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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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

Kitchen-Before

Kitchen-Before

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

Targeted changes with big impact in Chester County home

Master Bedroom After

Master Bedroom After

When I started working on this project in West Chester, the clients had requested that we work on a few areas of their home at a time, and use their budget as judiciously as possible to change and update the selected spaces.  As I got to know them, I learned that the tastes of this couple were somewhat disparate–he likes a traditional style, while she is drawn to things that are more modern looking.  That challenged me to figure out how to make them both happy, and achieve spaces that are great looking and functional.

Sink Before

Master Bath Vanity Before

Shower Before

Shower Before

We started with the Master Bath, which had a very large tub, a double vanity and a lot of tile, all of which were to remain.  The clients definitely wanted to change out the wallpaper and window treatment, and address the shower area.  Plans for that area were drawn up, and the concept is shown below.

Shower Concept

Shower Concept

Once we decided on a color direction, we selected a beautiful paper with a metallic floral design for the walls.  The soft blue-gray gives the room a touch of color, the larger pattern suits the size of the space, and the metallic taupe gives the room a slightly more glamorous feel.  New crown molding helps to give a more finished look.  The new light fixtures also have a more modern and sophisticated feel.  The husband, an accomplished craftsman, created the paneling above the mirror.  The shower was in need of repair, and the clients had asked that we make it larger if possible by removing the corner build-out, which may or may not have had mechanical “stuff” behind it.  Turns out that it did, but we were still able to make the shower larger, and add the bench, which was a high priority for the wife. The tile was chosen to blend with the existing tile, while not highlighting its rose tones.  The border is a nice way to break up the field of tile and add another contemporary design element.  Clear glass doors also help to make the whole area feel more open.

Vanity After

Vanity After

New vanity light fixture

New vanity light fixture

Shower AfterShower After

Shower bench/tile detail

Shower bench/tile detail

For the Master Bedroom, I suggested new carpeting, window treatments and bedding to update the space.  We worked with the existing neutral wallpaper and furniture, using the blue color from the bathroom as a starting point for the color palate.  The carpet pattern is subtle, but definitely modern.  It adds just a bit more design interest than a plain cut pile does, and provides a good background for everything else we wanted to do in the room.  The comforter was custom made out of a Robert Allen fabric.  By changing out the valances for panels, we achieved a warmer, more lush look for the room.  Chocolate brown provides visual contrast and breaks up the blue on the panels and on the bed with the throw pillows.  A new bench with a sharp striped fabric is both beautiful and practical.

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After

Master Bedroom After

Pillow and window treatment detail

Pillow and window treatment detail

Stripe on bench with comforter fabric

Stripe on bench with comforter fabric

In the family room, there were new window treatments, soft crimson walls and an area rug, but the clients wanted help pulling the rest of the room together.

Family Room before

Family Room before

We re-covered the existing sofa in a beautiful, gold chenille fabric.  We also replaced the blue leather chairs with rich brown ones, and brought in an over-sized, inlaid cocktail table that would be serviceable to all of those pieces.  Its style is traditional, but the finish is so distressed that it doesn’t look formal.  Two other reading chairs were added to give the couple a comfortable place to read in the sun.  New lamps and accessories rounded out the transformation, and now this lovely couple is enjoying and appreciating all of the changes–my absolute favorite part of the project!

Family Room After

Family Room After

Leather chairs

Leather chairs

Cocktail table detail

Cocktail table detail

Reading chairs

Reading chairs