Second chance for a classic chintz

When my client told me that she had purchased some curtains off of e-bay and didn’t know how to make them work in her bedroom, my first thought was “uh-oh”.  The uncertainty of repurposing something is always a little scary … Continue reading

The versatility of window treatments

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This week, we installed new drapes in this Chester Springs master bedroom.  The existing silk drapes, while very pretty, did not add any oomph to the room, and they also didn’t block out the light for better sleeping.  Additionally, because of the strong southern exposure, the sun had deteriorated the fabric in some spots.

The new drapes are blackout lined, they are decorative when opened or closed, and they also block drafts in the winter (or strong light in the summer) which is a nice bonus.   We chose a current, large-scale pattern to add more visual interest to the room.  The solid banding is a nice accent, and will stand up to wear from the client’s dogs rubbing up against them.

We offer many options for window coverings, but I highly recommend a blackout-lined drape for a bedroom.  Other clients just rave about the darkness they can achieve.  Great for people that want to sleep in, or those that work nights and sleep during the day.

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After

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Versatile and Practical Window Solutions

When McGrath Interiors began working with the following clients in Devon, PA, they were leaning towards installing fabric drapery panels in their family room. After establishing that white was the best color for the area, the thought of doing them in fabric was impractical because they would easily become dirty. Especially considering that the clients have pets and children who enter through the slider on a daily basis, the drapes would have been a nuisance. After we helped them consider the need for a more practical and long lasting option, they decided on using a vinyl vertical blind. Vinyl is easily cleanable so it became a more sensible choice because of the heavy use this door receives. We were still able to provide an aesthetically pleasing element in the fabric patterned cornice board above the doorway while maximizing its functionality.

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The next photo is of a functioning Roman shade in the guest bedroom of a different client’s home in West Chester. This one shade is decorative as well as practical because it goes up and down without difficulty. It is a custom designed option with a very good price and a ten day turnaround.

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Historic house discovers new world

  It’s hard to explain the feeling you get as you turn off the main road, and start winding down the narrow, tree-lined, Chester County back road until you reach the clearing that is part of this amazing historic property. … Continue reading

Master Bedroom with style

Coming in on the tail end of a project to finish off a room with details can sometimes be a challenging task, but in this case my job was made easy.  Working with Eric from Clerestory Construction, the clients had already … Continue reading

I do love tile…

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Look at this beautiful tile! It’s so inspiring to see all the various combinations of color, shape and texture used in new ways. This would make an interesting kitchen backsplash, a great accent wall in a bathroom, or could be used on the front of a bar or as a fireplace surround.  Such wonderful possibilities!

Master Bath Remodel

This master bath had plenty of space, but it was outdated, and the large tub was never used.  One of the items on the clients’ wish list was a walk-in shower, without high walls that would close it in, and without … Continue reading

Office Re-do

This small satellite office in West Chester, PA needed more desks for its growing staff, as well as better storage and privacy for phone conversations.  Our solution was to put low cubicles in the open area where they could work with more autonomy, adding two desks.  The “dead space” in the kitchen was utilized for the fifth desk by moving the wall and creating a work area on the other side.  This added a much-needed desk/phone area for when extra people are there working.  

The existing computer equipment was moved out of the phone closet to the copy center so that they could use the phone closet as it was intended to be used.  The large desks in the office were scaled down, but gained better storage.  We also added a much-needed conference table in that area.  Wall cabinets in the kitchen provided storage lost from removing the cabinet along the wall that was moved to accommodate the fifth desk.     

We basically took advantage of every possible space in order to maximize the productivity potential of this office.  We have proposed simple window treatments and artwork, and will post updated pictures if they decide to have that work done.   

Final Floor Plan

Final Floor Plan

Open Area-Before

Open Area-Before

Open area-After

Open area-After

Office-Before

Office-Before

Office-After

Office-After

Desk-Before

Desk-Before

5th Desk Area-Before

5th Desk Area-Before

5th Desk-After

5th Desk-After

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Kitchen-After

Kitchen-After

Kitchen/Copy Area-Before

Kitchen/Copy Area-Before

Kitchen/Copy Center-After

Kitchen/Copy Center-After

Meeting table

Meeting table

Furniture Arranging 101

If your furniture is arranged against the walls around the perimeter of the room and that’s not working for you, try the following:

Ignore the walls and try to arrange a seating group that is no more than 10-12 feet apart.

Consider where the focal point of the room is. Try not to have a sofa or loveseat with its back to that focal point if it’s a TV or fireplace. If you don’t have a TV or fireplace but do have a large window, try bringing the seating group out from the window with the seating perpendicular to the window. Use an area rug to anchor the pieces, as well as occasional tables.

Mix up the seating components, as in one sofa and two chairs, or two loveseats and two chairs. You won’t get much more in the seating group, but that’s okay. If you have a very large room, you may need more than one grouping, or you can have a table and chairs, pool table, etc.

If you have the budget to do so, add architectural interest to the room. Consider a gas fireplace, built-in shelving, a mirrored wall, or a combination of elements.

This is a typical living room in an older colonial-style home in Chester County. The temporary “fix” for this room cost under $100. It was just a matter of rearranging the furniture and adding lamps to the sofa table. I designed the space for a future remodel when the budget permits. A beautiful gas fireplace and new windows will add more natural light and a new focal point to the room. With shelving and a comfortable seating arrangement, this room can become a lovely library/retreat away from noise, TV’s, etc.ImageImageImageImageImage