chair from Lee Industries, and fabric from Robert Kime (also super $$) for curtains or upholstery.

I want the room to be soothing with a little library set up in the small room. The den is on our second floor. Three rooms behind the den which we hopefully become guest and kids’ rooms. I want it be light and airy but I need to be realistic on what is kid-friendly and not. More inspiration below. Feel free to share you ideas in the comments section.

enlibrary 780391 Brainstorming Den

We are having the floor refinished but I love to find a worn antique rug with some salmon pink accents.

msl 0495 bluewalls xl Brainstorming Den

Pretty green/blue walls paired with a creamy trim from Martha Stewart.

convex mirror 766003 Brainstorming Den

The mantel is off center from the room. I think a convex mirror over the mantel would pull the space together.

3993202040 9317aa0336 Brainstorming Den

I would love a tufted ottoman as a coffee table. The soft lines would be perfect.

Picture 3 Brainstorming Den

I love these handmade botanical presses for over the sofa.

33 GuestBedroom3 rect640 Brainstorming Den

I would really like to incorporate a handsome wood dresser into the space.

Katie shot 4 Brainstorming Den

Another favorite shot with a striped arm chair and worn antique rug.

Related Posts:
What Color Do I Paint The Molding?
Pale Green Walls with Cream Trim

pixel Brainstorming Den


33 Responses to “Brainstorming Den”

  1. Coquette & Dove
    January 26th, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

    Wow! Every one of those images is gorgeous, I want to walk into that room right now with a cup of tea and a good book and curl up on that sofa for a couple of hours…


  2. rifferaff
    January 26th, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    i love everything here! I’ve been crushing on george smith-style sofas ever since i saw this photo of sofia coppola’s. http://www.flickr.com/photos/decor8/351000960/
    the prices are OUTRAGEOUS tho. have you found any comparable substitutes at a lower price point?


  3. laura trevey
    January 26th, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

    I love oriental rugs! They never show dirt, and are gorgeous too ~~



  4. Nate @ LaurelStreet
    January 26th, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    Perfection – you’ve pulled together a room I would love forever. Shame about that mirror – it is a gem!


  5. Katy Elliott
    January 26th, 2010 @ 4:02 pm


    Lee Industries makes a less expensive rolled armed sofa. I think around $1,500-$2,000. I have found similar version even less expensive but the legs are always weird and too modern.



  6. Lydia
    January 26th, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

    A very nice assortment of pieces. My one piece of advice is to find that bold piece that takes the room from showroom to personal space. In a room predominated with neutrals, a persimmon or orange red objet d’art seal the deal. A good mantra is to balance white to neutral to dark, which builds a cohesive environment.


  7. S@sha
    January 26th, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

    I’ve found nice worn oriental rugs on ebay and Restoration Hardware has a very similar sofa (the English Roll Arm) and tufted ottoman for a much more affordable price. Denver Fabrics has really great sales on all kinds of upholstery fabrics.


    I just checked the legs because of your comment above and they don’t look to big or modern to me– they even have casters like the photo above.


  8. Katy Elliott
    January 26th, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    Affordable fabric can be found all over online. I found this fabric a couple of months ago http://www.katyelliott.com/blog/2009/09/travers-fabric-pierre-frey-wallpaper.html that I almost swipped up or try calico corners they have a huge collection of fabrics at reasonable prices.


  9. Katy Elliott
    January 26th, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    Rolled arm sofas have become quite the rage and can be found in a number of stores.

    My sister picked one up at the ABC Carpet Outlet in the Bronx for under $1,000.

    Keep a look out.


    January 26th, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

    I’ve been wanting a rolled arm sofa forever! I just wish I had room for another sofa . . . That tufted ottoman is gorgeous too.


  11. mopar
    January 26th, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

    Well, of course these are all gorgeous as always! Great photos. Do what you love and don’t worry about non-existent kids yet. In other words, you can always throw blankets over the sofa for ten years, right?

    Decorators I know swear by that Ultrasuede stuff because it’s cleanable but I don’t love it. Might work on an ottoman though. One word: Slipcovers.


  12. mopar
    January 26th, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

    Oh and I was dumbfounded to see Ikea has supposedly handmade and 100 percent wool Persian carpets. We bought a teeny one 3 x 5 for $150 for the hallway. I like it.


  13. Alicia Garceau
    January 26th, 2010 @ 7:19 pm



    Do you happen to know the MS paint color? I love.


  14. sarah
    January 26th, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

    love all the botanicals over the couch. i need a new couch too and it’s so hard to find the perfect one! i’m partial to three cushions so if you have three people sitting, someone isn’t slipping into the crack betwen the two cushions! (can you tell that i’m always that girl!?)


  15. Kathy G
    January 26th, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

    After looking at these photos from your inspiration file I think you should go with the color on the walls and not the trim…the trim is the worst painting job…if you tire of the color it is much easier to repaint the walls..also, the botanicals look fantastic on the blue/green wall…so I guess I am putting in a belated vote for neutral trim and color on the walls.


  16. Deb Rogan
    January 26th, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

    Check out Marsh Green 6006-5c by valspar.com, it is a great moss green color.


  17. Ben
    January 26th, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

    The photos are lovely. Incidentally the one from Martha Stewart illustrates how good cream moldings and coloured walls can look (to return to your earlier post). Robert Kime is amazing — I prefer his more Eastern fabrics — but so pricey it’s insane! De Padova makes an amazing square tufted coffee table/ottoman: http://www.depadova.it/en/Collection/05/091/01826/l/catalogo.html


  18. Jane Flanagan
    January 26th, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

    Wow – I love where you’re going. It’s perfect!!


  19. jen jafarzadeh
    January 26th, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

    love your list, Katy! I would love to trade in our sofa (that has turned to frumpy in two years time) for something more structured like the rolled arm style. that convex mirror is so pretty — I have the Victoria Hagan Target knockoff that’s the same shape but not as cool. I have those botanical prints etched in my memory, too. your den is going to be so great when it’s all pulled together!


  20. Scooter
    January 26th, 2010 @ 11:35 pm

    Katy, Lee Industries makes a rolled arm sofa like the George Smith one (as in, identical) that is even more comfortable than George’s, which aren’t stuffed as full as I like. I have had mine for 12 years, originally had it made COM with some Designers’ Guild fabric and overstuffed down crowns, and just had it re-upholstered in Designers’ Guild cherry red velvet. It seriously looks and feels brand new.

    Lee makes terrific upholstered furniture, and twice a year it goes on sale for 37% off. I would HIGHLY recommend it (and no, I have no connection to them other than absolute happiness with the sofas I have bought!).


  21. Katy Elliott
    January 26th, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

    The martha blue room is

    Araucana Turquoise was used for a living-room color, Ameraucana Buff for a hallway, and Araucana Sage in a dining room.



  22. Sandi
    January 27th, 2010 @ 3:28 am

    Love the convex mirror!


  23. Virginia
    January 27th, 2010 @ 9:30 am

    When can we visit? It’s going to look great!


  24. Wendy
    January 27th, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

    Hi Katy. There’s a beautiful sofa–crate and barrel’s azure–listed below for $750.00! I was lusting after it myself but I’m in Hoboken, NJ so it’s too long a drive for me.
    I think it would be beautiful in your den and it’s the same style as the images you posted.



  25. Katy Elliott
    January 27th, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

    That sofa is really pretty Wendy.

    Looks a little stiff for a den and I hate single cushion sofas.

    They always get a weird hole in the middle after a few years. But thanks for the tip.


  26. shell
    January 27th, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

    just wanted to say thanks for all of the glorious inspiration you have provided in sharing your home renovation. my husband and i are working on our own remodel in savannah, ga and my favorite blogs are by far the ones where the authors do most of the work themselves. keep doing what you’re doing, it’s fabulous. all the best! shell


  27. Abby
    January 27th, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

    I Love, Love, Love that mirror!!!!


  28. Martel
    January 27th, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

    i really love all of your inspiration for the library room, especially that green/blue paint from M.S… simply wow.

    the convex mirror sounds like a great idea for the space.
    lovely blog.


  29. Katy Elliott
    January 27th, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

    The convex mirror sold before I could swipe it up, bummer. It was perfect!


  30. Cherie
    January 28th, 2010 @ 3:25 am

    I have the Lee Industries sofa, chairs and sectional. They are fabulous. It is the foundation piece for the room, I would not skimp on this piece. I was thinking a mural on the wall would be nice and so unique. I’m sure you know someone that could do it for you.


  31. Jennifer
    January 28th, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

    This looks quite lovely Katy!


  32. galia
    January 31st, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    Hi Katy,
    I love your blog, I visit from time to time but I usually don’t leave a message. I’d love you to take a look at the apartment I just designed in Acapulco, Mexico. I used the botanical presses on the wall and the tufted ottoman as a coffee table! I hope you like it.


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