Can a white sectional work in a home with four kids and two dogs? Can a monochrome-leaning minimalist fall in love with a bold pop of color? Yes and yes! In this project from the Design Crew with West Elm Kansas City, home stylist Jim Pittman helped photographer Allyson Cheney design her home in Olathe, a southern suburb of Kansas City. The living room has high ceilings and a gorgeous portrait fireplace, and Allyson had a vision for something clean, linear and contemporary while still being comfortable and inviting.

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Allyson came into the West Elm Kansas City store looking for a sofa with her kids in tow. She quickly hit it off with Jim, who told her he could come out to her place and help her design the whole thing. “I had a pretty clear idea for the space when I walked into the West Elm store, but I was a little unclear on what would fit,” Allyson says. “Jim was really amazing to work with; he really validated and listened to my vision for what I wanted for the space.”

Allyson Cheney & Jim Pittman, West Elm Kansas City Design Crew

Take a tour of the full space below!

Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt

First up on Allyson’s wishlist was a white couch – which may seem like a daunting undertaking for a family of six (four boys under 15!). “I knew it needed to be able to take the beating from my kids and two dogs, so if we were going to do white, I want it to be livable,” Allyson says. Jim showed her the Andes Sectional and she loved the clean lines of the silhouette. The Andes has many made-to-order fabric options, so this is where Jim and Allyson were able to customize it for her family’s needs. “I suggested leather for the children,” he says. “Even with white leather, you can spill stuff on it and wipe it off, and it’s so easy to maintain.”

She knew the couch would look great, but it was also very important for it to be comfortable, too – especially for her husband, Matt, who is more into function over form. “I want people to feel like they can sit on the sofa and make themselves at home and comfortable, and that’s exactly what’s happened,” Allyson says. “Now the dogs hop up there, and the kids even do shoes on the couch sometimes, but it’s so easy to wipe off and it’s been great.”

The other stunner in this space is the bold pop of color from the Roar + Rabbit Pleated Swivel Chair in “Desert Sunset” Basket Slub. “The orange chair was completely Jim’s idea,” Allyson says. “Although I’m not afraid of color, I’ve done monochrome in my space for a few years so that was a little bit of a stretch for me. I’m so glad he mentioned that chair because otherwise I probably would’ve overlooked it.” She loves West Elm’s assortment of pillows that go with it, too, like the Lush Velvet Infinity Quilted Pillows. To tie the room together, Jim selected the Hieroglyph Rug with subtle flecks of orange.

Inspired by the brass accents on the Delphine Buffet, the amber Foundations Vases and the contemporary Revolve LED Table Lamp look right at home on top. The Lush Round Velvet Pillow in Wasabi also helps tie the brass look together throughout the room.

Yogi takes a spin on the Roar + Rabbit Pleated Swivel Chair. “That chair is now a favorite of not only mine, but I have to compete with my two dogs who think that chair is their personal lounging space right by the fireplace.”

Jim Pittman
West Elm Kansas City Design Crew

Jim used the Room Planner tool to help design Allyson’s home. Try it out here!

Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt

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Jo H

January 22, 2020

Love the concept of the white sofa but would have to think about it! It certainly invites all sorts of colors and textures. You have done a beautiful job of coordinating!

Jennifer Squillace

January 29, 2020

What color paint is on the walls (same color in both rooms)?

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