The Sofa Series: Part I by Savannah Grace Roberts

Okay, ya'll, let's talk about furniture. Today, I want to begin addressing one of the most difficult decisions one faces when crafting a living space – selecting the right sofa. Seems relatively simple, right? I mean, it's just a sofa. Wrong.

I recently learned this, firsthand, while selecting the best sofa for my own space. Yes, even Interior Designers struggle with decision-making in their own homes. No kidding, ya'll, I lost sleep over this decision. There is an endless list of companies selling "the perfect sofa" – and then you've got to deal with size, shape, color, foam density, and the list goes on. For me, everything got easier when I found the right manufacturer, but there was still a long way to go. For Part I of this series, we're going to focus on Form. We'll get into the Pretty Nitty-Gritty (color, style, fabric, etc) in Part II. For now, let's chat about manufacturers, size, function, and shape...

Where do I even look?
If you've ever considered purchasing a sofa, you've learned that those suckers can get expensive. Unless you can afford that perfect $10,000 sofa at the name-brand luxury furniture store, you're going to have to do some hunting. Like I said – everyone is going to tell you that their sofa is superior, but most are lying. With many of the other mid- to upper-tier furniture companies,  you're dealing with the poor construction of really bad materials that happened to be wrapped in an okay-looking upholstery. From the outside, some aren't too terrible looking – especially when styled within that ideal in-store vignette.

These "value" pieces just aren't going to hold up, though, and you can bet on that one. When starting the process of designing my own home, I quickly learned that I wouldn't buy my sofa from the mass-retailers that most turn to. I began searching for something new and different, and eventually stumbled upon Interior Define. FINALLY! I know where I will buy my future sofa. Let me just tell you – finding this company was like breathing a big gulp of fresh air. The customer service is transparent and personalized, and the staff is knowledgable, accomodating, and friendly. Best of all, each sofa is completely custom and bears a price tag 30-40% lower than many comparable high-end brands. SOLD. 

Now that you know where you'd like to purchase your sofa, we need to think about sizing. Obviously, this decision hinges drastically on the size of your space. I'd begin by thinking about the focal point of your room. Do you want your sofa to serve as the main feature of the space, or would you like to include other statement pieces of furniture? If you've already invested in large-scale heavy lounge chairs, I'd consider a smaller sofa with a lighter frame. If you're like me, and already own smaller-scale lounge pieces, you're in the safe zone for a large-scale hefty sofa that demands some respect. My lounge chairs are a set of vintage Bertoia diamond chairs, so I opted for a bulky sofa that would offset the dainty frame of the chairs. It's all about balance and identifying a feature for the space.

Besides considering the shape of the room, I'd also consider your ceiling height. Most people don't weigh this major factor into their furniture selection process. Did you know that your furniture can make your ceilings look higher or lower, depending on their scale? Ultimately, you can create a room that seems bigger than it actually is – you just need to know how to choose the right furniture! What is the height of your ceiling? If you're on the lower end, I'd go with a sofa with legs and an airy frame – like the Owens or Asher. The lightness of the sofa will give your space the illusion of higher ceilings. If you've got a space with higher ceilings, like a large and open loft, I'd select a lower sofa that will deliver the illusion of a more intimate space with lower ceilings. The Ainsley and the Gray are great options for this type of space.

Knowing the desired function of your sofa will help you make decisions about the components of its construction and its orientation within the space. We'll get into upholstery options in Part II, but seat density is something that you'll want to consider early on. Fortunately, Interior Define offers countless custom options online, but they offer even more options over the phone or in person at their flagship Chicago showroom. If you want your sofa to be oriented for TV-watching and serve as a big fluffy cloud to cuddle with a bowl of popcorn, consider requesting a low-density foam with mega-softness and "give" in the seat- and back-cushions. It's a recipe for daytime naps and movie marathons. If your living room will be a place used primarily for conversation or family games, I'd request a firm high-density foam construction that will allow more upright sitting. Both construction types will be extremely comfortable, but Interior Define's high customization let you take things to the next level. Each sofa is available in 3 different cushion-fill options, so have some fun exploring and choosing the right one for you!

Finally, let's chat about shape. For this part of the series, we're not getting into "style." For now, let's talk about shape in its most simple sense We've got a few options to look at. Most sofas are made with one of three basic shapes – straight, straight with a chaise, or full-on L-shaped. Round or curved sofas our out there, but their application is far less common. The size of your space and desired function of the sofa will help you make a decision on shape, but it's good to consider a few more factors. With the right shape, a sofa can serve as a great separation between two spaces. If you're dealing with an open floorplan, use an L-shape sofa to separate the living and dining areas. The Crawford is the perfect shape to act as a divider. If you're interested in adding a collection of lounge chairs and side tables, I'd go for a clean straight-run sofa that will consume less square footage. I love the simplicity of the Sloan and the Lucy. These sofas will also prepare your landscape for the execution of almost any style. For you nappers and movie-watching moguls, a straight sofa with a chaise simply can't be beat. If you've got the space for it, this shape will deliver supreme comfort and flexibility. Shape is typically the easiest part of the sofa-selection process, especially since most of Interior Define's designs are available in 5+ configurations. Fortunately, if you've fallen in love with a style, it's likely available in many different shapes and custom sizes. 

Stay tuned for Part II, ya'll – we're going to chat about all things pretty! In my next Sofa Series post, we'll get into upholstery materials, color, and style. 


New from Minted - 40x54 by Savannah Grace Roberts

There's only one thing that I love more than art on a wall – and that would be huge, oversized, in-your-face art on a wall. Minted has done it again, ya'll. My favorite art marketplace is now offering their largest size ever, a whopping 40" x 54". I was lucky enough to receive one for my own home, and let me tell you, it's truly the feature of our entire space. To give you a little frame of reference – I am only 65" tall, so this monster is almost as big as me! When a space boasts large blank walls and 16-foot ceilings, massive art is an absolute requirement. It seriously helped to visually fill the space like nothing else could have. I've mounted mine next to the large windows, and it's the focal point as you walk down the stairs from the second level of the loft. I chose a print entitled "Beach III" by Jennifer Little. I love the cool Californian color tones and the surf imagery. I am completely enchanted by the West Coast, and this photograph reminds me of everything that I love about my adopted home.


Garment Rack Redux by Savannah Grace Roberts

Ah, my garment rack! This heavy-duty piece of beauty has carried me through 3 different California homes. In fact, it's one of the only things that have made it to all three apartments (I purge & re-decorate constantly)! In my new home, where wood chip flooring dominates the landscape of the bedroom, the reclaimed wood rack just wasn't doing it for me anymore. I have a little rule-of-thumb that I use when designing – no more than 2 wood types/species right next to eachother. If there are more than 2 in the same room, they should be spread out across the space and compliment one another in tone, texture, and color. I just couldn't handle the little corner where the floor, the reclaimed garment rack, and the vintage mid-century modern came together. It's been driving me insane.

Since moving in, I've spent quite some time thinking about how to deal with things. I've always dreamt of gorgeous white-washed floors with subtle wear and charm. But, since painting my floors wasn't an option in a rental, I began thinking of changing the furniture instead. Well, painting our vintage Broyhill bedroom suite definitely wasn't an option. That thought was immediately out. My next idea was to white-wash the pallet wood panels that compose the base and shelves of my garment rack! I might never live in that cute little all-white Scandinavian apartment, so this felt like a decent Option B.

Off to the paint store! I stopped by Kelly Moore to pick up a small can of paint. Since the base of the garment rack holds shoes, I chose a durable satin finish in "Whitest White." It took two coats of paint to get the color where I wanted it. I am so happy with the way it turned out! I really love the reclaimed wood version of the past, but it was just time to give this piece of furniture a new life! If there's anything that you're just tired of, especially a piece of furniture, I'm here to tell you that there's always a way to make it feel brand new. I was seriously on the verge of listing the rack on Craigslist – I'm so happy that I gave it another shot!


Accessory Roundup: Raw & Californian by Savannah Grace Roberts

Hello, Friday! I'm so glad to greet the weekend again. It's been such a long and fast week, so I'm just looking forward to some relaxation. I probably worked for 15 hours yesterday (but like the boring kind of work), so I was excited to wake up this morning and prepare an accessory package while sipping my coffee. For this project, I'm executing a laid-back Californian aesthetic for a family living in the Mission. For the living space, I've selected an assortment of objects that feature natural materials and organic lines. I can't survive without some contrast, so I've complimented the warm Californian tones with rich & graphic pops of black. I hope you'll find this roundup inspiring & helpful, and I hope you have a great weekend!

californian eclectic.jpg

Atocha Design by Savannah Grace Roberts

Vinyl enthusiasts, BEHOLD. I've found the perfect furniture for your record playing shrine. I can't get over the quality and detail in Atocha Design's pieces. Each one carries a timeless elegance – it seems like the only proper way to display and store your hard-earned vinyl collection. The cherry on top? Each piece is handmade in America. You can't beat that.

Imagery c/o Atocha Design


A Classic Edge by Savannah Grace Roberts

Phew! Never have I ever been more excited for a Tuesday. I'm just so glad to see the busyness of Monday behind me. I have so many exciting current projects, but they're keeping me running around like a crazy lady! I appreciate those little Residential projects, with incredibly down-to-earth clients, that give me a moment to breathe. I just delivered bedroom designs to such a client last week! I don't typically share projects in this format, but I thought that I'd give it a go. I really love what I created for this young couple's bedroom oasis – and I'm even a little jealous of what their space is about to become. We're installing a wall of classic built-in's along one wall, and leaving the rest of the space open for moveable furniture. The finishes are warm white walls, solid oak shelving, and brass hardware. We're complimenting the muted palette with graphic artwork and a geometric chandelier. The leather stool will keep the man happy, and the swing arm sconces are all-too-perfect for bedtime reading. I can't wait to share the final photos when this one is installed!


S+S Loft / Update No. 2 by Savannah Grace Roberts

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I'm so excited to update you on the Loft. When we signed our lease, every single wall was painted in a very yellow off-white color. The baseboards were painted a contrasting [and very nauseating] shade of taupe. I gently pressed the issue with my landlord, who agreed to repaint the walls during the last leg of the renovation. Now, we've gone from way-too-warm to WHITE (with a pop of black)! And that shade of black – man, it was a beast in itself. I probably agonized over 10 different shades of black before finally settling on Benjamin Moore's "Black Panther." I absolutely love the way that it turned out. There is a barely detectable blue undertone in the color, which makes the wall feel like an accent wall rather than a 16-foot chalkboard. It feels so good to have the paint checked off the bucket list, and I'm almost ready to begin selecting and ordering furnishings! Stay tuned, friends :)

S+S Loft / Update No. 1 by Savannah Grace Roberts

Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! So, here's the deal – I've taken a short hiatus from weekly blogging. I needed to adjust to several big life changes (engagement, quitting my job, wedding planning, moving....), but I'm back now and ready to kick it into high gear! I feel so fortunate to have so many exciting projects in the pipeline, and couldn't be more thrilled that one of the projects is my own home. It's not often that I have the opportunity to design for myself and my loved ones! Sean and I have officially found what will become our first home together, and it happens to be the dreamiest loft apartment. It is spacious, open, and IN OAKLAND! Yep, we're officially making the jump to the East Bay. It's time for a new adventure!

We have so many big plans for the new space, and I am going to be documenting our progress right here on Grace-Made. It's truly a big blank canvas, with so many interesting challenges and opportunities for creativity.

Below are several photos from our Lease Signing visit. During the visit, the loft was still being renovated but I got the chance to take preliminary measurements. We have gorgeous stained concrete floors on the lower level, and a raw wood sub-flooring on the upper level. When we signed our lease, all of the walls and baseboards were painted a creamy pale almond color. The loft gets insane natural light, and carries music beautifully. It almost echoes! I can't wait to tackle this project alongside Sean. Stay tuned for another update very soon, and many more along the away! xx.


Dusen Dusen HOME GOODS by Savannah Grace Roberts

Oh, Happy Tuesday! This day is already on a roll. I woke up to an email announcing the impending release of a new My Morning Jacket album and thought the day couldn't get any better. Then I signed onto my blogroll and learned that Dusen Dusen has just announced an extensive collection of goods for the home! Oh my! I'm definitely an avid fan of their collaboration with West Elm (and the general idea of using Dusen products for interiors), even though the collection of 2 pillows was a major tease. Alas! They were just teasing us! Dusen's new line of home goods is expected to include sheets, blankets, rugs, towels, pillows, and a pouf. Now you can snuggle with squiggly high-contrast patterns until your heart is content! I know I plan to.


Via SightUnseen
All images via Dusen Dusen

Sean Woolsey by Savannah Grace Roberts

Good morning! Today, I want to share an incredible resource with you - Sean Woolsey. I actually discovered him through my boyfriend, and have been a lover of his work (and Instagram feed) for some time now. He's a maker-extraordinaire from Southern California, and his designs are fresh & wildly unique. It's his approach to his work, though, that really captured my admiration. Sean builds each piece to last - not just for a year or two - but for generations. I also admire his quirky approach to, well, everything. How about the super cute photos of his furniture? Those might be the cutest kids I've ever seen. I've had the opportunity to discuss projects with Sean in the past, and he's very kind and insanely easy to work with. I can't wait to use his wonderful work in a project soon, and hopefully check out his studio someday. On a personal note - I'm absolutely dying over his Rosso Marble table. If I don't get to use it in a project soon, I might just have to buy it for myself. Enjoy!

All photos provided by Sean Woolsey


How To Create The Perfect Gallery Wall by Savannah Grace Roberts

Last month, I had the privilege of partnering with Homepolish & Mountary on an installation in one of my current Interiors projects. The client, a photographer based in San Francisco, wanted to use her friends' artwork to populate the gallery of frames. I love the final collection of subtle & interesting photography & graphic art. This feature wall will definitely be the most dyanmic component of the dining space, and I can't wait until I am able to reveal the finished design! If you're interested in installing a gorgeous gallery wall in your own home, head over to Mountary's blog post for a full how-to!

All frames provided courtesy of Mountary
Photography: Helena Price


Moody Posters by Debbie Carlos by Savannah Grace Roberts

Have you ever found yourself gazing longingly at a photo and wondering where the photographer found the item pictured? A while back, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and this photo seriously caught my eye. OMG – that black and white photograph in the corner?! I instantly needed it. Immediately afterwards, I conducted a rather thorough web search for the artist or retailer of this print. I had no luck at all. I forgot about the print for a while...

Well, these are the moments that make life fun. The serendipitous ones. Last night, during my flight from SF to ATL, I was scrolling aimlessly through the artwork collection on the Little Paper Planes web shop. There it is!!! I've finally found the elusive retailer of the amazing Debbie Carlos photograph that I've been searching for. I popped over to the artist's website and quickly learned that she is a multi-talented photographer with an amazing body of work. Her moody black and white posters are my favorite. I'll definitely be purchasing the Flower Poster – and likely the Clouds, as well. 

All images courtesy of Debbie Carlos


Dreamy Refuge by Savannah Grace Roberts

Today has finally arrived! It's the day that I leave California to visit my home, my roots, and my family in The South. For me, the holidays are a time of intense rest and quality time spent with the ones I hold most dear. I've been reflecting a lot on this trip and the rejuvenation to come, and have found inspiration in the bedroom as a symbol of rest. Today, I've rounded up some of my favorite bedrooms to share. These spaces are warm & calm, and each evokes a unique sense of charm. Happy Holidays, and may you find rest this Season!

Black Bedroom via My Scandinavian Home
Navy Bedroom via Tumblr
White Bedroom via Blood & Champagne
Gray Bedroom via Domaine Home
Pastel Bedroom via The Design Chaser


Friday Inspo - The Apartment by The Line by Savannah Grace Roberts

I've gushed over this space before and, today, I'm gushing over it again. I love The Line's branded home space - The Apartment. It's moody, yet soft, and located in New York City's SoHo neighborhood. It really doesn't get any better than this. The Apartment is a curated shop (of sorts) that you can stay in. Everything in the space is hand-selected and for sale. I'd love to own the artwork over the bed - it's what first caught my eye. 

All photos via The Line


Sourcing on Ebay, Part I by Savannah Grace Roberts

Over the last few months, I've gotten a few questions about vintage sourcing. Ebay is definitely my favorite place to find well-worn gems — especially for the home. I've scored several Persian rugs, a few vintage coffee table books, and a number of gorgeous pieces of furniture. Did you know that you can stylishly furnish your entire home, sourcing only from Ebay?! Yes it takes some time, but you really can find anything — and it's easiest when you know how to look. I have a few tricks that I like to employ when sourcing items for a design. I'll share a few tips, but don't get discouraged! It's going to take a little practice and perseverance...

  1. Be Specific. If you're fortunate enough to know exactly what you're looking for, use that to your advantage! You won't find unique treasures using generic terms. If you search "dresser," you're going to find the same ole' stuff that everyone else finds. 
  2. Try using this search formula. [age] + [style] + [material/color] + [type] + [fun adjective or detail]. Last week, I posted a photo of a vintage rug that I found on Ebay. Someone literally commented on the photo and asked what words she should include in her search to find a similar item. Some people just don't know which words to use! Try the magic formula first. If your search yields zero results, eliminate a word until something interesting turns up. Start with the differentiating adjective. For example, to find the dresser below, I would search "vintage mid-century modern wood dresser brass." It's annoying how specific you need to be — but I promise it works!
  3. Fill in the blanks. If you're intimidated by Ebay, start small. Below, I've shown you how to style an eclectic living room with 8 incredible items. You'll notice that I've only included the statement pieces. Invest in a solid, timeless sofa, and then fill in the blanks with used pieces from Ebay. It doesn't take much to turn a room upside down. Everyone shops at CB2 and West Elm, so find something different on Ebay. 
  4. Follow the experts. Many designers and furniture gurus have begun creating "collections" on Ebay. I really like Pennyweight and Casey Keasler. I've also created a few curated collections of my own, and they're constantly being updated. Between all of my design projects, I'm always searching for something - especially furniture and rugs.

Below, you'll find some of my favorite discoveries from the past week. I've selected items to style a gorgeous Mid-century modern living room. I hope this post has been useful! Stay tuned for Part II!


Sewing Table Makeover by Savannah Grace Roberts

A couple of months ago, my friend Ben found a vintage sewing machine table on the side of the road. The Montgomery-Ward machine was rusting, the wood was warped and damaged by water, and the wires were severed. However, Ben saw the potential for beauty and knew that I would love it — which I did, of course! I spent an entire weekend removing the damaged wood veneer to reveal the gorgeous solid cedar beneath. I'm telling you — it smelled amazing! I removed all of the screws & hardware and soaked them for hours to remove the layers of rust. At one point, I wasn't sure if I'd ever finish the project. But finally, several cuts & bruises later, I had a freshly sanded, clean wood table. Early on, I decided that this table deserved a brand new life. So I primed the wood and finished it with a gorgeous black satin paint. To compliment the brass details of the sewing machine, I added these Schoolhouse Electric Co. knobs to the doors. It was so rewarding to fasten the machine onto the gorgeous black table — it felt like a brand new piece of furniture. It was a lot of work, but I am so proud of this finished piece!


Etsy Find: Letters on Love by Savannah Grace Roberts

Earlier this week, I discovered the most lovely Etsy shop. Letters on Love captures the essence of timeless typography, and each piece is perfectly and uniquely suited for the Interior environment. The designs are clean & elegant, and don't compete with the furnishings or accessories of a space — they complement them. I probably browsed through the store three complete times, and found it incredibly difficult to pick my favorite. I was, however, able to narrow it down to 4. The shop contains something for every space, and each piece of art comes in a range of sizes. It's so, so hard to find artwork offered in multiple sizes and orientations! Check it out, and enjoy — I'm ordering the "Love Lives Here" print for my own home!


A New Look! by Savannah Grace Roberts

I can't believe that Grace-Made is almost One Year Old. I dreamt of starting this blog for a long time, and can’t wait to see where Grace-Made evolves. Over the last couple of months, I've been working on a face-lift for the site. Grace-Made is, and will always be, a place to share inspiration and thoughts about Interior Design. As I've grown over the past year, I recognized my need for a place to share my body of work. The "Projects" component of the site is still under construction, but will be populated very soon! Thank you for visiting, and Happy Friday! 


A Glimpse Into My Home by Savannah Grace


About 3 months ago, I moved into a beautiful Victorian apartment along the Panhandle in San Francisco. I've been posting sporadic updates on Instagram, but realized that I haven't shared a holistic design update yet! My bedroom has a couple of unique features that made space planning challenging. I decided to forego a headboard, because the main wall curves into a wide arc. Additionally, I have TWO closets in my bedroom! This feature is a blessing and a curse, at the same time. Both closet doors are located on the same wall, making it impossible to place storage or artwork along this wall.

My vintage Persian rug and wooden work table are hand-me-downs from my Mom. Before I moved to SF, we found my Mid-Century dining chairs at a thrift shop for $40.  They were hideous, so my Mom and  I reupholstered them in a vibrant cut velvet fabric. I absolutely love them and we will never part. My vintage Kilim accent pillows and my  Tom Dixon pendant are my favorite things about my bedroom. I've had my eye on that light fixture for years - I'm so happy to finally own one.  The chair next to my garment rack is from Bend Goods, and I bought the  shearling hide from Moore & Giles. Oh, and that furry white chair - it's vintage Steelcase. Also found at a thrift store and reupholstered by hand.

I think my new space is a true representation of myself. I refinished (or made) the majority of my furniture, so it feels like a true labor of love. What's your favorite thing about your home? Happy Friday!