Double-Duty Nursery

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn turned a bonus room in a New York apartment into a nursery that doubles as a guest room.


New Yorkers Sarah Raskin and John Kerl loved the luxury of having a bonus room in their apartment. But with daughter Orly on the way, they worked with decorator Brian Patrick Flynn to turn it into a stylish guest bedroom and baby nursery.

Brian shares how he used smart space planning and playful design to make the most of the family's small space.

What was at the top of Sarah and John's wish list?

They had a big wish list for this small space! The most important items were: a fresh color scheme, an update for the Murphy bed and to incorporate nursery furniture that could be used in other rooms once the baby outgrew it.

Warm, Cozy Nursery

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Perfect for Baby and Guests

No Ordinary Changing Table

Good Doggie

Window Treatments for All

Playful Lighting

Murphy Bed

Wall-Covering Close-Up

Beautiful Guest Room

What was your main design objective?

In this nursery/guest room combo, the most important design objective was getting scale and proportion right, especially if this one teensy-weensy space was going to serve two distinctly different functions. The room barely allowed for a crib, let alone a rocker, side table and changing table. It was imperative that all pieces chosen were slender in appearance, took up very little visual weight and allowed for the proper traffic flow.

What was your single biggest obstacle in this makeover?

The biggest obstacle was allowing a crib and a Murphy bed to coexist with full functionality. In order to ensure the Murphy bed could extend all of the way down once open, we opted for a round crib on lockable casters, which could quickly wheel in and out of the room.

And your biggest disappointment?

Ugh. The biggest disappointment was a 2-inch lack of space along the wall where the changing/console table sits. Although we properly measured nearly 10 times, we missed how far out the bullnose edge of the changing/console table extended from its body. It ended up butting up against the casing of the closet door, not fitting correctly against the wall. The solution was to notch out a 2-inch gap in the closet casing so that the bullnose edge of the piece fit snugly against the wall.

We love hidden gems — got any from this makeover?

The way the patterns worked so beautifully. The pebble print on the drum pendant, the botanical shapes in the draperies and the houndstooth on the area rug struck the perfect balance not only of scale, but also masculine/feminine. Although I had aimed to design for the baby, I guess I had never really noticed that all of my selections worked for Daddy, Mommy and baby. Who knew?

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Brian Patrick Flynn

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Flynnside Out Productions