Even a small en­try hall can hold a big, bold sur­prise

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Treasure Coast / North - Rose Bennett Gil­bert

Ev­ery square foot of home space is too pre­cious to be ig­nored.

Q: I have a funny lit­tle al­cove off the liv­ing room. It’s too small for fur­ni­ture, other than a chair and tiny ta­ble. Do I ig­nore it, or is there a bet­ter idea?

A: Ev­ery square foot of home space is too pre­cious to be ig­nored. Any space — even if it’s truly too small to be ac­tu­ally lived in — can be per­suaded to make a big dec­o­ra­tive con­tri­bu­tion to your home life.

Wit­ness the drama that’s been con­densed into the en­try hall shown here. Black-and-white­and-red-hot all over, it’s a di­rect descen­dant of famed de­signer Dorothy Draper’s dec­o­ra­tions for the Green­brier ho­tel in West Vir­ginia.

It’s no sur­prise, ac­cord­ing to Su­san and Lauren McGrath, who in- clude the photo in their new book, Good Bones, Great Pieces (pub­lished by Ste­wart Ta­bori & Chang).

The hall hails vis­i­tors to the New York apart­ment of Meredith Ger­man, a fash­ion de­signer who lived a scant mile from the Green­brier and grew up with Draper’s sig­na­ture bright col­ors and su­per-scaled ac­cents.

De­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tor Bar­rie Ben­son, the apart­ment is all about bold ges­tures such as big black stripes and siz­zling flo­ral up­hol­stery piped in black patent leather.

As you can guess from the mir­ror’s re­flec­tion, the rest of the room is just as jazzy — pick­ing up the pace set in this daz­zling lit­tle en­try ... and prov­ing in black-and­white that lit­tle things sure can mean a lot!

Dec­o­rat­ing for col­lege-grad daugh­ter

Q: I’m try­ing to do some “wel­come home” dec­o­rat­ing for my daugh­ter, who just grad­u­ated from col­lege and will live with us while she finds a job. My idea is to make her room like a stu­dio apart­ment so that she can have friends in. Are they still mak­ing those beds that fold up against the wall?

A: “They” sure are — just check out www.murphybeds.com

The wall-bed, orig­i­nally in­vented by Wil­liam Lawrence Mur­phy, is still al­le­vi­at­ing space pains for thou­sands of the squeezed-in, in­clud­ing apart­ment-dwellers and univer­sity students, who can flip their dorm beds up and out of sight by day.

Mur­phy Beds can be a smart idea even when space is not the main is­sue. We just ad­mired the sleight- of-hand ex­e­cuted by the owner of a large and lovely beach home near The Hamp­tons, on Long Is­land, N.Y. She had tucked her Mur­phy into what had been a dou­ble closet and hid­den it be­hind built-in fold­ing doors with cur­tains that match the win­dow treat­ment.

With the bed ban­ished into the closet space, the room can hold ex­tra tables for large din­ner par­ties or what­ever. Come bed­time, it folds down be­tween two small bed­side tables that hold hisand-her read­ing lamps on each side.

But be warned. Be­fore you work such nowyou-see-it, now-you-don’t magic: You might con­jure such a comfy “wel­come home” that your daugh­ter will want to stay on even af­ter she lands a job.

— cour­tesy Creators.com

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