Family size and use of space are very important factors when choosing a home. For a lot of people, a growing family means living in a house that may not function as well as it once did. For this family, … Continue reading
Step into a world of of mystic intrigue…descending a flight of stairs, you are led into an old-world room where you find a crowd gathered by a fireplace and a full bar. As you move forward, you are enveloped by … Continue reading
We’ve just completed the first phase of this renovation in West Chester, and I’m excited to share the changes so far. In the foyer, we went big and bold with a new, 60″ diameter light fixture in crystal and nickel. To add to the drama, we painted the walls a medium green/gray, added a beefy crown molding and decorative boxes with a silvery damask paper inside. We will finish off the space with a silver-leafed chest and a new rug. (Will post when the chest comes in).
In the family room, we added a window to balance the architecture. We modernized the fireplace by removing the raised hearth and installing stone from floor to ceiling. We added a beam to the ceiling, and replaced the fan with a simple chandelier. The large wall was outfitted with large boxes and a gray linen paper. Simple, sheer blue/gray drapes were hung to soften the look and make the room more cozy. Our plan is to fill the room with new furniture pieces that better fit the size of the space.
Redesigning a laundry room may seem like an insignificant project, but this one was certainly complex. The homeowner had a lot of “must-have’s” on her wish list, and we were able to creatively arrange them into one small space. The room is 7’4” by 8’10” and includes a dryer, washer, sink, clothes line, bench, folding table, toilet, multiple laundry baskets, cubbies, and cabinets. Let’s first go through these practicalities and then I’ll give an overview of the design.
The owner of this home recently installed a backyard pool, but because the first floor powder room is on the other side of the house, she hoped to make a toilet more accessible for swimmers. We moved over the original door opening so as to install a pocket door, creating privacy for the bathroom function while saving space by not having to accommodate a door swing. Adjacent to the toilet is the folding table where laundry baskets fit snugly underneath. Included in this table is a drawer that serves as a dryer for delicate clothing. (Nice that you can hide those “unmentionables” while they’re drying, right?) Between this table and the far wall, is a bench with cubbies underneath–great for putting on winter boots. Directly across the room the dryer is stacked over the washer and a cabinet is included above. Next to this is a serviceable farm sink, with a skirt to soften the hard lines of the room, and hide more “stuff”. In the last corner of the room is a full height cabinet with a built-in vacuum duct underneath, completing this multi-functional space.
Given the dense and dual nature of the room, we had to think creatively to make it more than just practical. Some design features we added are crown molding around the cabinets, porcelain floor tiles, and a backsplash above the sink. The walls were painted a soft green and the cabinets stained gray, which both compliment the leathered granite counter-tops. The gray also blends nicely with the washer/dryer. This room serves as an entry to the backyard, a laundry room, a storage room, and a bathroom. It is attractive, orderly, and modern with many homey final touches.
Cabinets and carpentry by the Renovo Group.
We love working on smaller spaces because of the challenges they present, and the fun and interesting solutions that can come from brainstorming with our clients to see what would work best for them. Our client felt that her Logan … Continue reading
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
When McGrath Interiors began this project on a two-year old home in West Chester, the first impression I got was that there was a dichotomy between the formalness of the house, and the relaxed, updated feel that the clients wanted … Continue reading
This project has been completed for a while now, but having the discipline to post pictures and job details is something I need to work on. The before pictures of this family room in a West Chester home show brick arches … Continue reading
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
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.