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Elegant Rooms that Work:

Fantasy and Function in Interior Design


Clients bring to Interior Designers fantasies about how they want to live. For over thirty years, designer Stephanie Stokes has turned clients’ dreams into realities, into beautiful rooms that work. Stokes’ philosophy that functional rooms are beautiful permeates this book; well thought out rooms make life easier by saving time and energy.


“Elegant Rooms that Work” is different from other books: it is not a portfolio but rather a tell-all in which Stokes shows and explains how to infuse enormous practicality into beautiful, atmospheric environments. This design primer is organized by room type, from multipurpose libraries and kitchens to beautiful entryways and bedrooms.

Stokes has worked on demanding spaces in apartments and houses worldwide. Her extensive exposure to different cultures has contributed to her broad knowledge and appreciation of design. With fresh approaches to color and the ability to mix modern and traditional aesthetics, Stephanie Stokes creates practical and efficient living spaces that reflect today’s lifestyles while recognizing her clients’ individual fantasies, tastes, and special collections.


Some of Stokes’s tips and tricks include:

  • Setting up flexible rooms with multiple seating areas that are comfortable for all ages and can accommodate anywhere from two to twenty people

  • Creating flexible closet interiors to allow clients to easily make adjustments to accommodate changing fashions

  • Installing narrow, vertical pullouts in traditionally unused spaces to serve as storage for jewelry

  • Using the kick space area under kitchen cabinets for recessed drawers to store serving trays

  • Doubling large kitchens as media and breakfast rooms

  • Giving one room five functions: a library can double as a guest room, home office, and a media room with a bar.

Stokes is a master of creating comfortable and multipurpose spaces that include innovative cabinetry, flexible seating areas, and showcases for art collections. Whether you live on a ranch in Colorado or in an apartment in New York City, Stokes’ secrets for maximizing storage and practicality without sacrificing style can be incorporated into the designs for your home.


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