Playing Up the Pattern Makes a Big Statement

Who says you can’t have “big” design drama in 800 square feet? According to designer Ashley Whittaker, “the owner was a delight”  — she’s a single girl in her 30s with a great sense of style. The living room is only 300 sq.ft., and her client really wanted somewhere she could entertain and she routinely has 20 people for cocktails.

Almost all of the furniture in the living room is multi-functional ….. and when you are living in 800 sq. ft., it would have to be. The desk doubles as a buffet and a dining table, the settee pulls up to the desk like a banquette, the bar cart can hold anything — liquor, brunch, desserts ……. It just goes to show you, going bold and pretty, makes a big statement in a small space.


To make the sofa in this Manhattan living room appear longer, the designer used a single cushion for the seat of the Century Furniture chesterfield, covered in a Rogers & Goffigon canvas. The designer says “it’s more comfortable than individual cushions — no one falls into the cracks”, and I agree. Another practical piece of furniture is the slipper chair in a David Hicks linen from Lee Jofa which is on a swivel, “so you can turn and talk to people at either end of the room.”  The acrylic coffee table opens up the seating area.


The kitchen was gutted, replacing the dark cabinetry and terra-cotta tiles with white cupboards and Carrara marble. This makes the space feel twice as big. The Rose Cumming Zebrine wallpaper is in the client’s favorite color ~~ navy. The slim white table provides extra counter space and doubles as a breakfast nook and I love the pops of yellow. The barstool with a vivid Schumacher faux snakeskin is whimsical. It makes you smile.


The Osborne & Little’s Maharani wallpaper for the entry definitely adds a strong “WOW” factor. I love the bold and colorful pattern, very dramatic. Billy Baldwin said, “you should start with a dark space and work your way through the apartment, lightening rooms as you go.” The Ballard Designs table allows just enough clearance to open the front door. Bungalow 5 mirror.


The Parson’s table from Katch Design makes a great display surface. When entertaining, the desk is used as a dining table. C. Wonder pillows have been used on the Ballard Design’s Brigitte settee. The Benjamin Moore paint, Silver Dollar mixed with white is “between lavender and gray to complement the upholstery. Stool, West Elm.


In a small living room you have to think about the maximum size of each piece of furniture, therefore it is critical to start a project with a furniture plan.


The designer used a lime-green Quadrille wallpaper in the hallway to offer a break from all the lavenders and blues. In the bedroom beyond, the designer mounted the Roman shades an inch below the crown moulding making the windows appear larger.


Bedside chests are from Ikea and serve as bureaus and nightstands. The savings allowed the designer’s client to splurge on D. Porthault linens.

What a lovely space…..

Hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of this

Bold and Pretty space…..

Small Space and Big Design



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