The Weekender Is Looking for Hopeless Philly Homeowners Seeking Interior Design Help

A bedroom makeover from The Weekender | Photograph courtesy East Coast Creative

Have a room that’s in dire need of design smarts? Bucks County’s East Coast Creative wants to hear from you. They’re the crew behind the popular home-makeover web series The Weekender, in which host (and local DIY maven) Monica Mangin works with homeowners to transform a room in their house with just a weekend’s worth of elbow grease.  Read more »

A Natural Wonder in West Chester

Exterior: In a play on a classic barn aesthetic, the exterior is made of durable materials that require minimal upkeep; the red portions are painted corrugated metal, and the wood is untreated cypress, a naturally insect-repellent timber. The plantings are by Wayne-based landscape architect Jonathan Alderson, whose work includes the Meadows at Longwood Gardens and the Elevated Walk at Chanticleer. Photography by Jeffrey Totaro

When architect Matthew Moger signed on for this countryside project in West Chester, the homeowners asked him to think outside the box. “The site needed to speak for itself,” says Moger, principal at Villanova’s Moger Mehrhof Architects. “I needed to listen.” Read more »

Room of the Week: A Not-Too-Serious Playroom with a Seriously Amazing Accent Wall

Gorgeous Center City playroom | Design by Kaminski + Pew; photography by Kyle Born

Kids rooms can be tough. You can’t help but consider their design with a countdown clock in mind: i.e. how long until my kid grows out of this bubblegum-pink fairy princess room, and then I have to start all over?

One of the reasons I’ve been obsessed with this Center City playroom for months now is how timeless it is. I can envision a toddler playing in there just as easily as a teenager. Imagine: a kid’s space that grows up with them, and one you’d be thrilled to show off to guests to boot. Here, how a local design team pulled it off oh-so-flawlessly. (Plus, where you can score that accent wall graphic, too!) Read more »

Habitat: A Modern Riverside Home in West Norriton

Exterior: The home’s exposed steel frame prevents the elevated house from swaying, saves the place from flooding, and creates a protected outdoor entertaining space underneath, complete with a hot tub and an outdoor shower. There’s also a roof deck atop the red stucco wing. Photography by Halkin Mason

Old City architect Michael Ryan had one crucial task when he designed this home: to do something —
anything — about the flooding. The house sits steps away from the Schuylkill River and its eponymous trail, at a picturesque bend studded with trees. While the setting originally appealed to the outdoorsy homeowners, who live downtown but longed for a weekend escape, they’d grown tired of bailing out their small 1930s home whenever the river flooded. Read more »

Habitat: A Character Study in Rittenhouse

Living space: The walls of the home’s “public” spaces are wrapped in reclaimed whitewashed chestnut planks that are riddled with wormholes, creating interesting texture on a neutral backdrop. The exposed wood beams over the dining area create a natural separation that helps define the three connected spaces. Photograph by Jeffrey Totaro

When the would-be owners of this Rittenhouse condo were house-hunting, they knew exactly what they didn’t want: a cold, modern high-rise unit that felt more hotel than home. “That’s what they were moving from,” explains Vivian Su, of Spring Garden-based architecture and design firm Rasmussen/Su. “They wanted a place that would feel more neighborhood-y — more casual and relaxing.” Read more »

The Stunning New Farmhouse on Historic Ardrossan Estate

Photography by Tom Crane | The Butler’s pantry

Set amid 14 acres of the historic Ardrossan property — former home of Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, the socialite who inspired The Philadelphia Story — is a sprawling stone farmhouse that looks like it’s been there for a century. Surprise: It’s a new build, the work of West Chester-based architecture firm Archer & Buchanan, Ltd. “Everything feels like it has layers of history and time,” says the firm’s partner and co-founder, Richard Buchanan. “It looks like a well-preserved 100-year-old house.” Read more »

6 Ways I Made My Small Bedroom Look Way Bigger

iStockphoto

From a square-footage perspective, my bedroom probably wouldn’t be considered “small.” It’s on the third floor of our 100-year-old South Philly rowhome and spans the full width of the house. But its unfortunately low ceilings — and my too-big, too-dark, poorly planned out furniture — made it feel claustrophobic. I hated it from the day we moved in four years ago.

A few months back, I’d finally had enough. The bed and the mismatched dressers were in the same spots the movers had dropped them. The vintage vanity I’d scored on Craigslist years ago was looking beyond sad and tired, its bad paint job pushed well beyond the “shabby chic” point. (And I don’t even like shabby chic things to begin with.) The bedspread was appallingly dark. The dark wood headboard further added to the blackhole-ness of the bed situation. It was just all so … thoughtless. I can’t even say it was ill conceived because it was never actually conceived to begin with.

So earlier this spring, we got to work. In the course of a few weeks, we’d completely changed the look and feel of our room. And without having to actually raise the ceiling even an inch, the room now feels — dare I say it — huge now. Airy. Glorious.

Here’s what we did.  Read more »

6 Gorgeous Philly-Area Swimming Pools

iStockphoto

There are swimming pools, and there are swimming pools. Philly-area homes have plenty of the latter, and on gorgeous sun-soaked days like today, we wish for nothing more than a swimming pool to perch beside. Here, six amazing ones. (Plus one hot tub so cool, we couldn’t resist.) Read more »

9 Doormats That Say Exactly the Right Thing

iStock/KenWiedemann

Tis the season for sprucing up your stoop. If your doormat didn’t survive the winter and you’re searching for a replacement, allow me to point you to several that say, well, everything — whether you’re feeling sassy, welcoming or a bit of both.  Read more »

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