This NYC Apartment's Genius Trick Makes it Perfect for Hosting Guests — Despite the Limited Space

The recently renovated Manhattan pied-a-terre features a clever piece of furniture that makes it a multi-functional space

NYC apartment
(Image credit: Kyle J. Caldwell)

We’ve all heard of the cramped apartments in the city that never sleeps. While some manage to live with the limited space that's available to them, others go out of their way to maximize every inch, and we recently came across a newly renovated Manhattan apartment that does just that.  

This home has a clever trick up its sleeve when it comes to hosting guests, and it's one of the best solutions for multifunctional living. In short, the designers behind the project have found a way to make the chic living room a stand-in bedroom without compromising on the space available, and the versatile idea is sure to become a more common feature across our modern homes. Here, we ask the designers how they did it and take you on a tour of the rest of this sophisticated space. 

1. A space-saving trick creates a multifunctional living space

living room with two murphy beds

(Image credit: Kyle J. Caldwell)

I know the term classy and Murphy bed don't go together, but in the case of this luxurious apartment in Rose Hill Building, Manhattan, it does. Renovated by designer Shannon Murray of Shannon Murray Interiors, this house is home to two Murphy beds right in the middle of the living area. 

The pied-a-terre apartment is used by the family on weekends or for spontaneous trips to the city and, with four young girls and a husband who often works long days in the city, a multifunctional sleep space was imperative. 

A living room with burgundy velvet seating and a murphy bed pulled out from the wall

(Image credit: Kyle J. Caldwell)

’The Murphy beds were a must from our client as they wanted to make sure they had enough space for sleeping,' Shannon says. 'Our carpenter created the seamless cabinetry which allows them to hide away when not in use and to install one, you just need to make sure you have the correct amount of space. They need to be able to easily open into the room without having to move a lot of furniture to accommodate them.’

Busy modern life means these kinds of spaces are becoming increasingly necessary. Even if you aren't a city dweller with a large family, though, Murphy beds or a simple sofa bed can be one of the best ways to transform a living space into a guest bedroom when visitors come to stay. With holiday hosting in full swing, they might just become your savior next festive season.

2. Inducing Warmth with Light and Neutral Tones

Neutral pink interiors in bedroom

(Image credit: Kyle J. Caldwell)

Elsewhere in the home, the color of the master bedroom is a real standout. ‘The building’s common areas feature golds, greens and burgundy,' says Shannon. 'While we continued this color palette into the apartment in the main living area, we wanted the primary bedroom to be softer so we took the burgundy down to blush or pale pink.’ 

They used the pale pink as a neutral in the wallpaper on the walls, enveloping the entire space for ultimate comfort. ‘It gives the room a warmth that was needed to offset the large windows that wrap the room,’ Shannon elaborates. 

3. Texture is the Secret To Making a Home Look Chic

A kitchen with gold accents and bar stools around an peninsular island

(Image credit: Kyle J. Caldwell)

Shannon has many tricks up her sleeve when it comes to making a home look more expensive, and here she reveals the secret to making this space look so exquisite. ‘We were aiming to give the space interest through texture,' she says. 'It started with the gold wallpaper and then we layered in leather, velvet, and boucle. Our tip is to vary your fabrics and always start with a fantastic wallpaper.’ 

Metallic accents also feature, especially in the open-plan living area, which also have a similar luxurious effect. To incorporate these tones in a subtle way, Shannon says layering is key. 'The gold finish on the faucet in the kitchen plays off the textured metal in the light fixture and the gold on the counter stools which also play off the gold leaf in the center of the dining table,' she says. 'Using just a touch and not overdoing it with metallic notes is what makes it work.’

4. Telling Stories Through Wallpaper

wallpaper with golden border mirror

(Image credit: Kyle J. Caldwell)

Throughout the home, wallpaper brings texture to the walls for a cocooning feel while also helping to add yet another layer of visual interest. ‘We used it in every room in this apartment,' Shannon explains. 'Wallpaper just envelopes you into the room and creates warmth and dimension.' 

She also explains the magic of zoning a space with wallpaper, telling a different story in each space. ‘You begin in the entry with the heavily gold textured paper which draws you into the powder room with gold and green marbleized paper,' she says. 'Next, the pale pink in the primary eludes calmness and the gold patterned paper in the living space grounds the large room and sets the tone for the decor.’ 

For those of you who are hesitant to incorporate wallpaper into the home, Shannon has some wonderful advice. ‘Make sure papers talk to one another — they need to work together and flow from room to room,' she says. 

5. State Of The Art Lighting Brings the Space Together

A living room with a blue chaise longue and a statement string light pendant overhead

(Image credit: Kyle J. Caldwell)

For Shannon, lighting is art - and the fixtures used in this unique pied-a-terre are certainly just that. Pendant lighting and statement overheads draw the eye above, and the fixture over the chaise longue is especially striking. 

‘We had to find a fixture that would allow us to drape it across the entire space and pull two ends of the room together, instead of having one above the dining table,' Shannon explains. 'We had seen this at High Point market and knew it was the perfect piece for this apartment. The art deco feel we were creating called for extraordinary gold-finished fixtures. The lighting needed to be front and center, make a statement and compete with the lights of Manhattan outside the windows.'

This apartment is the perfect versatile space for modern city life. Use the striking design and Shannon's insider tips to inspire your 2024 decorating and you can't go wrong!

Devangi Sharma
Trainee Writer

Devangi is currently pursuing an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London and aspires to be a lifestyle journalist after finishing the course. As an up-and-coming talent in the industry, she has quickly adapted to the world of interior design and reports on all the latest news and trends.