A family’s early 1800s farmhouse in Litchfield, Connecticut, was a ground-up project—of sorts. Over the course of six years, and led by designer Susan Bednar Long, they tackled renovations phase-by-phase and mastered a true multipurpose room design.
By the time they set their sights on the unfinished attic, both designer and client had developed a keen sense of what was still missing—a workhorse. On the wish list: A well-appointed office, a “man cave” for cigar smoking and game nights, a sleep loft for cousin visits and a bevy of storage.
While embracing the original beams and warm wood floors, Long set about modernizing the lofty space with a cozy, masculine mood. Notably, in building out the crooked chimney, she created a stylish wet bar-meets-shelving unit wrapped in metallic Hermès wallpaper, which ingeniously serves as a partition between the lounge and office areas.
Utilizing every solitary inch (while preserving an airy feel thanks to precisely scaled furnishings), the designer squeezed in a window banquette that comfortably sleeps two children, an 11-foot-long desk, a flatscreen TV and a sectional. Storage space abounds as well, including the antique home’s original, rehabilitated cubbies, which now enclose back-of-house office supplies, camping gear and seasonal storage.
“Only the pretty stuff is on view,” notes Long, adding, in the ultimate stamp of approval, “This was never an essential space, but it has become just that.”