Before: Drab, Dysfunctional SpaceDeborah Pippin and Gregory Stangl are having a hard time designing their awkwardly shaped office/guest room. She loves sophisticated modern clean lines, and he likes more traditional styles. The room needs to be a place that Greg can work, but comfortable enough to accommodate their many guests. They also use the space for family time with their two boys. They turn to designer and host Karen McAloon to help them create a multifunctional space that also showcases their unique combination of styles.
The bed juts out into the middle of the room, breaking up the natural flow of the space. The desk at the back of the room is too small to be a fully functioning piece, a fact that Greg admits. But he has chosen form over function because he is really fond of the rustic look of it. The red curtains against the dark brown walls means they're not afraid of color and deep bold choices. Paired that with the white bookcases, and you have a modern style. Therefore, Deborah and Greg's style is modern antique, McAloon assesses.
After: Modern, Antique Guest Room/OfficeThe Murphy bed tucked into the back corner of the room frees up valuable floor space, and the bookcases that flank it allow the main bookshelf in the office area to be less crammed. McAloon takes advantage of the extra shelf space by alternating books with art some of Greg's prized antique pieces. A sleek new desk replaces the rustic nonfunctioning one.
The newly created seating area features two pieces of a new three-piece sectional that fits the scale of the room nicely. A rich brown rug atop the new warm beige carpet helps separate the space from the office. The cool six-CD changer above the sofa at left was a surprise gift from Deborah to Greg and is adds another modern element to the room.
Paint colors: Aura by Benjamin Moore
Walls: Touch Up
Ceiling: Tapestry Beige
Before: Sad Storage SpaceThis side of the room, dubbed the storage area by the homeowners, is a mess. The treadmill shares space with the kids' toys and random pieces of furniture and accessories. "(This is) furniture that doesn't fit anywhere else in the house. It is unorganized, generally unpleasant and definitely not very welcoming for our guests," Deborah lamented.
After: Light, Airy and MultifunctionalThe low, wall-mounted cabinets provide ample storage for all those kids' toys that littered the floor before. The third piece of the sectional provides additional seating, while the two new pendant lights in white really white pop against the dark walls and play off the color of the cabinets. McAloon had the couple's antique maps placed in gunmetal frames for a sophisticated yet subdued look that makes the frames seem to disappear into the wall. The yellow accent color adds interest and variation to the room, providing the perfect finishing touch. "When you're using a bold accent color like we are with this acid yellow, you don't have to go crazy with it," McAloon warns. "Sometimes just three small pieces on one side of the room is enough."