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Serendipity Design Innovator

Creating a Multifunctional Space

Prudence Bailey, founder and principal designer at Prudence Home & Design in Darien, CT, had worked with her clients before—a couple with three young boys— when they asked her to expand their very small kitchen and sun porch into a great room with breakfast nook, kitchen and sitting area. “I had a great understanding of who they are and what they wanted in these new spaces,” says Bailey. This personal understanding helped inform her design and configuration for the new space—and her collaborative relationship with them further facilitated her ability to make their vision come alive. The clients wanted the space to be both multifunctional and practical. “They really needed to get a lot out of the new great room,” says Bailey, namely a bar, coffee center, gathering space to watch TV, an eating area and lots of storage.

To achieve this, she created an appliance hub for a toaster and coffee maker and used a frame TV so it looks like art when not in use. In the kitchen, a large island in the center has room for four bar stools. Since the ceilings are very high, Bailey had to get creative to give the room an atmosphere of warmth and coziness without the ability to hang pendant lighting above the table and island. “The colors and taking the hood all the way up created that feeling and no one notices that there isn’t accent lighting,” says Bailey. While most families opt for a sectional these days, Bailey selected a sofa and three chairs instead, with all the pieces upholstered in durable, family friendly fabrics. “Not having a sectional actually provides more comfortable seating to entertain as well,” says Bailey, who considered the practicality of each piece in her design.

Her clients selected blue and white as the color scheme, which Bailey says is a “true neutral—nature always shows you the way!” In the kitchen, she used Deep Royal from Benjamin Moore, while the sitting area has lighter shades. “I love the playful fabrics and bold green chair to balance the depth of the Deep Royal,” says Bailey. “They feel fresh and fun together. We love the mix [of blue and white]. It always delivers a fresh feeling.”

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