“Stop playing it safe and become a bit more daring.”
That’s the mantra from Nancy Conway when describing her views on home interior design. Conway, an interior designer at La-Z-Boy for 26 years, believes it is more fun to be playful when designing rooms.
“I would like to see everyone step outside of their traditional design box and make rooms more colorful,” she said. “We tend to play it safe and it’s so much more fun to be playful. Memories are made in all rooms of a home so make them even more memorable.”
According to Conway, the days of a living room suite matching a bedroom suite matching a dining room suite are so yesterday.
“Today, furniture reflects who you are and what is important to you and your values,” she said. “That’s why I enjoy coming into people’s homes to make suggestions. Much of my time is spent reading design magazines and blogs and learning what’s hot and what is passé.
“I’m able to look at your home with fresh eyes and see your living space differently than you do. This comes from attending design school and conferences combined with all my experience.”
Conway was the first in-store interior designer hired by La-Z-Boy. She has designed homes throughout the country including Las Vegas, Chicago and Phoenix. According to her, current summer design trends involve metallic shades and colors.
“When I say metallic in fabrics I mean a silver or gold metallic sheen slicing through them,” she explained. “It adds a little shimmer and can be used in accessories such as pillows or ottomans. It adds a little sparkle to the room and is a trend that will be with us for a while.
“Las Vegas follows what happens in Los Angeles, which is more fashion forward and avant-garde than other parts of the country. When trends are happening, they wash across the entire aspect of design. It used to be that trends took six months or longer to catch on, but now it’s more instantaneous because of the digital world.”
Other summer design trends include leather furniture that fits in with a variety of textures.
“Leather is popular because it is smooth and because it lasts a long time,” Conway said. “And because design is all about balance, we can add a thick shaggy area rug or velvet pillows to balance out the smooth leather. Not everyone can keep abreast of current design trends and not everyone wants to be that avant-garde. So buying leather furniture means you can have it forever, but it can always be brightened and made to look new.”
When it comes time to refresh, Conway goes for the 60-30-10 face-lift.
“When I was in design school,” she remembered, “I learned about the ‘golden mean’ or ‘golden ratio,’ which is used in all design and is the law of proportion. When you work with color or any type of design in a room, use that proportion or scale to achieve the golden mean.”
The 60 reflects a major piece of furniture like a sofa. The 30 is a second color or 30 percent of the color palette. The 10 is simply fun or something more daring.
“If you buy a gray sofa, dark or light, that’s the 60,” Conway explained. “Next is an accent color such as a chair, ottoman, pillow or area rug to complement the gray and offset its neutrality. That’s the 30 percent.
“The 10 is the wild color or crazy side of you or seasonal color such as bright orange in fall. It can be found in toss pillows or area rugs. I always say that a room without a rug is a kiss without a hug. In my world, every room needs an area rug.”
Conway knows that people love their homes and are always looking to keep it fashion-forward. She is a big proponent of 60-30-10 because it gives customers permission to do just that.
“Once the 60-30-10 is in place, we now have a cohesive and harmonious flow to your color scheme,” she said. “As seasons change, add the appropriate colors, meaning red for winter or green in spring. This allows you to change the look and feel of the room throughout the year. And that change is budget friendly because you’re dealing with just 10 percent of the ratio, meaning a few pillows without any type of large investment.”
Conway wants people to know that La-Z-Boy is not just recliners. Her 22,000-square-foot store on Centennial Center Boulevard has bedroom and dining room furniture, cocktail tables, end tables, and living room and family room furniture.
“We can customize just about anything you want since 95 percent of what we sell is made here in America,” she said. “You want lime green with purple, we can do that.”