This Traditional Home is Designed for Family First

October 22, 2021

With a designer’s help, a challenging space becomes a bright and inviting heart of the home.

Text by Debra Judge Silber    Photography by Read McKendree

Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole describes the classic spatial mismatch. But a close second is that bane of homeowners everywhere: the L-shaped living/dining room where no amount of twisting and turning will produce a furniture arrangement that fits.

It was this puzzle that led Amanda Layden to designer Kristen McCory. Layden and her husband, Mike, had just purchased a home perched atop a ridge in Farmington. With five bedrooms, a pool, and magnificent bird’s-eye views of the surrounding valley, the traditionally styled home was a perfect fit for the couple, their two teenagers, and two doodle dogs. Except, that is, for the odd-shaped space that took up most of the main floor.

Previous owners had treated the space as three distinct areas, arranging seating literally back-to-back in some places. “That just isn’t how we live,” Layden says, describing game nights with family and her own book club gatherings. She told McCory, “We’ve got to family-ize this.”

McCory summed up the situation. “It was basically about the floor plan,” she says. “She wasn’t sure where to take it.” But the designer was. McCory created a furniture plan that respected traffic patterns and maximized the stunning views from the room’s many windows. It also hinged on a critical piece—a chaise lounge positioned between what had been two separate seating areas in the longer portion of the room. Open on both sides, it serves to connect—or divide—the space at will.

The chaise, from Century Furniture with fabric from Romo, was among new pieces the designer and her client added to a mix that included the family’s antique dining table and a pair of heirloom wing chairs that Layden had already revved up with a broad blue racing stripe. “She really wanted a place where everyone had somewhere to sit,” says McCory, who added two swivel chairs to the mix. “It was about getting as much comfortable seating as would feel intentional,” she says.

Interior design: Kristen McCory, McCory Interiors