I went to North Carolina a few weeks ago to design a room with . (Note: It is OK if you’re incredulous here. I wasn’t sure it was a good fit at first either.)
I was flown out and put up . The event started innocently enough with drinks and dinner, but we were advised to wear comfy shoes without exactly knowing why. After dinner, we all went to the High Point showroom for the “Design Dash,” which was basically a version of Supermarket Sweep. (High school Nicole would have been jazzed!) Eleven of us bloggers were set loose upon the La-Z-Boy showroom, armed with shopping carts and sticky notes. We had two hours to mark or grab everything, big and small, that we would need to decorate our rooms.
(I grabbed so many fake flowers because I didn’t know if we’d have access to real blooms, but luckily we did.)
We had each gone to a local showroom to pick out a sofa a couple of weeks in advance, and I chose the in its stock upholstery and brass nailhead trim. We were also asked to choose a Sherwin-Williams paint color, and I went with Loyal Blue, which is the same color I used for Eleanor’s room. It’s beautiful, and I wanted the chance to use it in another space — without having to work in pony bedding.
Each room had a different layout, with unique flooring, trim, and architectural elements. This is what I started with.
An hour or two in, and I was at this point.
It was then that I was asked, while being filmed, what I would name my design. My thought process when a little something like this: Nautical? Maybe a ship captain. Wait, why can’t the captain be a lady? Of course it’s a lady! Let’s let the world know that this is a lady captain! So, on camera, I stammered out “this is the Lady Captain’s Retreat.” Oh, you guys. I’m so glad that didn’t make it into .
I had a canoe in the room already, but I did go off in search of more props to support my new theme. Model ships? You bet. Messages in a bottle? Let’s get literal!
The room came together pretty easily, and I was happy with my progress after the first day. We had a little time the next morning to put finishing touches in place. I arranged my flowers and lowered a painting on the wall by six inches. I was also glad to see that my heretofore missing lanterns were found! I had them hung, which through showroom magic looked real.
Nearly everything you see in the room came from La-Z-Boy’s design showroom. I was surprised by the variety they had there. I didn’t design the room for me, but with a few tweaks, I could see myself in it.
We were told on the last day that we could each choose a favorite piece to keep, as a thank you gift. I’d been crazy about that barrister-style bookcase from the start, and now I’m looking forward to its arrival. I think I’m going to claim it for my office because it’s a great size for large art and design books, but I could see it working in the second parlor, too.
More details. Star bursts (sea urchins, if we want to stay on theme) and compass roses. Brass decanters. A blue and white vase that I love so much.
You can see , along with everyone else’s, on . You can also once per day (which I think is just a total matter of taste because there wasn’t a bad room in the bunch), and you’ll be entered to win $10,000.
At the end of the last day, I had dropped “lady” from the room’s name, and it became known simply as “The Captain’s Retreat.” But you and I know who was running this ship.