Designer Annie Elliott chooses favorite items from Room & Board


This is part of a series in which we ask designers and other tastemakers to share their favorite products from one store and how they would use them.

D.C.-based interior designer Annie Elliott, of Annie Elliott Design, enjoys creating spaces that blend antique and modern pieces. She also loves incorporating bold colors, graphic wallpapers and fun patterns in her designs. The result is a look that is fresh and unexpected, while also classic.

“We like to say that our work is ‘classic, updated,’ ” Elliott says. “I would love to start with a room full of antiques, but if you leave it there, it feels like a time capsule. It’s not young, not fresh.”

That’s why, when we asked her to choose a retailer for this column, Elliott turned to Room & Board (

“In terms of the furniture itself, even though a lot of it skews mid-century modern, there are enough pieces that are simple enough and clean-lined enough that I can mix them into more multilayered rooms,” she says.

And with so much color and pattern in her designs, it’s important to remember that not every piece can be a showstopper, she says. Most of Room & Board’s pieces can blend in nicely to fill in the gaps in a room, particularly for things such as lamps and seating, where antiques aren’t the best option. (Upholstered antiques generally aren’t very comfortable, she says, and older lights can be inadequate for modern needs.)

Here are eight items from Room & Board that stand out for Elliott. Use one or two in a room to add texture, warmth, color or function. Or, she says, all of them could easily work together in one space if you’re starting from scratch.

Elliott likes the Murphy love seat in view indigo ($1,499) for both its “light” look, courtesy of its long, thin legs, and the stain-repellent velvet upholstery. It’s 59 inches long and comes in a variety of fabrics and colors. Pair it with a large sofa to add seating without overwhelming the space. There’s an 81-inch sofa in the same style.

The framed vintage U.S. flag ($1,299) is a splurge, but it would be a statement piece in any room, particularly on a large wall. It’s “perfect for this moment, and perfect in any style home, from supercontemporary to downright traditional,” Elliott wrote. Each one-of-a-kind flag is from the 1950s or ’60s and is mounted in a solid wood shadowbox frame. And yes, you could replicate the look with a less expensive flag from a flea market or estate sale if this is out of your price range.

The Tulsara rug ($999-$3,199), with its tribal print and rich red tones, pairs well with solid colors and simple shapes to add warmth and depth to a room with modern elements, Elliott says. “My decorating motto is ‘start with the rug,’ ” she wrote in an email, “and this Tulsara allows you to take the room in any stylistic direction you like.”

With so many people working from home, Elliott says, this Linear office armoire ($2,599 for the 42-by-20-by-45-inch piece in walnut with stainless steel hardware) has a fold-down desk to provide an additional workspace. “And at the end of the day, you can close it to delineate workday from evening,” Elliott said in an email. It is available in multiple sizes and six wood finishes.

At just 14 inches in diameter, the Parks end tables ($349-$449) are perfect to tuck in a small space anywhere in a room, Elliott says. They aren’t big enough for a lamp, but they’re the right size for a coaster and a drink or your phone. The tables come in three heights and three finishes. Elliott likes their shape, including the wide base that provides stability, and recommends the walnut finish, because it will blend nicely with any design style.

The classic simplicity of the Ionic table lamp ($429), with its marble base and columnar shape, would complement any room, Elliott says. The lamp is 24 inches tall and would work next to a bed, on a desk or on a dining room buffet.

Elliott says the Thatcher chairs ($379 each), with their clean, Shaker style, would work as dining chairs, but they can also be used as occasional chairs pulled up to create extra seating in a living or family room. Add a cushion or pillow for extra comfort. The chairs are handcrafted in Vermont.

These Milulu baskets ($59-$89) “can hold collapsible umbrellas in the front hall, blankets in the family room, rolled-up towels in the guest bathroom and toys (children’s or dogs’) just about anywhere,” Elliott said in an email. Or use the large basket as a planter. The baskets, available in three sizes, are woven by artisans in Iringa, Tanzania.


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