Home design ideas: Tips for designing a multipurpose living room

Laura Pierce’s clients, a young family of five, tasked her with turning the main living space of their Charlestown duplex into a room that looks good and works hard. “It’s where they entertain, watch television, and hang out with the kids,” says Pierce, the principal of Keeler & Co. Concealed storage and family-friendly fabrics were key, as was a flexible floorplan. Pierce also had an eye on the future. “This is not a forever home so we selected timeless furniture that they can bring with them,” the designer says about the sofa with versatile, solid-blue upholstery. “They will be able to easily reinvent it.”

1 Pierce provided an alternate layout in which the sofa faces the television. “If they want to center their lives around the TV, they can put a chair on each side and still have a good flow,” the designer says.

2 She turned a closet into a pretty built-in where they can hide toys, mix drinks, and display treasures. The Cole & Sons Narina wallpaper and trio of flush-mount lights ensure it’s a focal point.

3 Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light color on the walls feels fresh and makes the new millwork pop. “Adding architectural detail was important because the interior had been completely stripped down,” Pierce says.

4 The window seat can be a quiet nook or a part of the overall conversation. Ferran textiles pillows pull leafy greens into that corner while woven wood blinds incorporate natural texture.

5 The swivel chairs can face each other, the Samsung Frame TV, or the sofa. Micro-patterned pillows balance the large-scale pattern of the upholstery on the chairs. “Contrasting scales would compete but these speak to each other,” Pierce says.

6 A natural wood coffee table was chosen for its forgiving nature. “They use it for snacks, coloring, and games,” she says. “It can be refinished and live a long life.”

Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to [email protected].