Before & After: A Family Home Goes from Cavernous to Cozy — Professional Project

It’s not a problem that many people have in New York, but this Tribeca apartment was almost too big. Sans furniture, the side-by-side living rooms seemed intimidating and cavernous. Plus, the unusual proportions of the space, with windows sitting almost on the floor, made furnishing it tricky. So the homeowners called in Homepolish designer Alec Holland, who transformed the space into a cozy family home, using tricks that anybody can utilitze in a room that feels just a little too large.

1. Pull the furniture away from the walls

In a very small living room, placing furniture against the walls is pretty much inevitable. But pulling furniture away from the walls and toward the center of the room is good advice for a room of any significant size. It improves the flow through a space, since people don’t have to circulate through seating groups, and it allows seating to follow the contours of human interaction, rather than the contours of the room. In this living room, there are essentially two layers of furniture: the seating, which floats in the middle of the room, and the storage pieces, which hug the walls.

2. Use rugs to define your seating areas

This design includes two distinct conversational groupings, one in each of the living rooms. Different styles of furniture help to define the groupings, as do the rugs underneath, which also add a cozy element to the space.

3. Keep it low

Low-slung furniture is particularly important in this space, where keeping furnishings low to the ground is important to avoid blocking light from the very low windows. But it’s also not a bad idea for any large space where the furniture floats in the middle of the room, to avoid blocking the sight lines through the space.

4. Add color

Want to make any space a little cozier and more welcoming? Add color! My favorite thing about this design is the bold interplay of colors—rich blue, mauve, emerald green, mustard yellow. One nice thing about a very large room is that you can be daring with color without overwhelming the space. If you’ve got a large room that lacks a little something, we recommend you give it a try.


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