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Living Room Style with Arhaus®

24 Jan


living room: a room in a residence used for the common social activities of the occupants.


And we also know it’s so much more when you are decorating the space!  Usually it reflects the owner’s vision of the space where there are so many ideas and choices to set up this very important room in a home.

Recently asked, if I had been given a furniture item, what would be the style, the mood that would accommodate a beautiful living room.  Not just any furniture item, but from Arhaus!  One of my favorite stores; their sophisticated lines are beautiful in all categories for the home and their showrooms are spectacular!

Since 1986, Arhaus®  has been designing home furnishings!  Beautiful, high quality and so unique!  The company takes their customers seriously and ensures the Arhaus® furnishing meets their high quality standards.

What is the furniture choice? A sectional sofa!  Sectional sofas are meant to have seating without the feeling of restraints of designated seating with style.  There is nothing wrong with a beautiful sofa or a love seat; however sectional sofas give added room and allows the circumference of a room to be fully used when required for that extra seating.

When first introduced,  many thought the sectional sofa was for the lower level of a home; where a game room or bar might be!    Well that’s all changed and Arhaus®’s designers have a beautiful line of sectional sofa’s, over forty-two!  I’d reviewed each description and the steel suspension construction is so welcomed; quality at it’s best!  So it was very, very  hard to choose which one, but I think I got it!

My choice is Darrow, a crescent shaped sectional sofa!  I’d choose this style for it gave me ideas in a living room that would be peaceful,  a Feng-Shui scenario with a modern touch.    This sectional has three options; either 119″, 148″ or 152″, so if a living room could not hold the three sections, the 119″of two sections would comfortably fit in standard size living room.

Arhaus® Darrow Sectional with Design Choices by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Arhaus® Darrow Sectional Sofa with design styles by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Now, let’s dove in my excitement of my choices:

  • Arhaus® provides the Darrow sectional sofa in eight beautiful colors; however I was drawn to their custom colors.  One in particular, it’s name is Taranto Blue.  The fabric has look of a herringbone style pattern; which is quite attractive.
  • The paint, I’ve chosen Benjamin Moore’s Feather Gray to be the accent color in the room.  While the wallpaper choice is a shimmer of gold and a luster of gray by Fabricut.
  • Then there’s this gorgeous hand-knotted contemporary rug name Yiska, also by Arhaus® ; it also plays with the color scheme chosen.  It gives the look of reflected water.
  • Keeping with the curve pattern dimensions from the Darrow sectional sofa, I chose this electic Trocadero Kidney brass cocktail table by designer Jonathan Adler.  The table is covered in a pieced and lacquered inky charcoal goatskin and adorned with three, inset sand-cast brass medallions.
  • Next is a tall floor lamp. Also brass; with clear Lucite accents by Savafieh.  And yes, I would use two floor lamps in the far corners of the room (opposite the main window in the living room that allows sunlight to stream in).
  • For accent pieces, it can be limitless in ideas.  I chose white vases of different heights and shapes – giving some crispness.  As for greenery, little cacti plants to place throughout the room.  To scent the room, fresh flowers like colorful peonies, hydrangea and mulberries.
  • Lastly, a 3 panel painting of an inviting Buddha head that can be placed on the living room wall to also tie in the curveness of the Darrow sectional sofa and the color hues selected.

This was a pleasure to do!! You can get great ideas for your home.  Take a moment to view Arhaus®’s website, there’s something for everyone! Arhaus…your home!


letia Mitchelll 403 Letia 🙂

Reference of choices: Arhaus®, Jonathan Adler, Fabricut , West Elm, and Savafieh.

Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill….Outstanding!

7 Jul

20140707-223518-81318247.jpgThere is a certain love that I have for Billie Holliday!

I was introduced to her very young, when I was merely 7 years old! I having a protective mother did not allow me to wander too far from our home in Queens! “Don’t you go outside that gate! “, she would say!

And more often than not, I would have to stay in the house! My refuge was our basement, where my dear Uncle Alvin kept his jazz records! 78s they were (I still have them) and our old RCA console record player!

I would listen to Oscar Brown Jr., “Signifying Monkey”, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughn and others! One day, he reached in the last sleeve of the folder which held the records and said “When you listen this woman, make sure you listen carefully…for every word is sung with meaning!”

I will never forget when I’d placed the record on the carousel and listened! That’s when I fell in love with Billie Holliday! To this day, it has not ever been a month that goes by, that I don’t listen to her singing! There’s always a song to fit the mood I’m in or always one to be humbled by!

So when I heard that on Broadway, Audra McDonald would appear as thee Billie Holliday, I was very interested and suggested to my dear friend that we should somehow make plans to see it soon!

As the tickets were purchased, the next few days the Tony Awards were televised and Audra McDonald won for her role for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill! Best Performing Actress in a Leading a Role!! And as you now know, she made history! Six time Tony Award Winning Actress! But I purposely did not see any of her televised performances.

So upon that great news, made me even more want to see her playing Ms. Billie Holliday! Let me say that I really had no clue on what to expect! For I purposely did not read any reviews! I know the story of Billie Holliday, know her style of singing and even her breathing patterns. I know Billie!


So upon arriving at the Circle In The Square theatre, the set was just as if you were in a nightclub; which was Emerson’s Bar & Grill. The band was there, a 3 piece band (drummer, pianist and bass).

The lights dimmed and there she was …..Audra McDonald; looking like Billie Holliday! Then she stepped on staged and began to sing!

Her voice was EXACTLY like Billie Holliday! I was absolutely floored! She was no longer Audra MCDonald! It was like permission was being granted by the late Billie Holliday to do her life story; a reincarnation so to speak!


There I was being taken back to a time period which I could never have imagined! It felt like I’d stepped into Emerson’s Bar & Grill, no one could see me…but I was there! It’s 1959 in South Philly! The writer, Lanie Robertson adaptation had it dead on!

The favorites were sung , “God Bless the Child”, “Strange Fruit”, ” T ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do” and classics like “Somebody’s On My Mind” and “Easy Livin”.

Billie Holliday (Audra) spoke of her tremulous life; from childhood to the present time where the drug addiction was sadly taken over her life. For the life she was living, was slowly fading away!

Audra McDonald was outstanding and I couldn’t be happier; for she did an excellent, excellent portrayal of Lady Day! I was not disappointed at all!

What a perfect match, six-time Tony Awarding winner actress and the world’s greatest jazz singer… one room! You couldn’t get any better than that! Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill has been extended to September 21, so it’s still time!


On March 27, 1948, Holiday played Carnegie Hall to a sold-out crowd. There were 2,700 tickets sold in advance, a record at the time for the venue. Her popularity was unusual because she didn’t have a current hit record. Her last hit was “Lover Man” in 1945, her last on the record charts. Holiday sang 32 songs at the Carnegie concert by her count, including Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” and her 30s hit, “Strange Fruit”. During the show, someone sent Holiday a box of gardenias. “My old trademark,” Holiday said. “I took them out of box and fastened them smack to the side of my head without even looking twice.” There was a hatpin in the gardenias and Holiday, unknowingly, stuck it into the side of her head. “I didn’t feel anything until the blood started rushing down in my eyes and ears,” she said. After the third curtain call, she passed out. April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959)



Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & DesignLetia 🙂

Does Your Bathroom Have Personality?

23 Feb

Part 3 of “Does It Go Great Together” series.    Whether it’s the powder room or your bathroom, it always amazes me – how this is the one area that is sometimes forgotten.   It matters! Many people think, that it’s the least of their worries; in and out!

You ever visited someone’s home and it is really put together.   Then you ask where is the powder room or bathroom and there is always an explanation on the way; about the decor “We’ve really haven’t gotten around to renovating it”. 🙂

Remembering reading in a 2008 Domino Magazine article, it brought attention to just that! How these rooms need personality and it really doesn’t take too much effort to do so!

It doesn’t mean gutting out walls and floors.   A little work, not too much to include the bathroom or powder room; bringing cohesiveness with the rest of the home.  Here are some changes you can do?

  • Wallpaper  adds depth and character.
  • A Mirror is key,  replace with an oversize mirror, forgo the traditional medicine cabinet mirror.
  • Do a sink update with an affordable pedestal,with a clean lined basin.
  • If you have a window, you have light! To add more, try some sconces on the side of the mirror.
  • For the toilet seat, there are wood seats and a variety of colors too.
  • Flooring – can be expensive, so nice bath rugs can do the trick.
  • Some nice towels, bath accessories, soaps and candles.
  • Declutterize!

Lowes® and Home Depot® have some affordable selections and don’t be afraid to use wallpaper, they have some great patterns!

It’s all about change and even if you can’t do some of the things I’ve listed at this time.  A cosmetic change like  new bathroom towels or bath rugs can also do the trick too!

Letia 🙂

* Rita Konig Domino magazine editor,

Living Room Furniture! Do You Have Space? Are You Sure?

6 Feb

Part 2 of “Does It Go Great Together” series.  Today, we are going to talk about space!   Yes, space!  How many times have you’ve looked at furniture in a furniture store, bought it and when you got home, you were second guessing yourself.

Or better yet, there have been times when delivered, the furniture barely fit into your space?   This has happened not only to you, but many people.  Hating themselves for not knowing and now rearranging has to be done in the room<go ahead, squeeze by!>.

So, what are you doing wrong?  Nothing really.   When buying furniture; you have to remember the display floor is huge and every furniture collection has been given an allocated amount of space, to give you the appearance that the furniture could fit in your home.

This is why the measurement tags are not readily seen, now they are there!  However, the last thing the salesperson would want you to do, is leave to go back home to measure.   The salesperson may bring you to a computer, access their design software and even outline the room to help you; showing you that your choice would definitely work.   Not every furniture place has this, so you will have some apprehension on what to do.

Loveseat, sofa  <some say couch>, chair and coffee table, all available in a package deal! This would be perfect you say, because you are getting a great price! Hey, all the pieces are included.

But, its about space too! Will it fit in your livingroom, do you need all four pieces?   You want your livingroom to be inviting; not having the crowded effect.  I particularly do not like buying all the furniture pieces to be of the same suite.  I do mix it up a little, using different styles with a compliment factor.  No matter what your preference is, before you buy living room furniture, do have your information at hand:

  1. Take full measurements of room  (e.g.  11′ w x 17 ‘ 3 ”).
  2. note how many full walls (no windows,  no doors, etc.)
  3. note how many electrical outlets are available.
  4. note how many lighting fixtures are permanent in the room (e.g. chandlier, etc. or none).
  5. is there a fireplace, focal window or flat screen TV for one of the walls considered not a full wall.

Then there’s the decision-making:

  • Determine if the furniture style fits your lifestyle?  (children, no children, pets, roommate, etc).
  • For the not full walls, either the sofa should be placed opposite or diagonally.  This will make the window, fireplace or flat screen TV the focal point.
  • A sofa is usually 8 ft long, so measure and dependent on your room size, you will definitely be able to decide if the scale is too large.  This gives you the option to either select a sofa not that long, opt for a love seat only or use sectional pieces to get a comfortable space.   Please also repeat sitting and rising from the sofa.  If it is hard to rise, then you will need a sturdier sofa.  If you are particularly crawling out the sofa, this would mean it’s too soft and the height of the sofa is too low for the average person!  You definitely do not want to keep lending a hand or have a person keep leaning towards the person sitting next to them each time they want to get up! 🙂
  • The loveseat is optional, if included, it may not fit the scale of the room.  Or it may be needed for rooms that are rather large (e.g. great rooms), you have to decide.
  • The loveseat can also be used, rather than the sofa – if you are looking for a smaller scale (city apartments).
  • Review all legs of the furniture, will it add height or will it be too low?  Measure all doorways to ensure the furniture can be delivered, legs can be removed – however the sofa size is the deal breaker when it can’t fit through a doorway.
  • The coffee table should be 2 ft. from the sofa and fit the scale of the sofa.

Chairs can be used to balance the room, if there is space.  If needed,  it should be either placed next to the sofa or the other side of the coffee table being used.

If you feel the room will seem empty, this is where accessories  (vases, lamps, end tables) come in.

Area rugs too, will finalize the space – now the scale of the furniture is defined. This is where decorators come in, it’s call finishing!

The pictures show just a few furniture styles.  There are so, so many styles of furniture and your choice should be something you are happy with and will enjoy!.   If you need more time to make your decisions, by all means do so.  Take your time!

Manufacturers release their new furniture collections in January, so the previous year will be on sale until around March!  They have to make floor room for the samples!  And speaking of samples,  if a you find a floor sample that is in good condition or there is a close-out, please also consider for purchasing;  this also gives some savings to go towards buying accessories.  Negotiate!!!!!!

If you are not buying furniture, some of the guidelines above can help you rearrange your existing furniture too!  And PEOPLE, slip covers are fashionable!!!

Letia 🙂


Photos by Better Homes & Garden® & Shabby Chic Designs®

Ahhh! Paint!

24 Jan

Here we are, Part 1 of Does It Go Great Together? series.  The #1 question that is e-mailed to me is about PAINT!

Yes, I said Paint!   More so about picking a color.  Then the colors, what brand types and how much a person is so afraid of color and how the beige walls are their standard choice!    Everyone knows their colors!  Even if you don’t think you do, you really do. 🙂

The primary colors are red, blue and yellow.  When the primary colors are mixed together to create different color combinations, created are your secondary colors:  purple, green and orange.   All defined as the color wheel! Using the primary and secondary colors together, beautiful paint colors are created; combinations galore!

When looking at a paint color sheet, the many shades are called paint hues.   It is when the primary color or secondary color is increased or decreased; all providing a selection of whether to be monochromatic (modern) or analogous (pleasing, matching).  So say, if you like the color purple!  The question is…what type of purple, the paint hues allows to either to be bold/dark or soft/light.

Paint colors are to a person’s taste; quite personal.   The color can remind you of something wonderful or it can be irritating.  Leaving specific colors which go together, where  some that do not.   There’s cool tones like a white or a baby blue.   Then there’s loud colors, demanding presence; like a red or a black.  Whatever the color is, you have to take the time to look at the colors;  see how it makes you feel.  If you really like it, question how will it compliment the room and the room’s size?

Once you have made your decision, then you have to some preliminary work first.   Looking through my archives, I found this flashback video!   It’s a reply to an e-mail I’d received, it will give you some more information.

  • get many color swatches or color sheets.
  • write down the paint number and the brand.
  • select the colors you like!
  • request paint samples.
  • paint 24″ x 24″ square on the wall of the room to be painted.
  • review the color in the night, the day and w/wo candles before making the color your final selection.
  • who is painting?  Find out before buying paint?
  • talk to the supplier, ask what’s the best finish and are there any rebates.
  • is there a specific look on the wall you’re thinking of
  • the preparation to paint is key,  so you have easy clean-up.
  • stick to your budget, get estimates.
  • tell your environmental concerns to the supplier, so he can meet your needs.
  • BE HAPPY and Excited about it!!!!!

I know the idea of painting can be overwhelming in many ways, don’t be.  When you’re looking for a color, think about you and what you can create.   You will be surprise how your spaces will change, by merely the color!

Letia 🙂 and

Does It Go Great Together?

18 Jan

Planning, you must plan everything!  But when it comes to decorating, you don’t know where to start!

You’ll find yourself talking out loud “Does this go together or am I completely off?”

You really like what you’ve picked, but how does it fit with your home, the furniture that you have now?

Or you just want to throw everything OUT, you need something new!

So, why is it such a puzzle?

I’ve taken all the questions my readers have sent, categorizing them all.  So, beginning in a few weeks; there will be a 4 part series called Does It Go Great Together? on the most asked questions.

This will be a great way to get familiar with the basics, setting the incentive to be open to some changes in your home and most of all put you at ease.

So stay tuned.

Letia 🙂

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