Work in Progress | Phase Two: Selecting Color, Furniture, & Furnishings

I’m pleased to share the second post of our “Work In Progress” series, which provides a candid look at the design process behind our work on a young family’s new home.  Our first post focused on the structural changes and millwork details mid-renovation.  For part two of our series,  I’m sharing details on the selection of color, furniture, and furnishings.

Planning and furnishing a room is like solving a puzzle.  Each decision impacts the other decisions and everything is interconnected.  As a designer, I need to constantly consider the minutia as well as the big picture.  They are equally important – care and attention to both results in successful design.  Typically, there’s a bit of a dance involved in creating a room scheme.  I go back and forth in my own head, with my staff, and then with our client until we settle on the right combination. Here are some looks at rooms schemes for this project up close.

We previously discussed the new kitchen, which featured lots of bright white.  White is an ideal backdrop of a kitchen or bathroom because it creates a neutral, timeless canvas upon which to build.  As with this project, I typically try to keep the big investment and permanent decisions more classic and then add personality and individuality in details that are more easily changed as tastes shift and wear-and-tear take their toll.  This kitchen / mudroom featured white cabinets and white 3×6 subway tile with pops of color and interest in the fabrics, wallpaper (from Galbraith & Paul), lighting, and other details.


The adjacent dining room continues the color theme, but in a slightly more sophisticated way.  To warm-up the space, we added a custom campaign style buffet painted in Benjamin Moore’s Clover Green (see the shop drawing below).  We adorned the server with vintage serving pieces and accessories sourced from Etsy.  We covered the walls in a classic trellis wallpaper and added a simple, but dramatic valance in white and blue solid fabrics at the far end of the room.  Jonathan Adler chairs and the client’s own dining table completed the look.


In the living room, I wanted to create a space that felt more grown-up and formal, but still fun and inviting. A vintage lucite coffee table, cowhide rug, and pillows with fabrics from Lulu DK  helped set the tone. Vintage wing chairs re-worked and reupholstered in a Serena & Lily fabric provided a sophisticated look, as did a custom light blue Chesterfield sofa from Lee Industries.  Two more vintage chairs were reupholstered in a classic dark navy and we added a vintage credenza to up the fun factor.  The whole room was grounded by a large sisal area rug custom fit to the space.


One of my favorite ways to add color and character is with wallpaper.  I’m a major fan of wallpaper, albeit with the caveat that it has the most impact in certain spaces and a limited number of times in any one project.  That being said, we lined our client’s new “mini-mudroom” with this fantastic lattice wallpaper from Philadelphia’s own Galbraith & Paul (see below, top image).  We lined the powder room – one of our favorite places to add paper – with Hinson & Co.’s Spatter in green (see below, bottom image).

gp wp

PR wp

And in the guest room, one of my favorite places to design because you can usually have a little more fun, we added another amazing wallpaper. A classic chinoiserie from Osborne & Little, this paper is both chic and whimsical.  It was the starting point for the entire scheme that also included a rich blue velvet fabric on the bed.


The master bedroom and dressing room also got the blue and white treatment. The bedroom features amazing fabrics from Quadrille, a simple tufted white headboard from Pottery Barn, and linens from D. Portault and Leontine Linens. It’s a truly elegant and special space.  To top it all off, the adjacent his and her dressing room is lined with fun blue and white lattice wallpaper that creates a pow of interest in an otherwise basic and utilitarian space.


Stay tuned for our final post with candid shots of the installation!

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