Over a month ago I was contacted by La-Z-Boy and asked if I’d like to participate in their La-Z-Boy Design Dash. The idea was to visit my local showroom and design a sofa. Then I’d meet my sofa in High Point, NC and design a room around that sofa. The concept sounded like fun. And the idea of getting away for a few days for some R&R sounded great! Little did I know, that there would be very little rest or relaxation involved.
A week later I received instructions to go to the local La-Z-Boy showroom and design my sofa. As I approached the showroom I was hesitant. I remember the vision of my grandfather’s old slouchy recliner. I was suddenly filled with trepidation. How could I “design” a sofa with flabby rolls of corduroy? I grabbed the door and opened it, and what lay inside literally shattered any preconceived notions I had of La-Z-Boy!
I was stopped immediately by what I saw.
I had a breathtaking reaction to this chair:
Everywhere I looked there was more beautiful upholstered furniture.
And the fabrics? A designer’s dream!
There was only one thing I didn’t see…a big fat slouchy recliner with rolls. Phew.
As I looked around, I found myself drawn to room setting after room setting, taking in all the fabrics and styles like a child in a candy store. I suddenly realized it would be a difficult task to narrow my choice down to ONE sofa.
Amanda, who works in our local store, was amazing to work with! She helped me narrow down my choices and we worked together to design a sofa that would truly show off what La-Z-Boy’s image should be in everyone’s mind. Because it is NOT “your grandfather’s recliner.”
Four weeks passed as my sofa was being built from the frame up in Michigan (Made in the USA, Baby!) The date neared that I would finally get to meet the sofa that I had designed!
When I arrived in High Point (a quick drive from Raleigh,) I was given the keys to my room in the Proximity Hotel.
I was blown away by the room. But, even more impressed that the hotel was Platinum LEED certified, making it the greenest hotel in the nation! You can see more about this beautiful solar-powered, eco-friendly, and local art decorated hotel here:
After dropping off the luggage, I met up with the rest of the La-Z-Boy bloggers who were participating in the Design Dash:
We were shuttled to dinner in an old fabric cutting warehouse. It was a beautiful space that was magical, rustic and oozed of history. The sun setting through those huge warehouse windows was an amazing spectacle.
In a truly coincidental moment, we met this sweet lady who happens to be a fellow blogger’s mom! Anyone else know Jen from Beauty & Bedlam?! That’s her Mom in a blogger sandwich surrounded by (left to right) Me, Rhoda, Emily, Ashley and Beth. Jen’s mom and sister-in-law just happened to be catering the event.
The President of La-Z-Boy, Mark Bacon, spoke to us about the company. The other representatives from La-Z-Boy were immediately jovial, joking and it was clear that this was one president who was fun, down-to-earth and cares deeply about his employees.
During dinner I met La-Z-Boy designers, executives, creative directors, social media coordinators and more. More than once I was asked if the shoes I was wearing were comfortable. I was suspicious by the end of dessert.
After the meal we piled back into the shuttles and were taken the the High Point La-Z-Boy showroom. The HUGE two story showroom that was bigger than any furniture store I’d ever seen! Kelly Edwards (HGTV host, Style Network and La-Z-Boy spokesperson) was our host for the weekend, and she began to explain our mission…
…that’s when the “shoe” comments suddenly became clear. AND… that’s when I ditched my cowboy boots in favor of bare feet.
We had two hours to race around these massive showrooms filled with furniture and accessories to tag all the items we thought we might need to design a room around our sofa. Everyone had a cart and an assistant and we could see all the amazingness behind Kelly. It was a true competition to snag what we wanted before the other bloggers.
Luckily I was able to score a lot of great finds. Like this Crossnore mirrored cocktail table and much more. Amazingly, there were more than enough styles and furniture to suit all our design wants! There were a few items that my fellow bloggers beat me to, but overall I gathered a great collection.
This was just my accessory pile by the end of the night:
The furniture and larger items were painstakingly wrapped and delivered to the photo studio in the wee hours of the morning.
We left around 10pm and were exhausted and tired. At the time I didn’t realize there were several folks from La-Z-Boy who stayed up until 2:30am to transport our furniture to the studio. A big hug and thank you to all of them!!!
The next morning we woke up bright and early for breakfast. (Random thought: I miss the window in my hotel room immensely!)
Then we climbed into the shuttles again and headed to Kreber Studios for the rest of our challenge. It was there that I met…
…my sofa that I designed. The Delaney in Tourmaline fabric was more beautiful than I could have imagined. It was love at first sight.
We were given 4 hours to design our rooms around our sofas! Luckily anything that we didn’t tag at the La-Z-Boy showroom could be found in the massive prop room and storage areas at Kreber. Books of every color, mirrors, art, and massive amounts of décor items! They even had an entire room full of silk flowers.
Not only did they have room sets available for each of us, but there were numerous “fly walls” architectural walls we could add to our rooms. Also available on the “fly” were fireplaces, doors, windows and even fake stairs!
(Beckie showing off her stairway to nowhere)
And, thank goodness, I had the very talented Vanessa to assist me with styling my room. Seriously, I don’t know what I would have done without this girl!
The staff at Kreber was also super helpful in pulling our rooms together! I loved seeing all the behind the scenes tricks that the photographers use. Like how the sets are lit behind the frosted paper windows.
And the attention to detail was amazing! Before my room was photographed, Jessica and Shirlon steamed and straightened every pillow, throw and more.
Just in time for me to lay on them, just kidding. But, after the two busy days I finally got a chance to lay on my sofa…and it was sooo comfortable. I’m working on campaigning for a new sofa with Pretty Handsome Guy. My godfather’s dead parents sofa, we are still using from college, is like a brick compared to this dream sofa. (Yes, you read that correctly. We have been living on dead peoples’ furniture from the 1960′s.)
So, are you dying to see my final room reveal? Ah ha. I have you hooked now. All the Design Dash rooms will be previewed on the La-Z-Boy Facebook page this week. On November 11th you will be invited to vote for your favorite room (mine is the most colorful room with the coolest sofa…just sayin’) and will then be entered to win a $10,000 gift certificate to purchase anything you like from La-Z-Boy! Plus, your’s truly won a special giveaway for my readers by being quick with the tweets. I’ll have more details about that soon! I can’t wait to share with you!
In the meantime, here’s a little teaser video from the event!
Disclosure: La-Z-Boy paid for the three day all expenses paid trip to High Point/Greensboro, NC for the #LZBDesignDash. I was not told what to write about or what to say.