Home design ideas: Making a living room into a true multifunctional space


Georgia Zikas’ newlywed clients asked her to turn the living area of their West Hartford condo into a gorgeous, multipurpose space for entertaining, studying, and relaxing. Given the room’s small size, the design had to be efficient and eye-catching. “One of my superpowers is space planning,” Zikas says. “When I saw the nook, I thought: Banquette.” To create a collected feel, the designer started with a 1920s Heriz rug. One owner has several guitars, she says, “So I played off the notion of the traditional rugs you see scattered on the stage at a classic rock concert.”

1 The freestanding banquette with channel stitching does double duty as a dining table and a desk. “It can be repurposed in a foyer, a breakfast room, or at the foot of a bed if they move to a larger place,” Zikas says.

2 A 48-inch, marble-topped table replaced a chunky wooden one that dominated the room. “The pedestal has a lovely glow and ties to the mirrors,” Zikas says.

3 To take advantage of the room’s only window, Zikas hung a large mirror over the banquette. The gilded frame infuses an Old World vibe. The drum shade keeps the gold-framed light fixture feeling casual.

4 Velvety performance fabric on the sofa stands up to the couple’s two cats, while the dark blue color adds visual weight. The leather storage ottoman from local maker Oak & Velvet holds throws, sheet music, and such.

5 Partial to using small-batch textiles to elevate a space, Zikas curated a mix of custom pillows then snuck one in from HomeGoods. “If you use feather-filled inserts, it’s hard to tell which are the expensive ones,” she says.

6 The designer brought the couple to J. Namnoun Rug Gallery in Hartford to find the antique rug that kicked off the feel of the space.


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



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