Subtle Striped Sofas

Subtle Striped SofasBurnham Design

I haven’t had much time since we moved in to just sit and dream about what kind of furniture I would love to see in our new house. But now that I have some of my big projects out of the way and I feel like I can come up for air (yay!), I am SO ready to dive in to getting more settled here. I am sensing a little window shopping spree coming on this week.

Do you ever do that? Sometimes it is just kind of fun to imagine that you could start over with a blank slate and window shop for what would be ideal. Of course, I am going to mostly be starting with what we have. But we did sell a few pieces in the move and we need to figure out what works best where in THIS house, so I may be looking for a few new things. Not mad about that. :) Just have to figure out WHAT that will be.

Subtle Striped Sofas
How to Decorate // Ballard Designs

Today I ran across a few photos with subtly striped sofas as I was looking around Pinterest. Aren’t they neat? I love that they are so subtle yet would add a little pattern to some solid pieces. I’ve always loved pinstripes. Not sure that I’ll be getting anything striped, but I do like the look.

This week I might try a few room experiments, like removing some furniture, trying things in new places, even trying some different color palettes and patterns to just see what seems natural. Our furniture was just moved into the house and we pretty much left a lot of it right where it landed (although we did hang one mirror, ha!) until I could finish up my projects. So you can imagine I’ve been dying to rearrange and make some changes. I’m also going to take a trip to the paint store :). I think when I repaint my first room I’ll feel so much more at home.

I still feel a little out of sorts and disconnected from my house, but I know I’ll find my way once I start putting my own stamp on each room.

Subtle Striped Sofas
How to Decorate // Ballard Designs

It can take awhile to get a room moving in the right direction so it works and reflects your own style, but it’s fun once you get the first piece of the puzzle. I’ve asked a bunch of my blogging friends to share their inspired rooms over the next week or two– it’s just cool to see how other people come up with the look of their favorite rooms and how they evolve. It’s usually not an overnight thing, so that’s encouraging.

I’ll be doing a round up every few days starting later this week of these bloggers’ inspired rooms as a part of my new book launch festivities, so you can see their spaces! And I will invite you all to participate and share your inspired rooms, too. More details to come on that, I promise.

Tell me stories in the comments about how you felt when you first moved into your house!

Subtle Striped Sofas

Sources1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

Subtle Striped Sofas


  1. What a coincidence — we spent our first night in our Dutch colonial project house last Thursday! It’s been 3+ years (no lie!) since we started our re-do, so we definitely have mixed emotions. My husband, who has done almost all the work, was kind of emotional + said, “I thought this day would never come!” I was in charge of the design, so I’m feeling proud + somewhat relieved that we love (nearly) everything that I envisioned so far. Are we done? you ask? Please. What fun would that be? ;-)

    • Congratulations, it sure does take awhile! I can relate to your husband’s sentiments. And yours, what a fun process! I’m so looking forward to seeing this house start to reflect what we love and envision! :) And finished just isn’t fun at all! HA!

  2. Can’t wait to see what you do with your new house–I love the views! I have moved a few times over the years. When I was divorced, we moved from the family home to a small rental house a few blocks away. The first thing I did was to set up my teenage boys rooms and spaces for their friends to gather. We set up the basement with a sofa, tv and games–they had many hours of fun in this room. Then we put a table and chairs in the breezeway. We went to value city and picked up a patio table and 6 chairs for $89! Sometimes one son had friends playing games in the basement while the other was playing cards out on the patio. When it rained, the breezeway was packed with their friends. The boys don’t say a lot about the decor; but, one day, one of the visiting girls said, ” it just feels happy here.” Mission accomplished:)

  3. Angelika Avery says

    Some of those sofas are darling! They look great with bright, airy, pastel palettes!
    When I first moved into my (very own/first home!), the move-in of our personal belongings was immediately followed by the moving-in of MANY family heirlooms and household items given to us from the in-laws’ downsizing!
    I am not even kidding, 2 years later I am still working on deciding what we love, changing or DIY’ing things to fit -my- style more, and replacing what I don’t love with something I do love instead. You are right, it’s a process.
    I’d love to go window shopping with you guys, take pictures!!!

  4. Barbara (WA) says

    Thank you for admitting you are feeling “disconnected and out of sorts”, keeping it real. I’m anticipating a move in 5 years (or sooner) when my hubby retires. Emotionally fearful that no other place will feel like home. And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as you move away, Home Goods opens in Kitsap County!!!

    • It can be unsettling at first, but I think once you have a new place you just start to get in the groove and it becomes more fun (eventually!). I think there is something exciting about a fresh start, too!

      I know, isn’t that how it goes! I would have loved to have a HomeGoods nearby! But still, I’m pretty happy here! :)

  5. Love the subtle stripes. You sound a little down about your new place. It’s normal as you know to get adjusted. Takes a bit. You moved to be closer to family and I know you must be enjoying that. Your home has a beautiful personality. I know you will make it sparkle. Give it time. Maggie @magsjag

    • Thanks, Maggie. Maybe not so much down but just hoping I can get in the groove here soon, I’m just wanting to hurry up and get started :)…I had a really busy few weeks and it was hard to stay focused on what I had to do and basically just ignore the fact that I moved! This week will be good for me, I’m really excited to be in Seattle and just really want to get my house feeling like home, too.

  6. I love the stripes, too, but it feels like you’re a long way from deciding on sofa fabrics if you’re feeling “disconnected and out of sorts.” I think I know what might be bothering you–not just the move, which is exhausting and emotionally charged to begin with, but the fact that your new home is a completely different architectural style from what you’re used to. Your challenge is to bring your very warm and distinctive style to a home that was built in an era that didn’t do “cozy.” But you are so talented and have such a consistent look and feel to your decorating that I know you will figure it out. I think you’re right that painting a room or two in “your” colors is a great place to start transforming your new house into your new HOME.

  7. When we moved into our house our girls were 9 and 2 years old..The 9 year old said, “THIS is our house??” It was only a few years old, but it was already pretty run-down and the yard was basically nothing but weeds. Seven years – and lots of projects – later, she now says she can’t imagine living anywhere else and begs us to never move again!!! Sometimes I do wish we were more “done”, but I don’t know what I’d do without a DIY project, and we’ve definitely put our stamp on this place so it feels like home. It can certainly feel overwhelming when you’re just getting settled into a new environment, where nothing looks, feels, or even smells familiar! I remember being super anxious to get started too – such an adventure! One thing we did right away to break-in our new oven and make the house smell wonderful was to do a bunch of was November, so we delivered goodies to our new neighbors which was really fun too. Anyway, I can’t wait to watch you transform your house into a home, Melissa, one painted room at a time…: )
    Leah: )

  8. One INSPIRED room at a time – haha!!!!

  9. Well, we just happened to move in our new home on Wednesday and I must say it all went quite seamlessly. It took six months to build and I had planned on where I would put my pieces. All but one chair went where I had planned. Everything looks right at home here. WE chose all white walls and I am in love with the freshness of the look. I have yet to hang mirrors and pictures, can’t find picture hanging stuff yet, LOL. I have two things figured out for sure and a couple more things that could go either one way or the other. Love a new journey like this and I am so enjoying following along with you. Oh by the way my sofa is blue and white ticking and it is a keeper!!! You can see how it looks in my blog post listed.

  10. I got married for the second time in 2014. It’s taken over a year in the new house to figure out what changes to make. Fortunately, his first wife wasn’t domestic or a decorator like I am; so it’s been easy to think about what goes out the door. Wallpaper has been stripped and walls painted. Lots of cosmetic work needs to be done, but it was nice to just look at things and slowly figure out what changes to make. I think that’s what is working best for us.

  11. I bought a house several years ago. As soon as the previous owners walked out and closed the door, I stood in that empty house and started sobbing. I have hated the house every day since. That probably doesn’t sound like words of encouragement, but I just thought I would mention that it could be worse. I sincerely hope you and your family find joy there and love being home.

  12. I moved into a new house in July this year with my boyfriend and our 1year old and we haven’t Done anything to the house yet, so it still doesnt feel like “our house”. We also have moved from a bigger city to a smaller one, and I miss our old city. I am much closer to my family now and I love my job, so that part is pretty amazing but id guess that it takes some time to get used to the house/place.

    Love the sofa’s by the way!! I really like the American style when it comes to decorating:)
    xo from Norway

  13. I can’t wait to see what you do with this house. It seems like it has so much potential! When we moved 4 years ago we had a very limited budget and needed enough space for 2 adults, a 2 year old and one year old twins. When we bought our house I didn’t like much of anything about it. It was built in 1920 but someone has spent a lot of money covering up the charm that made this house special. Lots of paint and other projects (and many more to go) I am finally starting to love our house!

  14. We moved into our new home just about 6 weeks after my mom passed away. I remember being so sad that she never saw the inside. Also, this was the first time that she wasn’t around to help me settle in. Like you, Melissa, we loved to “putter.” One day shortly after we moved in, my husband and kids were all gone – even the dogs were nowhere to be found – and I sat there, surrounded by boxes, completely “out of sorts” with no ideas or enthusiasm for setting up our new dining room. I’d lost my partner in puttering, and it wasn’t so fun on my own. As time passed, things got much better again – now I just wish she could share in the home I’ve tried to create for my family!

  15. We moved into our house about a year and a half ago. I went gang busters trying to get it all “settled” before family came to visit a couple weeks later. Talk about insanity. Now I don’t like some of what I did because it isn’t right. And then a couple weeks later I discovered your blog and learned that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and to enjoy the process. It really changed how I decorate now. Leaving my previous house was a little tougher than I thought it would be, and sometimes I still miss things about it, but I sure love this one, and am enjoying making it a home!

  16. Those sofas are great – I would love to recover an old loveseat we have with a subtle stripe fabric. Nicely neutral without being boring.

  17. Those sofas are gorgeous! It takes a while to feel the bond with your new home – I’m still hanging artwork and trying to get the ‘layers’ right – it’s been 6 months since I moved in. It does feel like home now, though!

  18. Melissa,

    I was so excited when the Fed Ex guy arrived on Friday with your new book:) It is wonderful and amazing!
    Thanks for all the great inspiration.

  19. What is the wall color called in the room with the seaglass colored chairs and crane painting on the wall?

Join the Conversation