A Sleeping-Space Solution
New Yorkers Sarah Raskin and John Kerl needed to turn a portion of their small apartment living room into a separate bedroom-like area. Thankfully designer Brian Patrick Flynn had a plan.
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After finding four different sofa choices, John and Sarah headed to Manhattan to test them out in person, resulting in their number-one pick being the same as mine. Since the sofa needed to be short, we opted for an apartment-sized piece that is a cross between a loveseat and a three-seater. With the sofa taken care of, I found a coffee table online that was long and deep enough to contain Orly's toys, keeping the living room neat and tidy. With one look, Sarah and John were equally approving, so we moved on to finding the proper glider, which ended up being the most challenging of all furniture pieces, both spatially and aesthetically.
Sarah explains, "It was tough to find a glider that had all the features we wanted: timeless style, comfort (of course) and a look that didn't scream baby or super girly if it was going to be part of our living area. Plus, we hoped that the glider would be big enough to fit John or me alongside both of our kids. After learning about the current trend of ‘chair and a half,' we knew we wanted to go that route."
Some newer gliders are made extra wide so that parents are able to have babies or toddlers sit beside them and not just on their laps or shoulders. After weeks searching online, we came across a style we liked, then had it custom made with brown fabric and celery green piping.
The last step in the family room redesign was delineating the two areas with rugs. In order to give the two areas their own distinct styles but ensure the styles worked harmoniously, it all came down to pattern mixing. Emily's rug features a transitional-style geometric pattern in gray-brown, dark olive and greige while the living room rug features a zigzag pattern with tribal influence in dark brown and cream tones. The two rugs work well in the same space since they have similar color schemes, but their patterns have different scale and shape.
With the project complete, John and Sarah are even more in love with their Brooklyn apartment than before. Not only can they maintain plenty of room for Emily, they can also make room for baby sister Orly, thanks to the chair- and-a-half glider and proper space planning. Thrilled with her newly updated living room, Sarah adds, "I'm amazed by the impact of this transformation on our lives. It feels like we added an extra room, but without an actual renovation or having to move. Plus, because these changes are cosmetic rather than structural, they're landlord-friendly! Maybe next we can add a home office to our master bedroom."
Bold strokes of color and distinctive finishes and fabrics prove you can have it both ways.