Erinn Valencich on Living Rooms


For someone who grew up making doll furniture out of scrap wood, Erinn Valencich has come a long way in terms of the scope and intrigue of her projects. When she's not designing stars homes such as Jaime Pressly, Mischa Barton and Ashton Kutcher, she's appearing on TV programs such as 'The View' and HGTV specials. In between, she runs her Erinn V. Maison showroom of branded furniture. Below she discusses trends and how to make the most out of your living room.

How would you describe your signature style?
Erinn: My style is a mix. I love the ease of modern lines on furniture, but I am also a sucker for updated traditional flair and details. I tend towards a touch of glamour, and sophistication, with youthful use of color and pattern. I think rooms should be fun, and at the same time elegant. You'll often see a bit of chinoiserie and mid-century modern pieces in my designs. I think they all play together very nicely.
What design trends are catching fire right now in living rooms?
Erinn: Curved sofas are very hot right now. The standard L-shaped sectional is getting an update, and bringing in a softer line is more inviting and comfortable. We are also doing a lot of traditional style bases on modern sectionals. It's a fun mix that works for a wide range of homes and styles. I think that living rooms are a great place to display a lot of personality, and really infuse the space with textures and layers. Leather wrapped coffee tables, metal and stone side tables, tufted slipper chairs are all great elements for the living room. I'm also a huge fan of wallpaper, I think it really brings a space to life, and the living room is a perfect area for that.
As a tastemaker, what do you think will hit big in the next five years?
Erinn: I think people are going to be using a lot more decorative glass again. We have a beautiful artist's work, Elizabeth Lyons, and I think her pieces are going to become quite collectable. We are also doing a lot more blown-glass lighting, but with a fun twist. Not the Chihuly of the past 15 years, more modern, or even a touch mid-century inspired. I think that metallic fabrics are also going to become more popular for small details such as pillows, ottomans, or piping on a chair.
What is your best advice for people looking to do a living room remodel?
Erinn: I'd say pick a color palette first. Find inspirational image that you like, and use that as your guide to get started. Many people think that the living room is just all about the sofa, but there are so many other elements to consider that layer onto the room to make it truly unique. I always start with color and move around from there. Pieces from various style and decades flow together well when there is a consistent color palette.
What do you consider your Mona Lisa?
Erinn: Oh gosh -- that's big shoes to fill! I think the house I'm building now on Sunset Plaza Drive in Los Angeles is going to be that crown jewel. I am designing this home, and the architect is the award-winning Belzberg Architects. It's going to be a simple stunning modern estate. Which are very rare, and hard to find in Los Angeles.
How would you describe your dream client?
Erinn: Quick to decide, that's a big one. Open to trying something different, one who isn't nervous to new ideas and is trusting of my expertise.
What's the most important consideration before starting a living room design project?
Erinn: Being honest with yourself about how you actually live in that room. Many living rooms are useless and just sit there looking pretty, or sitting empty as the formality of the past has not been brought into our modern lives. If you would rather have a game room for the family -- use it that way!
What are your favorite businesses to buy furnishings from?
Erinn: I recently opened my own store on Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles, Erinn V. Maison, which carries my 80-piece furniture collection as well as art, lighting, rugs, accessories, wallpaper, fabrics and pillows. We have a wide range of pieces. I also love to shop at the big stores like Baker, West Elm, and for online, I go to 1stdibs.com and OneKingsLane.com. We have a vintage and market finds shop on OKL that is constantly being updated with our one-off and vintage pieces.