Not Just Another Pretty Place
Sue De Chiara sits on her couch with one long cushion, which she chose so her son's Lego pieces are less likely to fall between the cracks. Sue worked with Lauren Muse, a Greenwich, CT-based interior designer, to put casters on all of her seating so it's a cinch to move around when guests drop by. To keep it pretty, Benjamin Moore paint colors Morning Sky Blue and Cape Hatteras Sand were chosen. Decorating tip: Hang a piece of art that's almost the width of the sofa, but not wider.
To make it pretty, they chose large industrial-style lighting, which hangs over a custom island with an arched marble countertop to make room for seating. Charming, cottage-style beadboard is scrubbable if there's a smudge on the cabinets or scuff marks on the island. Not only can adjustable stools accommodate each kid's height, they also tuck neatly under the island, so there's no crashing into them when they're not being used.
Smart Home Office
Stretch your decorating dollars by using wallpaper on the ceiling. The sunburst mirror can fit with any style move it from room to room to change things up. The printer sits on a sleek acrylic table underneath the desk, so it's always within arm's reach. The clear tables are perfect for a small space because they disappear.
Pretty, Transitional Kid's Room
Sue teamed up with her 12-year-old daughter, Olivia, to take her bedroom, with its pastel walls and nursery furniture, from cutesy to cool. The duo chose paint color combos that Olivia won't outgrow. The deep teal headboard from Ethan Allen was the starting point. Sue and Olivia picked lamps to go with the bed, then added punches of chartreuse in the linens. The spiky sunburst mirrors look like fireworks a classic shape with a youthful twist. The bench at the end of the bed doubles as a bookshelf.
A Lovely Mudroom
Storage spaces often get the short end of the lighting stick, but not here. This blown-glass lantern, which is encased in brass mesh, is totally dining-room-worthy. Art on the floor? Sure! A hand-painted compass injects some fun into a hard-working room. Do it yourself with cool stencils from istencils.com. For clutter control, each kid has his/her own cubby for dropping backpacks, lacrosse sticks and lunchboxes. Shallow shoe drawers, with a window into their contents, open underneath. To keep things organized, the children's latest school art projects go on the family bulletin board.