8 Ways to Turn Your Tiny Back Patio Into a Gorgeous Oasis

The Inspiration: A coolly laid-back patio by Australian-based Quercus Gardens | Photo: Robert Walsh Photography/Landsberg Garden Design

The Inspiration: A coolly laid-back patio by Australian-based Quercus Gardens | Photo: Robert Walsh Photography/Landsberg Garden Design

Transform a sad slab of concrete into an inviting outdoor oasis with cheery accessories, space-conscious furniture and greenery galore. Take a cue from our inspiration photo above — then sit back, relax and enjoy your paradise.  Read more »

Room of the Week: An Eclectic 1840s Living Room in Northern Liberties

Northern Liberties rowhouse | Photo courtesy PS & Daughters

Northern Liberties rowhome | Photo courtesy PS & Daughters

I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for wood beams. They can be a gamble, though. If you’re not careful in how you use them, exposed wood beams can feel too heavy — or make a tall ceiling feel unfortunately low — so they only work in the right spaces. This, my friend, is one of those spaces.

In our first installment of Room of the Week, we’re taking a voyeuristic peek inside a fabulous open-concept living room/dining room in Northern Liberties that seamlessly blends old with new, original with modern, in a totally livable, family-friendly way. Check out all the inside design details below.  Read more »

How to Transform the Look of Your Home in One Weekend

A master bedroom in Doylestown | Photo courtesy East Coast Creative

A master bedroom in Doylestown | Photo courtesy East Coast Creative

Designer and DIY maven Monica Mangin might live in Bucks County — “I live in the woods, and I love it,” she says — but she knows all about the unique design challenges facing those of us who live in classic Philly rowhomes. The DIYer-turned-blogger-turned-TV host-turned entrepreneur and owner of East Coast Creative has bestowed her talents and aesthetic on many-a-Philly rowhome, so she knows her stuff.

In fact, last year she launched a home design-focused web series called The Weekender, which featured many homes from right here in Philadelphia. The show feels like something straight out of HGTV — styleless homeowners turn to our expert and host, Monica, for design help, and she completes five projects in a single weekend that totally transform their space — but it comes at a more web-friendly pace: Entire episodes last around 10 commercial-free minutes, and you can find them right on YouTube.

Season 2, which premiers today, branches out to homes beyond our region, but I chatted with Monica yesterday to get the skinny on what she learned about working in Philly homes during the show’s debut season, and to glean tips for totally transforming a space in a matter of days. Her insights below.  Read more »

How to Make Your Offices Friendly for Boomers and Millennials

Photo | Brian Howard

Photo | Brian Howard

This is a Biz Philly guest column.

Recently, Matt Burns, CEO and president of Burns Engineering, embarked on a move to new headquarters at 20th and Market Streets. As head of the 50-year-old design and management consulting company, Burns had undertaken a major move before, but this time it presented an unexpected challenge: generational issues.

Burns needed a plan that would take him 10 years into the future, spanning the length of his lease. But his older engineers wanted to keep the corner offices they had worked so hard for. They wanted big tables for blueprints and plenty of storage space for their 20-year-old files. Meanwhile the current younger employees — and those who would be recruited in the years ahead — preferred plenty of open space, natural light, and collaborative spaces instead of offices and white boards for projecting drawings. Read more »

Jaw-Droppingly Beautiful Renderings

A detail of one of OLIN's renderings for the New Presidio Parklands Project.

A detail from a screenshot of one of OLIN’s renderings for the New Presidio Parklands Project.

Philadelphia/L.A.-based landscape design firm OLIN not only opened Dilworth Park last week but also unveiled its proposed plans for San Francisco’s New Presidio Parklands project. OLIN is on the shortlist for that project, but here’s hoping these renderings — featured in an A/N blog pictorial — seal the deal.

They’re luminous and beautiful and, well, we simply want to live inside of them. And look at the maps — don’t they have a native Pacific design echo? Brilliant. We had to grab a few screen shots to show you (gallery below), but to see all the renderings for the project, from OLIN as well as the other shortlisted firms, go to the A/N blog for the full pictorial.

Read more »

PHOTOS: Paper Dresses Work the Runway at Tabu

Last night Tabu played host to the Paper Dress Competition, a contest (that was not presented by Josh Schonewolf, oddly enough) that benefitted locally based cancer- and HIV-fighting organization City of Hope.

The event was similar to one of those unconventional challenges on Project Runway. Contestants were tasked to create two looks—formal wear and “fun wear”— out of any kind of paper material. Then they paraded the looks up and down a makeshift runway in front of a panel of judges that included HughE Dillon. Of course HughE wouldn’t be HughE if his camera wasn’t in tow, so he whipped it out and took some photos of the evening. Check them out in the slideshow below.



 

Local Designers Named Finalists in Martha Stewart Design Competition

eric and christopher pillows

You’ve probably seen Eric Fausnacht and Christopher Kline around town at a street fair or weekend arts market. The duo have made a business—called Eric & Christopher—out of hand-screen-printing images of animals residing on Bucks County farms onto everything from pillows to totes. Their wares have popped up in newspapers and magazines like The Washington Post and HGTV Gardens, and most recently they got a thumbs up from Martha Stewart herself.

The arts-and-craft goddess chose the pair as finalists in her 2014 American Made Awards. The 20-year-old contest “spotlights the next generation of great American makers: entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.”

Eric and Christopher are nominated in the “Design” category. If they win, they’ll score, among other things, $10,000 to grow their business, and a spotlight on marthastewart.com. Sounds like a life-changing opportunity for a pair of local home-good designers, huh?

Winners will be picked based on reader vote. Polls open September 8th, so set your calendar to show them some local support. You can find the voting page here. If you want to congratulate the guys in person, they’ll be  hosting a pillow-signing at gay-owned Glenside boutique Kelly-Cataldi Home this Friday, August 1st. Call the store for time details.



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