You'd think that combining two apartments into one home would provide miles of space for my awesome clients who are doing exactly that on the upper east side of Manhattan. But, it is New York City afterall, and there are two little ones in tow with lots of activities ahead.
Luckily, this isn't your ordinary couple. They left the city to start their family and then decided that they wanted their kids to experience the urban life they love and have missed. My kind of people!
They have fairly conservative taste, but wanted warm colors and inviting furniture nice enough for guests but comfy enough for the kids and well, dad's naps. Here's the living room I created for them:
We'll anchor the room with a big comfy rug. (darker tones with lots of pattern make this a durable choice for kids) with a soft creamy color for the walls and ceiling to show off the exposed brick.
Then add a long low cabinet below the windows for storage and a long sofabed for maximum function, and a big comfy ottoman for every family activity. This gorgeous sofa has a bench seat (looks more tidy than several cushions), slip cover (for easier cleaning) and low arms (for dad's naps, of course!)
Two efficiently sized leather chairs teamed up in the center of the room facing the window will define the living area and add seating.
Notice the repetitive shapes of these accessory pieces? Floor lighting in the 'window corner' leaves ample room for furniture and activities, while smaller tables and lighting provide ambiance without intruding on the space.
Subtle linen curtains add soft texture to the room, as does this elegant table we'll place the opposite end of the room. The table opens up making it uber functional. Think 'kids table' for holidays, poker table for Dad's game night, homework spot, extra room for Mom and the myriad of projects she undoubtedly gets roped into... it's a catch-all piece that can be put away so nicely.
Then, just to add one urban touch, I'm assigning these guys to find a large painting for above the sofa; something bold and colorful like this awesome piece from one of my favorite artists, Maya Hayuk.
Creating layers of texture, pattern, and color makes a room more inviting. Considering the size and use of every piece makes the space functional. Adding those personal touches makes every room successful.