Before & After: A Fresh, Flexible & Fun Family Apartment

Professional Project

Project by: Lisa Hershman
Location: Greenwich Village, New York, New York

Looking for some small space inspiration for small homes that also house young kids? You'll love the ideas in this New York City apartment — the clients wanted a space that looked good, but one that could also be flexible enough to change as the family grew and withstand any damage two small kids could throw at it.

Designer Lisa of Play Chic Interiors writes: Working on this project was the most fun I've had with a client since starting my business. The clients were Seri Kertzner — half of the dynamic party planning duo of Little Miss Party — her husband, Adam, and their two amazing (and active!) children, Gavin, three years old and Luke, one year old.

Our goal was to take Seri's New York City rental apartment and make it a place she and her family could happily call home for the long haul. It needed to be bright and airy.

Incorporate pattern and color. Channel sophistication and fun. Be completely childproof (in both safety and aesthetics). AND ready for a party at the drop of a hat! Whew!!

Together, we came up with a style that we call Preppy Chic — it channels Seri's love of color and pattern and infuses a touch of sophistication and shine. (Think: pink, stripes, a touch of vintage and a hint of chrome.) It's a rental, so we were creative with our choices of paint, window treatments, and wallcoverings (like using decorative paper instead of wallpaper to back the bookshelves) because, as they say, you can't take it with you.

For the furniture, we looked for pieces that were comfortable, child-friendly, and ready for a crowd (everything can be moved and re-positioned on a minute's notice). We also looked for things that would make a statement without breaking the bank. (Because kids will be kids.)

But it's the little details that make this apartment a home — from changing out the standard light fixtures, to installing vintage-looking switch plates, and creating a magnetic gallery wall in the dining area where Seri posted black and white photos of her grandparents when they were young.

By making smart decisions, we were able to create a space that is bright, welcoming, great for kids, and ready to party! Just like Seri and her crew. As for the fact that it's a rental? I'd say the only reminder left are the popcorn ceilings. But, hey, it is New York!

Paint colors used in the space are: Benjamin Moore Super White (on all white walls, doors, and trim) and Benjamin Moore Whale Gray (in entry and dining area).

Thanks, Lisa Hershman!

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  • (Image credits: Lisa Hershman; Raquel Langworthy)