This NYC Pad Is Beautiful, But Never Precious

Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Lilly Bunn, an 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 Bunn shares with her husband, Chris, 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 is overly precious. 

Related: See Our WOW Room Makeover with Honestly WTF
Advertisement
1 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
A Happy Homecoming
When Lilly and her young family moved into this bright, high-ceilinged apartment, 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.” 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).

In her words, “Warm, not sterile, and a little feminine.” The base for Lilly’s classically comfortable living room is a short-haired Moroccan rug — to avoid constantly fishing dropped crumbs out of shaggy fibers.
2 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Lucite is airy, not too chunky, and doesn’t have sharp corners, which is good for kids,” says Lilly of the table that functions as a desk here.
Advertisement
3 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Lilly scored this cheeky decoupage tray at her friend’s shop, Le Petit Zebra, in the Long Island town of Locust Valley.
4 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Lilly, who “always” wallpapers hallways, papered the space leading from her living room to her dining room with a dotted Hinson design she loves for its handmade look. A feathered headdress finishes off the area.
5 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
A Family Affair
Due to their hectic 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 while they hang on me and beg for a bite of anything that looks good,” she laughs.

Lilly approaches entertaining with a similarly laid-back, anything-goes attitude, and when it comes to the menu, she’s a true New Yorker: “Mainly, I order takeout. That’s why I live in Manhattan — I’ll never leave for that reason alone!”

For her multifunctional dining room, Lilly opted for chic comfort — a striped rug is “graphic, to hide the stains” and a modern dining table with a pedestal base is “easy to get around.”
6 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
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.
7 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
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.
Advertisement
8 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
The Kid Zone
If Lilly’s not entertaining adults, she’s probably hosting a pint-sized crowd. “Really, I decorated the whole apartment for kids,” she says. “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.”
9 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Small-Space Smarts
Like most space-strapped New Yorkers, Lilly is obsessive about maximizing every last inch of her apartment. She advises: “Don’t have a formal dining and living room that are off-limits. Those are usually the best rooms in these apartments — so use them!”

Her decorating approach is to wrap rooms in soothing neutrals and mood-boosting pops of color. Lilly especially 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.” Each room features 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.”
10 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
An exercise in simplicity, Lilly’s nightstand features a timeless gold clock from Tiffany & Co. that was a wedding present. She maintains her bed as the one adults-only hangout spot in the house.
11 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
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. Now, with two girls of her own, “I obsessively try to give them the room I always wanted,” she says.

She approached the decor 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,” she says. “They’re just slightly more fun and lighthearted.”
12 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
A kid’s-room necessity in a small space? 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.
13 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
Matching stuffed animals keeps kids' rooms looking cohesive.
14 of 14
Photo: Courtesy of One Kings Lane.
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.”
Advertisement

More from Home

Watch

R29 Original Series