Family Living

Inside the Home of a Young Designer & Her Darling Family

Inside the Home of a Young Designer & Her Darling Family
Filed Under:

Lilly Bunn, a NYC-based designer and young mom, pulls together amazing interiors that manage to check all of our dream-design boxes—and then some. They’re as chic and sophisticated as they are functional and family friendly, with lively hits of color and fearless pattern play. Needless to say, we were itching to take a peek at the Upper East Side apartment she shares with husband Chris, darling daughters Grace and Daisy, and pooch Mabel. From the ship-shape dining-room chandelier to Daisy’s pink kid-sized egg chair, it’s a fun, fuss-free zone where everything is beautiful, but nothing overly precious. “In our house, every cushion can be flipped,” laughs Lilly.

The base for Lilly’s classically comfortable living room is a short-haired Moroccan rug, the answer to her dilemma of loving Moroccan rugs, but not wanting to constantly be fishing dropped crumbs out of their shaggy fibers.

The base for Lilly’s classically comfortable living room is a short-haired Moroccan rug, the answer to her dilemma of loving Moroccan rugs, but not wanting to constantly be fishing dropped crumbs out of their shaggy fibers.

A Happy Homecoming

When Lilly and her young family moved into this bright, high-ceilinged apartment two years ago, it was a homecoming of sorts. “I’d lived in the Village for years, but actually grew up on the Upper East Side,” she says. “When I was little, the first apartment we lived in was very fashionable and thought-out. It had a Clarence House chintz on the sofa, and my very specific father liked everything in red and green.” And though, as an adult, her personal design sense is more pared-down and effortless, she’ll always possess a major soft spot in her heart for that traditional look (and chintz—in moderation). “It feels like a family to me,” she says. “Warm, not sterile, and a little feminine—but since there are lots of girls in this house that’s OK!”

“Lucite is airy, not too chunky, and doesn’t have sharp corners, which is good for kids,” says Lilly.

Lucite is airy, not too chunky, and doesn’t have sharp corners, which is good for kids,” says Lilly.

Lilly scored this cheeky decoupage tray at her friend’s shop, Le Petit Zebra, in the Long Island town of Locust Valley.

Lilly scored this cheeky decoupage tray at her friend’s shop, Le Petit Zebra, in the Long Island town of Locust Valley.

My taste in art is always evolving, much like my taste in fashion. I might like something right now—but who knows about tomorrow?

— Lilly Bunn
Lilly, who “always” wallpapers hallways, papered the space leading from her living to her dining room with a dotted Hinson design she loves for its handmade look.

Lilly, who “always” wallpapers hallways, papered the space leading from her living to her dining room with a dotted Hinson design she loves for its handmade look.

In her multifunctional dining room, Lilly opted for chic comfort—a striped rug is “graphic to hide the stains” and a modern table with a pedestal base is “easy to get around.”

In her multifunctional dining room, Lilly opted for chic comfort—a striped rug is “graphic to hide the stains” and a modern table with a pedestal base is “easy to get around.”

A Family Affair

Due to their hectic city schedules, Lilly and her family are rarely able to snag the time for a proper sit-down dinner. “I’d love to get to a place where we all eat together at a set table, but honestly most of the time the kids eat first, then I eat on the sofa with a plate in my lap and them hanging on me and begging for a bite of anything that looks good,” she laughs. “But at the end of the day, we all end up snuggled up on that sofa together.” Lilly approaches entertaining with a similarly laid-back, anything-goes attitude. “We have our family over a lot,” she says. “We’ll hang out in the living room, and my dad always settles in on the sofa.” And when it comes to the menu, she’s a true New Yorker: “Sometimes we make tacos with pork roasted in the slow-cooker, but mainly I order takeout. That’s why I live in Manhattan—I’ll never leave for that reason alone!”

Conjuring up magical feelings of wanderlust, a ship-shaped chandelier, found at a downtown lighting shop, hangs over Lilly’s dining table. “It had been hanging in the store window all winter long, and I kept walking by and staring at it,” she says.

Conjuring up magical feelings of wanderlust, a ship-shaped chandelier, found at a downtown lighting shop, hangs over Lilly’s dining table. “It had been hanging in the store window all winter long, and I kept walking by and staring at it,” she says.

The Art of Escape

When the family feels the need to get away, they usually jet off to some sun-kissed, kid-friendly beachy paradise. But they took a family trip to London and Paris last summer, and marveled at how easy and invigorating it was. “We stayed in VRBO places—coming and going as we pleased—and hit all the parks,” says Lilly. “We all had the best time and still talk about it constantly.”

Favorite books, curios, and pieces of art, including a baby fox print from The Animal Print Shop, share space on Lilly’s dining-room bookcase.

Favorite books, curios, and pieces of art, including a baby fox print from The Animal Print Shop, share space on Lilly’s dining-room bookcase.

Grace [left] and Daisy [right] pore over a book alongside Mabel, their trusty canine sidekick.

Grace [left] and Daisy [right] pore over a book alongside Mabel, their trusty canine sidekick.

The Kid Zone

If Lilly’s not entertaining adults, she’s probably entertaining a more pint-size crowd. “Really, I decorated the whole apartment for kids,” says Lilly. “It’s a free-for-all—they can hang out wherever they want, except on our bed.” Case in point: The dining room, which doubles as the girls’ playroom. “It’s where their toys are,” says Lilly, “and they spend all their time in there, playing and drawing.”

Small-Space Smarts

Like most space-strapped New Yorkers, Lilly is obsessive about decorating (and using) every last inch of her apartment. “Don’t have a formal dining and living room that’s off-limits, and then have the whole family squeeze into the kitchen to watch TV,” she says. “Those are usually the best rooms in these apartments—so use them!” Her anti-overly-formal approach means that rooms are wrapped in soothing neutrals and mood-boosting pops of color with plenty of comfy upholstered pieces for curling up on. “It’s stressful to live in the city,” Lilly says. “You just want to come home and relax.”

Lilly loves a painted door. “It’s such an affordable, easy way to add layers to your home,” she says. “Do more than one and it creates continuity.”

Lilly loves a painted door. “It’s such an affordable, easy way to add layers to your home,” she says. “Do more than one and it creates continuity.”

An exercise in simplicity, Lilly’s nightstand features a timeless gold clock from Tiffany & Co. that was a wedding present.

An exercise in simplicity, Lilly’s nightstand features a timeless gold clock from Tiffany & Co. that was a wedding present.

All in a Day’s Work

Mornings in the Bunn household can verge on hectic. “We get the girls to school, and somehow walk the dog,” says Lilly. Then it’s off to work where her day might be spent drafting floor plans or picking furniture and fabric. On many weekdays she’ll try to sneak away for an hour to see her girls, or catch one of their school plays. Then on weekends, she’s all theirs. “When I’m with them, I try to drop my phone and just be with them, listening to their stories and playing games,” she says.

A Room of Their Own

Growing up in New York City as one of three kids, Lilly always had to share a room with a sibling and try to make room when there wasn’t enough. Now, with two girls of her own, “I obsessively try to give them the room I always wanted,” she says. She approached the décor in her girls’ rooms just like every other space in the house, outfitting a clean, neutral base with cheery details and artwork. “We thought about their rooms in the way we thought about the living room—what will make them really cute?” she says. “They’re just slightly more fun and lighthearted.”

From a vibrant Wonder Woman portrait to a sassy “For Like Ever” print, the artwork in oldest daughter Grace’s room will transition with her from kid to tween to teen.

From a vibrant Wonder Woman portrait to a sassy “For Like Ever” print, the artwork in oldest daughter Grace’s room will transition with her from kid to tween to teen.

A kid’s room necessity in a small home? A trundle bed. “It lets them easily have a friend sleep over, or share a room if you’re hosting an overnight guest,” says Lilly.

A kid’s room necessity in a small home? A trundle bed. “It lets them easily have a friend sleep over, or share a room if you’re hosting an overnight guest,” says Lilly.

Matching stuffed animals keeps kids rooms looking cohesive.

Matching stuffed animals keeps kids rooms looking cohesive.

A Roman shade crafted from Josef Frank fabric hangs over a sleek, baby-size egg chair in youngest daughter Daisy’s room.

A Roman shade crafted from Josef Frank fabric hangs over a sleek, baby-size egg chair in youngest daughter Daisy’s room.

I love buying things for my kids—don't all parents? Everything just looks so cute in the baby size.

— Lilly Bunn

Related: A Superstylish, Baby-Ready Makeover for Cassie Kelley’s Nashville Pad →

Join the Discussion

Join the Discussion

2 Responses to “Inside the Home of a Young Designer & Her Darling Family”

  1. anti-overly-formal approach!!!

  2. boofinky says:

    looks like a movie set

Leave a Reply