Of all the spaces in her Upper West Side home, Batsheva Hay believes her living room is “the most important.” It’s where she sits on her couch to read, where her kids play on the rug, where the family eats dinner, where her daughter does her homework. “It is where all the good stuff happens in my day, basically,” she explains.
Its role changes throughout the day—in the morning, it’s engulfed in a state of chaos as her kids get ready for school. (Although, in this pandemic age, the designer feels lucky she can say that.) In the early afternoon, there is a peaceful lull. But soon after that bell rings and her children are back home, “it builds up with papers and legos, then dinner plates.”
This central hub is still chic: Hay often puts out flowers and candles. Their sprawling Persian rug is a family heirloom. Furniture and pillows—the likes of which are available for sale in her home collection—are upholstered in vintage fabrics Hay meticulously collects. (The bright orange couch? A playful nod to 1970s love shack-style interiors.) But above all, it’s welcoming. Hay adorns the walls with her children’s drawings, which she rotates if there’s a new crayon or colored-pencil creation to show off. Cheetah-print pillows are used both for curling up and for playful fights. And in the corner is a bookshelf that holds a literary hodgepodge. (Look closely, and you can spy everything from a history on Soviet-era textiles to a Cartier Panthère chronicle and a classic white Staples binder under a “Brain Quest” workbook for kids. Simply put: it’s a living room that’s lived in. “It is a little haphazard, but that is how I always am,” Hay says.
For the past year, Hay has found solace in this space. “I love the view out of my window overlooking Riverside Park and the Hudson River. I have spent so much time looking out of it recently, looking at snow falling, leaves changing and falling,” she says. “That bit of nature in the city is really inspiring and calming. “
Below, shop items inspired by Batsheva Hay’s favorite room.