How to Design a Multipurpose Guest Room That’s Also Incredibly Cool
When Jenny Kaplan and her fiancé, Chris, first came up with the idea for their furniture and home accessories line, Pieces, they knew they wanted to be able to test out their designs before hitting the market. Luckily, the couple’s vacant guest bedroom in their Brooklyn, New York apartment was the ideal space to experiment. “That room has literally been the testing ground for all of our prototypes,” says Kaplan, whose interior design and styling company, An Aesthetic Pursuit, ignited her desire for a clean, modern line of modular furniture. “I hit a wall a year ago because I had all of these ideas and they didn’t exist,” she says. “There was nothing out there that satisfied my need for furniture and accessories that are functional yet modern and clean in a fresh, new way.” The design of the guest bedroom is much the same: minimal, sleek, and contemporary but wholly comfortable and warm. Though the room is now complete, it still doubles as a bedroom and home office, as well as a place for the duo to brainstorm. “Chris and I made a floor to ceiling ‘mood board’ for the room,” says Kaplan. “I am always collecting random magazine cut outs and various finds, and it’s a place I can store my ideas—and it’s a great piece of furniture, too.”
What was the inspiration for the design of this room?
I had my eye on the wallpaper we chose from Calico Wallpaper for quite some time. Around the same time I came across a print by my talented friend Jesse Chun (the peachy print above console across from bed). The peach tones of both the wallpaper and the print were a perfect match, and really inspired the new direction of the guest bedroom. Also, Chris and I have been using this room as a “test kitchen” for the prototypes we have been designing for Pieces’ first collection. The product that we are about to launch really had a lot to do with the inspiration of this room. It’s basically an overall vibe of the whole collection.
Have you always had an eye for design?
Yes. I was a fashion stylist for over 10 years and made a very fluid shift moving into the direction of interiors over the past few years. I never would have imagined that I would be designing home goods, as well, but it’s been a natural progression for me.
Where did you start with the design of the room?
The wallpaper and print by Jesse really were the grounding pieces of the new design of the room. When designing a room, I always like to build the space around a special piece, and build a color palette and mood from there.
What were some of the must-have design elements in the room?
I would have to say all of the product by Pieces. These items include: both side tables, console wall unit, and vases. We are launching a collection of rugs, and we styled the samples under the side tables, which added a really fun element of color and pattern.
What challenges did you face while designing the room?
Our apartment is a decent size for New York City standards, yet there is never enough space! Because the room has many purposes, organization is key. Chris stores his whole wardrobe in the guest bedroom, and I work from home and store all of my office belongings in this room. For example, the wall unit across from the bed, actually holds all my office stuff. Given this, we still wanted to make the room as comfortable as possible for guests. We have friends and family stay with us very frequently.
What are some of your favorite things about the bedroom?
I love both pieces of art above wall unit; they are such a perfect pair together. The other print is by Ward Roberts, which I gifted to Chris for his last birthday.
What things did you want to take advantage of in the room?
The natural light in the bedroom is beautiful. We are huge plant people so all of our plants have been thriving in the space. The goal is to train the fiddle leaf fig to grow over the armoire.
What design element did you use in the room that you feel readers should try?
The mood board, for sure.
What do most people say when they see the guest bedroom?
Everyone who has seen the room has loved it and gotten really excited by the new look.