Podcast, Ep. 295: Planning Multipurpose Rooms with Elizabeth Lawrence

Elizabeth Lawrence

Elizabeth Lawrence, Professional Designer and Bunny Williams Design Partner

This week we welcome Elizabeth Lawrence, Interior Designer and Partner at Bunny Williams Inc. Elizabeth is an iconic designer known for her layered approach to traditional interiors, and her work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor House, and much more. Elizabeth talks about her journey from intern to partner with Bunny, a few of her favorite Bunny-isms that make a room feel layered and comfortable, and some current things she’s loving in 2023. Elizabeth talks about her personal jumping-off point when starting in a home and how to add more creature comforts to your home.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Elizabeth talks about her journey from intern to partner.
  • How does Elizabeth’s personal style both align and dovetail with Bunny’s?
  • The one color both she and Bunny aren’t a fan of.
  • What about an unusual space that doesn’t have a natural layout? Are there different types of seating or things that one could try?
  • Ideas for moving around furniture in a simple way that yields powerful changes.

Decorating Dilemma:

Hello, I love your show! 

We recently bought a historic home (built in 1900) on the north shore of Massachusetts during the pandemic. We’ve been busy updating electrical, heating, etc, and I’m excited to start thinking about cosmetic updates!

I’m writing because I need help with a plan for the window treatments. I want to add drapery, but I also want to show off the unique trim. The windows and doors have beautiful trim with rounded corners.  I feel like inside mount shades would cover up the trim the least, but might that drapery would be more special.

I’ve attached some of the listing pictures and a few of my own:

  1. Piano room listing picture (we’re using as a dining room)
  2. Dining room listing picture (we’re using as a living room and plan to keep wallpaper)
  3. Door frame so you can see the beautiful trim detail.
  4. Entryway window seat with two windows. 

Thanks in advance for any ideas and help!

– Kate


First, congratulations on a beautiful house that already has some great and older details! Elizabeth sees your vision for wanting to show off the trim around the windows, and an important thing to remember is that every room doesn’t have to be the same. For curtains, something not too heavy with a thin metal rod would be read. It’s also really pretty to paint the trim color, and you can pick one of the nice colors in the wallpaper and accent both the trim and the ceiling with it. For the ceiling, Elizabeth recommends a hint of gray, blue, pink, or something light and beautiful.

We like the wallpaper and the color options that it gives you, and you are lucky to have some good choices! Keep us updated, and thanks again for writing in.

Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home and is always searching for that perfect "finishing touch" antique piece. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.