Iconic Walter Durham home gets a new look…..

Having a hand in designing and updating this architecturally iconic home in Gladwyne was not only special but a lot of fun. First and foremost, I got to work with a friend from grad school, Janine Massaro, and together we were able to create a beautiful and functional space for a young family of five.

Second, because of the historical importance of this home, it was import to keep, or in some cases recreate, the characteristics of this architectural style; like random width pegged oak floors, detailed millwork, and big bright windows. The existing kitchen floor was tile therefore, we had to try to match the new wood floors to the old in the dining room. This kept a consistent flow throughout the first floor.

Grand Finale- A gorgeous colonnade with newly integrated wood floors.
Before demo began
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 3
Random width pegged white oak flooring

We selected Calcutta Gold Marble for the custom designed white oak island to keep a classic look in this new space.

An Unforgettable Entryway.

A Foyer is not only the center of the home but also the place where guests are greeted, shoes are left, book bags are thrown, and four legged friends lounge for hours each day. Therefore, it has to have the same presence and sensibility as the rest of the house and now this one does.

A pretty place to put
your keys.

First on the agenda, was to shrink the width of the existing coat closet in order to open up the entrance to the kitchen. This move enabled a six foot, cased, arched opening into the kitchen as well as each adjacent room throughout. Larger arched openings created a softer transition between rooms and allowed much needed light to flood the Foyer, like never before.

Previous Kitchen Entrance
Foyer into Kitchen Elevation

The Sanderson wallpaper was one of the generators for the design therefore, the best way to compliment it, while also dressing up the entryway, was to add wainscoting. It’s simple panels along with the addition of custom lighting completed the look of this elegant entry and created an easier flow throughout the first floor.

Birds of a feather play together

At one time, this room was a great space for girls to play dress up, do arts and crafts, build legos and play games. Now that they are transitioning out of traditional playtime, this large room can serve another purpose.

Beautiful Matouk bedding with a custom headboard in Schumacher fabric.

My client was interested in upgrading to a guest room for family. It already has a bathroom and closet. We halved it to allow a place for sleeping and lounging. The seating area still allows the girls to have a recreation area when guests aren’t visiting.

The Schumacher fabric is a great complement to the purple polka dot valences that are to remain in the room. A custom headboard, embroidered bedding, and bedskirt give this room a little sophistication and make it feel more like a guestroom.

While this updated space, it is still decorated with their adorable artwork, now it is a more “grown up” room.

You had me at wallpaper…

This project was so much fun and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. My client wanted to make a statement in her foyer that tied into the rest of the first floor. Wallpaper is the way to add interest to any room.

As travelers, this garden landscape was a reminder of places they had visited and as their designer, I felt the geometry and color made this foyer into a proper introduction to their home.

The moral is don’t ignore your entryway. No matter how grand or small, whether it’s a foyer or mud room. It is often a place where backpacks are thrown and shoes are left strewn about, but it is also how you enter and exit your home every single day. A room that you pass through on a daily basis should make you feel joy.

Blue Bliss

Clients often tell me they don’t know what they want but this mother of three knew exactly what she wanted in her new kitchen. A double oven, a large refrigerator, lots of storage, and a big island with seating.

Once the floor plan and cabinet design with Glenbrook Cabinetry were ironed out, we set out to look for the necessities like appliances, hardware, and backsplash. The GE cafe in white with sleek hardware options was a great way to modernize this new kitchen. White quartz countertops and white wall cabinets were offset by a beautiful blue island as well as brass accents throughout.

Blue bliss herringbone tiles are framed by a brass pencil liner.
Lots of additional storage in these twin pantries.

Now, this kitchen checks all the boxes for this young family. It has tons of storage, lots of cooking and prep space, a plethora of seating and most of all a classic look that will keep it relevant for years to come.

Not your average white….

Construction began on this kitchen in January 2020 and after being placed under strict stay at home orders in PA, this fabulous renovation is finally complete.

One of the biggest changes to the space was utilizing the extra square footage from the large walk-in pantry. By removing the wall separating the two rooms we not only gained a larger footprint but also another window. The added square footage allowed for a nine foot island with seating and tons of storage.

Another big update was replacing the terra-cotta tile with hardwood to match the rest of the first floor. Continuous flooring creates an open feel and makes for an easy transition from room to room.

Decorative details like wainscoting on a blank wall, crown molding to match the cabinetry, and beautiful Roman shades in both the prep and dining area really brought this space together.

The light is the most transformative part of this new kitchen. Removing the old pantry wall gave us another double window, allowing a great deal of natural light. Plus, the addition of inner and under cabinet lighting along with decorative lanterns above the island, gave this space the modern update that it needed.

Even though this renovation took a little longer than originally expected, my clients are very happy and have already started entertaining family.

A Master Bathroom Renovation from Soup to Nuts.

I was originally brought into this project to help with material selection only and wound up assisting these clients with their entire Master Bathroom renovation. The biggest issue was that the bathroom was long and narrow and expanding into an adjacent room was not an option.

Prior to my involvement in this project the idea was to keep the existing foot print except for removing a wall that dissected the bathroom unnecessarily. This would have given them a very long and narrow shower creating a galley effect.

Existing foot print with long narrow shower.

Once I proposed moving the sewer line and we learned it was a viable option, the new floor plan opened the room exponentially. Now these clients can enjoy their large 7’ x 5’ shower as well as a picture window overlooking their beautiful back yard. Their Master Bathroom now has good circulation, great natural light, and a vanity with storage complete with a custom hairdryer caddy which will serve them well for years to come.

Final Floor Plan once the toilet was moved.
Wall Elevation with two new windows.
Continue reading “A Master Bathroom Renovation from Soup to Nuts.”

Vibrant vestibule

The inspiration for this vestibule was my clients original artwork by Rainer Gross. Gross was known for his “Twin Paintings” which were almost mirror images of each other. His process included applying thick layers of paint on each canvas and pressing them together to “cure”. Once dried he pulled them apart to reveal layers of paint that had adhered to each other, creating a crackled impasto.

Phillip Jeffries, Chromatic wallpaper provided the perfect backdrop for these bold paintings. Its texture and saturated color only highlighted the layers of paint on each canvas. Making this vestibule a very special way to enter a lovely home.

You’ll never be blue in this Living Room.

This spacious Living Room in a beautiful old stone colonial needed a little freshening up.  My client wanted to get rid of the salmon and pink that adorned the room and bring in more blue and green.  I felt the best way was to start with the walls and Farrow and Ball’s Cooks Blue, was the perfect color to do it. A gorgeous Stark carpet already lived in the room however, it wasn’t big enough for the main seating area. I pulled the blue from the Stark and selected a wool Karastan to go underneath the matching sofas.  Together the two carpets worked seamlessly to bring the seating area into one cohesive unit.

The slipper chairs were reupholstered in a durable Robert Allen fabric and dressed with a beautiful Scalamandre tape along the bottom of their skirts. Throw pillows were added to both sofas and the chairs to bring in a little color.

 

Lastly, Sconces on dimmers were added along the perimeter of the room to allow for accent lighting when needed. The antique brass against the crisp blue walls was the perfect detail to finish off the room.

Sexy and Sweet Sweet Dining Chairs

These Dining chairs were so much fun to redesign. From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to change the overall look and not just reupholster them. The first step was finding the right material to really make them special.  The original armchairs had fabric on their backs and leather on their fronts while the armless chairs were all leather.  My client and I looked at mohair, wool/silk blends, velvets, leathers, and finally landed on this amazing paisley fabric.   In my opinion, a paisley print can look too sweet if not executed properly, so I had to give it an edge.  Thats where the red vinyl tape and nailheads came into the design.  The tape also created a seamless transition from back to front on each chair.  When upholstery is wrapped around the frame like this there has to be a way to finish it.  Cording along the back edge was an option, however, I didn’t think it would hold up as well over time.  Ultimately, my client and I both liked the sleek profile that the tape with nail heads added to these beautiful new custom chairs and it gave them the ‘look’ we were trying to accomplish.