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Creating a flexible space for family time

An awkward third-floor room transforms into a refuge for these suburban parents and their five children.

Photograph by Sarah Winchester

With five children aged 5 to 15, the family that lives in this suburban home asks a lot of its living space. When the homeowner turned to her sister-in-law, Newton-based designer Kelly Rogers, to remake the top level of their nearby home to accommodate the family’s varied demands, Rogers knew the result needed to be special. “If you’re going to expect people to go all the way up to the third floor, it has to be really good,” she says. Tossing a dated collection of old pieces, she assembled a smart mix of custom and retail finds. Now the whole family enjoys the flexible, multipurpose space, whether entertaining, watching movies, doing art projects and homework, or just hanging out.

1 The swivel chair, upholstered in a lighthearted swirling dot pattern, can face the sofa or the television. “Flexibility is important in a tight space,” says Rogers.

2 The drapes are Schumacher Citrus Garden fabric, which features an archival Josef Frank design from 1947. The pattern was the starting point for the project. “It’s traditional but hints at a mid-century modern vibe,” Rogers says.

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3 Rogers chose Benjamin Moore Antique Jade for the walls. “I like to use different values of the same color,” she says. “This is a lighter version of the green in the drapes; the ottoman color falls somewhere in between.”

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4 Given space constraints, an L-shaped sectional facing the window did the trick. “Everyone loves to read or use their computer in the corner seat,” Rogers says. Abundant pillows include prints of flora and fauna, abstracts, and fun fringe trim.

5 The two flat-top ottomans are easy to move and can be used as tables or seats. The round shape enables flow.

6 The Angela Adams rug provides texture, pattern, and cheerful color. “I love using yellow,” Rogers says. “It’s a dose of sunshine, and who doesn’t need that?”