Designer Maggie Burns harnesses sophisticated color choices, wallpaper a-go-go, and kid-friendly options to create a bright Chelsea home perfect for a growing family.
Photos by Sean Litchfield
Designer Maggie Burns knows how to make a smart choice. Her background as a fashion buyer means she can weigh the options in ways the average person can’t quite puzzle out. That’s why when you look at a space like this Chelsea home, you realize she’s thought of everything—from the overall vibe to the tiniest details.
“Jackie, her husband David, and their two adorable sons were moving into a new space within the same building for their growing family and wanted to create a home that was bright, modern and playful,” Maggie says.
Maximum playfulness is achieved. With four different wallpapers, kid-friendly shelf shapes, and a robin’s egg blue banquette, the house isn’t shy. But it’s not screaming for attention either.
“I love how each room in the home has its own unique personality but everything also works together seamlessly,” Maggie shares. “We wanted to keep the overall aesthetic modern and bright, but still inviting and intimate. We achieved this by keeping the color palette neutral with pops of blue but we added in layers of texture and pattern for visual interest.”
Maggie also made sure to balance the punches of personality with livable, durable solutions for the growing family that didn’t sacrifice style.
“We carefully selected materials that withstand everyday wear and tear, but that didn’t limit us from an aesthetics perspective,” Maggie says. “We used beautiful leather for the banquette over a more delicate fabric and a quartz with subtle veining detail for the countertops versus a high maintenance marble.”
The kitchen sets the tone for the house with its sophisticated blend of livable luxury.
“The banquette already existed and worked well with the layout of the kitchen and dining area,” Maggie explains. “Because we were keeping the palette of the living room that sits adjacent to the dining table super neutral, we felt like the banquette upholstery was a fun area to add a bit of color. I love the bright pop of blue here, and the leather finish makes it functional and low-maintenance!”
Function is paramount throughout the space—even when it’s not technically functional. For the kids’ rooms, Maggie saved money by opting for window treatments that added interest without going overboard.
“Because we had blackout rollers in the boys rooms, the drapes weren’t needed,” Maggie explains. “But we liked the extra layer of texture and pattern that the decorative panels added in each space.”
The extra layer is, of course, in addition to graphic wallpapers that pep up each space—blue preppy Xs in one, black and white speckles in another. Maggie and the client bonded over their mutual affection for wallpaper—and indulged throughout the home.
“Jackie shared my love for wallpaper so one of my favorite parts of the design process was picking out different papers for the master, powder room and both boys’ rooms,” Maggie says. “Each room has its own, somewhat monochromatic color palette so we really relied on bold patterns to give each space a personality of its own. Because the papers we chose were all quite graphic and high-contrast (with the exception of the more muted powder room paper) we did accent walls in each room.”
The master bedroom wallpaper was a bit of a splurge, but it sets the tone for the serene, adult’s only space. The metallic palette feels like a jewelbox perfect for the lady of the home. It’s no surprise that the master feels effervescent, since that’s the general feeling Maggie had about the entire project.
“I left my first meeting with Jackie so excited about helping her and her family with their new home,” Maggie says.
We have a feeling Jackie left their last meeting feeling the same way.