Last summer, designer Lilly Bunn Weekes was called upon to renovate a spacious prewar apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The three-bedroom residence, recently purchased by a young couple with two growing daughters, was rife with possibility, but it was also in need of a makeover. Its elegantly proportioned rooms were ill-equipped for small children, and the kitchen and bathrooms were woefully lacking in modern conveniences.
For help in creating a comfortable yet gracious family home, the owners couldn't have chosen a more suitable candidate than Weekes. Though she boasts and Upper East Side background and spent five years in the fashion department of tony Town & Country magazine, the designer specializes in crafting spaces that are high in style, but not in pretense. "We wanted the apartment to have a crisp and fresh look," Weekes says. "But it also had to feel usable, a place where the adults could relax and the children could play."
To achieve this delicate balance of luxury and ease, Weekes installed space-age fixtures and appliances, but she also selected a serene, sophisticated palette, along with a series of sumptuous appointments. Covering the floor of the television room, for instance, is a handsome silk-and-hemp ikat rug that makes a perfect play surface. And the apartment's ample, eat-in kitchen—an especial treat in square-footage-challenged Manhattan—is both a boho-chic hangout and a locus of family life. "There's a quotation: 'Interior design is the fashion of your 30s and 40s,'" says Weekes. "One of the reasons I think that's true is because interiors are about homes and families. That's one of the reasons I was attracted to this career. I'm a mother now, too, and it's very satisfying to help a family make a home."