Personal Project – Styling for DFS

Styling work for DFS by Carole King (deardesigner). Photographs by Andrew Boyd (1)

I was recently asked by DFS to create a room-set around one of my favourite trends for 2016 and of course, I chose one of their French Connection sofas and armchairs. I’m already a big fan of the French Connection range and have written about it before, so of course I jumped at the chance. And I had no problem choosing the Zinc sofa and Zinc armchair in grey. Chosen for it’s classic clean lines and sophisticated style, with its elegant splayed wooden legs and buttoned back. It also has a Scandinavian vibe going on which is one of the trends that I predict will be growing in strength in the coming year. It’s all about a lightness of touch, furniture that will transcend the fickle world of fashion, and bringing the outside in. There is also an emphasis on the hand-crafted, which the Zinc collection is (it’s hand-crafted in the UK). Small touches like animal skins, knitted cushions, plants, and well designed accessories also encapsulate this trend.

The brief was completely open, which was rather exciting, but also gave me a few moments of panic. With so many products out there to choose from, and so many trends rattling around in my head, where on earth to start? Like a kid in a sweetshop I veered from one tempting choice to another and then back again. In the end, I ‘invented’ a client. I usually design to a brief and for other people, so I needed to narrow my choices and set some parameters for myself. I also knew I wanted to design a room for all seasons. One that could be changed with just a few adjustments to the accessories, so I also kept this in mind.

Styling work for DFS by Carole King (deardesigner). Photographs by Andrew Boyd (2)

So, meet Alyson.

Alyson is a city lawyer. She is a single woman who works long hours and is climbing the career ladder in a very male dominated environment. She is determined to smash the glass ceiling! As she doesn’t have much down time, when she does, she likes to relax completely. Her home is her sanctuary. It’s where she unwinds at weekends and occasionally invites friends and family.

Styling work for DFS by Carole King (deardesigner). Photographs by Andrew Boyd (3)

She’s very organised and quite design literate. She likes clean lines and is drawn to mid-century furniture because it is unfussy and loves the Scandinavian homes she sees on Pinterest. She will love the zinc sofa from the French Connection range because of its simple clean design. The colour will have to be grey because she does not follow faddish fashions and will expect her choices to last for a very long time. She’s sensible that way. It’s her training in law.

Styling work for DFS by Carole King (deardesigner). Photographs by Andrew Boyd (4)

However, Alyson is not without her feminine side. I’ve injected some hot pink because it’s a colour she would not choose herself necessarily. It’s not too girly. The lamp and cushions are bright splashes of colour against the grey of the sofa, and the artwork picks out the blue. 

My client also likes soft textures. Her colleagues at work might be surprised to know that under her classically tailored suits she likes to wear silk lingerie. It’s an indulgence that gives her pleasure and reminds her of her femininity. For this reason I’ve introduced some soft textures into the scheme with the silk cushions, a sheepskin hide and a fluffy mohair cushion.

Styling work for DFS by Carole King (deardesigner). Photographs by Andrew Boyd (5)

For other accessories I’ve selected some nordic influences. Some blond wood candlesticks and some oak and glass domes which are perfect for displaying candles and pretty succulent plants.

Finally I’ve added some gorgeous roses, simply displayed in a concrete pot. Because after all, Alyson is not the frivolous kind.

Styling work for DFS by Carole King (deardesigner). Photographs by Andrew Boyd (6)

Photographs by Andrew Boyd.

Other sources: Coffee table and drum side table from Dwell. Rug, sheepskin, and fairisle cushion from Cox & Cox. Louise Mead artwork via Giftwrapped and Gorgeous. Breaking Dawn table lamp and cushions, and grey and white cushion from Anna Jacobs. Terrariums from Rose & Grey. Candlesticks and concrete pot from Skandivis. All other items, my own.

January 13, 2016

RELATED POSTS

28 Comments

  1. Reply

    Ian

    May 7, 2016

    Can anyone tell me which grey the sofa/chair the ones here are?

    There are a few options for grey: ‘in grey combination’, ‘grey and charcoal combination’, ‘charcoal combination’ and ‘silver combination’.

    I’d be after the one in these photos, can anyone let me know?

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      May 7, 2016

      Hi Ian, this is the grey combination. I think you’ll find all of the grey sofa’s are the same colour. The combination refers to the scatter cushions that are included but were not used on the shoot. Regards, Carole

  2. Reply

    Penny Alexander

    January 13, 2016

    I need that flamingo lamp, I am not an Alyson at all, but I love lots of this, especially the sofas, I would love to make my scandi house fantasy more of a reality this year, glad to hear you think the trend will grow.

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 16, 2016

      That lamp seems to be an absolute hit Penny. Glad you like it. x

  3. Reply

    Arianna

    January 13, 2016

    This is so beautiful Carole! I love the idea of creating a client… It’s the perfect room for her! Styling is impeccable hun xox

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 16, 2016

      Aww thanks hun xx

  4. Reply

    Emma

    January 12, 2016

    Thank you for including our Terrariums, Carole! Such a lovely room!

    Emma | Rose & Grey Interiors

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 16, 2016

      You are welcome Emma. Glad you like it 🙂

  5. Reply

    Geraldine

    January 11, 2016

    Beautiful styling and wonderful photography. Love the blue and pink accent colours.

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 16, 2016

      Thanks Geraldine 🙂

  6. Reply

    Stephanie

    January 11, 2016

    I LOVE that grey with a shot of hot pink, it looks fantastc together.

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 16, 2016

      Thanks Stephanie. I’m glad you like it. 🙂

  7. Reply

    karen jones

    January 11, 2016

    What a great opportunity. love your choice and your room set. i am scandinavian mad in my own home, so this was just perfect.

    The lamp and cushion !!! Divine !

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 16, 2016

      Thanks Karen. Must admit, I’m partial to that lamp and cushion too 🙂

  8. Reply

    Becky

    January 11, 2016

    oh that zinc sofa would work perfectly in my house!

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 11, 2016

      It’s a classic isn’t it Becky 🙂

  9. Reply

    Kimberly Duran

    January 11, 2016

    This is seriously gorgeous. I think Alyson might need to shove over on the couch because I wanna come and hang out there!! 😉 You’ve done an amazing job with this, love it! xx

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 11, 2016

      So glad you like it Kimberly. 🙂 x

  10. Reply

    Jen Stanbrook (@lovechicliving)

    January 11, 2016

    Genius idea Carole, love the way you’ve given her a real personality (she reminds me a little of Olivia Pope from Scandal!) and the set looks stunning. Great job! x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 11, 2016

      Thanks Jen 🙂 x

  11. Reply

    Rachel

    January 11, 2016

    That looks gorgeous, lucky Alyson! 😉 I love the pink of the cushion and lamp against the soft grey. Very livable with.

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 11, 2016

      Thanks Rachel. I love the lamp and cushion too. Nearly took them home with me 🙂

  12. Reply

    Antonia Ludden

    January 11, 2016

    Ooh, such a lovely room Carole – I’m a big fan of this space and think ‘Alyson’ is a very lucky girl! It’s very sophisticated and calming and I love the Zinc furniture – just gorgeous and that lamp and matching cushion! Nice to see the Rose & Grey terrariums so beautifully styled in this post too 🙂 Antonia x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 11, 2016

      Haha, had to think for a moment – who’s Alyson? Glad you like it. The terrariums were a perfect finishing touch. x

  13. Reply

    Kate

    January 11, 2016

    Beautiful Carole! I love the grey, pink and blue colour scheme 🙂

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 11, 2016

      Thanks lovely xx

  14. Reply

    Cate

    January 11, 2016

    Really beautifully styled, love the touches of pink and those terrariums are brilliant! x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      January 11, 2016

      Thanks Cate. I’m glad you like it 🙂

LEAVE A COMMENT