When Leah Connolly of Studio Connolly was hired to design the interiors for a 320-square foot accessory dwelling unit behind a midtown Victorian, her instinct was to go bold in the compact space. Lucky for her, owners Hilary Haycock and Rob Robertson were of the same mind, having already purchased a cheerful aqua refrigerator for the kitchen before Connolly came on board.
The challenge before Connolly was how to use the fridge as a springboard for the rest of the project. She went all in with color, choosing base cabinetry in navy and geometric tiles in mustard yellow. “When you have blue everywhere, you need a warm counterbalance, and the backsplash provides that,” explains Connolly.
In the bathroom, Connolly selected a botanical-themed wallpaper in keeping with the feminine, free-spirited aesthetic found at Anthropologie, a retailer favored by Haycock. “The mix of geometric and organic works in this small space because of the integrated color palette and the scale of the patterns,” explains the designer.
Another tip when designing for tight quarters: Pick your moments. “You can’t make everything high impact,” explains Connolly. “For this space, I decided that the focal points would be the backsplash, fridge and wallpaper.” Simple gold-tone cabinet hardware, understated light fixtures and classic flooring materials help pull the look together without competing for the spotlight.
The homeowners were pleased with the eye-catching result. “I like to tell my clients that these are spaces where you should feel happy when you walk in,” says Connolly. “You need to go with what you know is going to bring you joy.”
Interior Design: Studio Connolly
Contractor: Old School Construction
Wallpaper: PhD Wallpapering