Carolyn's Happy Tribal Modern

Carolyn's Happy Tribal Modern

Carolyn Purnell
Jun 21, 2012

To me, there's nothing more classy than a clean-lined gray velvet sofa. But let's face it, my style never has been (nor ever will be) 100% elegant. I need a bit of fun, funk, and color in my life.

Since we get to indulge in a bit of dreaming here, I started with a sofa style I've been coveting for years. To keep the look cohesive, I stuck with the modern lines of the sofa, sticking primarily to clean shapes and geometric patterns for my accent pieces. For the requisite dose of oomph, I drew inspiration for my color palette from a kilim rug, opting for an array of vibrant and energizing hues.

1. 36" x 48" giraffes poster by Debbie Carlos, $50.00 plus shipping at Etsy:
I'm a fan of large-scale art, and Debbie's black-and-white pieces have a slight roughness to them that I find compelling. If you really wanted to sass this piece up, it would look killer in a 1/2" colored frame.

2. Skyline Furniture Upholstered Armless Accent Chair in Yellow Slub, $286.99 at Happy, bright, and cozy. Need I say more?

3. Charles Bronze Floor Lamp, $399.00 at Crate and Barrel:
With all of the pattern and color in this room, there needs to be at least one element that's not an attention hog. This floor lamp is simple, interesting, and elegant enough to add character to the space without overwhelming it.

4. White Wood Stool Side Table, $84.99 at West Elm:
I love a unique shape, and this space could use a bit of curve, what with all the geometric lines.

5. Vintage Chest of Drawers in Lipstick Red from Mint Home, $299.00 plus shipping on Etsy: this punchy little thing would make an excellent TV stand.

6. 12" x 20" Kelly Wearstler Katana Pillow in Jade/Teal by Sparkmodern, $65.00 plus shipping on Etsy: In my opinion, Kelly Wearstler can do no wrong, so even the barest hint of her influence here makes me happy. The jade color picks up on similar tones in the rug, and the sharp lines of the textile visually help connect the solid-colored sofa to the chevrons of the accent chair.

7. Turkish Kilim Rug from seller cakirhali, $149.00 plus shipping on
I love how a kilim can add a bit of color, history, and texture to a room instantly. This one evokes a traditional pattern while also passing for modern and fitting nicely with the room's other, more contemporary geometrics.

8. 8' x 10' Twill Stripe Jute Rug in Bleached Ivory, $379.00 at Pottery Barn:
The kilim isn't large enough for the space, so I've opted to place it on top of this larger, subtly patterned jute rug. It's practical, durable, and neutral, while still adding a bit of texture and pizzazz.

9. Royce Sofa in Charcoal, $1,699.00 at ZGallerie
In terms of sofas, one might expect the words "tufting" and "bolsters" to bring a more antique aesthetic to mind. But no! This is one sassy, classy, and contemporary sofa. And, to top it all off, it's velvet — seriously, it's the stuff of dreams.

(Images: as credited above)

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