A few of my friends and loyal blog readers have been curious about my sister’s move (with her husband and four kids) to North Carolina last fall. Their Manhattan home was featured on Style Me Pretty Living a year ago (eek!), but since then, a lot has changed. They’ve been renting a home in Chapel Hill while they kept their eyes on the housing market. Since they were renting, my sister and brother-in-law didn’t make any drastic changes to the house. They did, however, change up the lighting and unpack just about all of their furnishings in order to make the house feel like a home (even if only a temporary one). I thought it would be interesting to show you how they translated their Manhattan style to their Chapel Hill home.
Living room: Manhattan
The Manhattan living room was fairly spacious, and it had to function as a very multi-purpose space (extra bedroom, play room, TV room, etc.).
In Chapel Hill, the living room is a proper living room. The kids play and watch shows in here, but the living room doesn’t have to be a multi-purpose space. My sister and brother-in-law didn’t purchase additional furniture for this large space, but they did make slight changes to their art and accessories collections.
By Manhattan standards, the kitchen was large. They did a lot of cooking in here, and the kids made a lot (a lot!) of messes on these gorgeous wood floors. The kids climbed on the cabinets, opened and closed every drawer and door a thousand times each day. Thankfully, the carrara marble and the Ikea cabinets held up nicely. My sister made the art. Nice, right?
The Chapel Hill kitchen is large and bright! There’s a seat-up bar as well as an eat-in area. My sister and brother-in-law added new furniture to this room (stools, table, chairs, etc.) and installed a new pendant light.
Again, by Manhattan standards, the master bedroom was large. That’s a king size bed in there! Plus night stands! It’s pretty luxurious as far as Manhattan bedrooms go.
In Chapel Hill, my sister and brother-in-law hung the art from their Manhattan kitchen in the bedroom (the ceilings are so high!), and kept everything else the same as in their Manhattan bedroom. There is a lot more space to move around the bed in Chapel Hill!
In Manhattan, the kids’ room included many fun books and toys, and everything was so neatly organized (until the kids started taking everything out of the shelves…an every day occurrence!).
In Chapel Hill, the kids have a lot more space in their bedroom…and they have a dedicated play room, too. As you may remember, the Land of Nod really helped my sister add some interesting pieces and decorations to personalize the room for the kids. The initial pillows are still a favourite of mine, and the kids do actually use the bench. Isn’t it cute? I think they added another crib since the Manhattan tour (who can keep track of all those kids!).
They transformed a deep walk-in closet into an office for my brother-in-law in Manhattan. While I was scared of the black walls at the beginning, I ended up really liking this small space. It looks really clean in the photo below, but, trust me, it didn’t always look this way.
In Chapel Hill, my sister and brother-in-law converted the dining room into an office space, and they have been really happy with this decision. They each have a desk, and the new bookcase helps them stay organized. The mirror was originally in the Manhattan master bedroom, and the light and rug were in the Manhattan dining room.
And that’s the tour for now. I think it’s really fun to draw the comparisons between the two homes. In New York, they really needed to think carefully about small space living, and in Chapel Hill, they have a bit more room to spread out. It’s so nice to sit together at the kitchen table (or on their outside deck), and I’m thrilled that there’s an actual guest room for me (and their other guests, too)!
My sister and brother-in-law will be moving again, and I have been excited to share some design advice (as if they need it) with them. The place is already beautiful, but there are going to be some really great changes ahead.