Room of the Week: A Dreamy Old City Dining Room With Ceilings for Days

Photo by Andrea Cipriani Mecchi Photography

Photo by Andrea Cipriani Mecchi Photography

Imagine with me, if you will, the amazing dinner parties you could have in this Old City dining room. I can’t help but place myself right there at the head of the table, full-on fabulous Great Gatsby attire, with a long smoldering cigarette between my fingers, while I entertain my guests with my wit and charm. I don’t even smoke, you guys, and I’m probably not that charming, either.

But doesn’t this dreamy dining room just make you want host the most fabulous parties, with the light from that pretty chandelier glinting off your champagne flute?

In this week’s installment of Room of the Week, I got the skinny on how this pretty dining room came together. Pay attention, people. There’s plenty of design inspo to crib here.

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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 »

9 Coffee Mugs from Philly Artists That Are Worth Getting Out of Bed For

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Mitz Mug at Felt + Fat

On cold, wet days like today, the last thing I want to do is even think about getting out of bed. The only thing that makes it tolerable is the endless supply of coffee awaiting me. And the best way to make your coffee time even more enticing is by pouring said coffee into a gorgeous handmade vessel.

To wit: this roundup of nine unique coffee mugs — all made right here in Philly — that’ll actually get you out of bed with a smile. Or at least, something very closely approximating a smile. (Because let’s be real.) Read more »

Home Design Inspiration: 8 Gorgeous Ways to Add Geometric Elements to a Room

The Inspiration: A dramatic geometric space by famed designer Kelly Wearstler

The Inspiration: A dramatic geometric space by famed designer Kelly Wearstler | Photo courtesy Kelly Wearstler

Interiors are going geometric this season with sculptural circles, crisp angles and eye-catching cubes. Trust us: Math never looked this good. Take a cue from the geometry-soaked inspiration room above and work some geometric elements into your decor with our picks 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 »

Prediction: You Will Want Every Piece of Furniture From This Philly Design Firm’s Gorgeous Line at West Elm

Mitzie Wong (left) and Wendy Wurtzburger (right) of Roar + Rabbit

Mitzie Wong (left) and Wendy Wurtzburger (right) of Roar + Rabbit

You know you have found your soulmate in furniture when your friend Slacks a picture of a nightstand to you, and you both drool all over your respective keyboards. My soulmate in furniture happens to be my colleague, Emily Goulet, who over the weekend discovered — rather by accident — that Philly-based design firm Roar + Rabbit has a positively gorgeous furniture and home decor line at West Elm, which launched last year. The firm is helmed by venerable Anthro veterans Wendy Wurtzburger and Mitzie Wong.

The line includes everything from tea towels ($29 for three) to artwork (around $150 and up) to leather and velvet sofas ($1,699 and $1,099 respectively). The pieces are modern, heavy on geometry, gorgeously balanced and full of whimsy and elegant femininity.

You can see the full line for yourself here, but our favorite finds are below.  Read more »

10 Awesome Bar Accessories You Need to Pimp Out Your Bar Cart

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Okay, so you’ve already done the hard work of assembling an impressively well-stocked bar to wow your houseguests. Good: Step 1 of True Adulthood, complete. Now it’s on to Step 2: curating a collection of bar accessories that are just as jaw-droppingly impressive.

Not sure where to begin? We found 10 awesome bar accessories to get you started — from surprising IKEA finds (at a steal!) to statement pieces worth the splurge.

Say it with us: no more plastic solo cups.  Read more »

7 Pro Tips for Creating and Styling Magazine-Worthy Open Shelves

Open shelves in a Villanova kitchen designed by Ashli Mizell | Photograph by Jason Varney

Open shelves in a Villanova kitchen designed by Ashli Mizell | Photograph by Jason Varney

Let’s be real: Open shelves — trendy though they may be — are fickle friends. On the one hand, they’re awesome looking in their easy, casual simplicity. But on the other hand, man, do they require a lot of thought. And cleaning. Oh, the cleaning.

“If you’re smart about what you put on your shelves — and where you place certain items — they really don’t have to be a constant maintenance issue,” says Rittenhouse-based interior design guru Ashli Mizell. “Open shelves are an opportunity to create a center of interest, show and enjoy things you love, and add tremendous character to a room.”

So, where to begin? Mizell has a seven-step formula that will transform your shelves from ho-hum to wowza in no time. Don’t believe me? Check out photos of her own gorgeous work below.  Read more »

10 Philly Bathrooms You’ll Swoon Over

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I’m about a third of the way through a DIY bathroom renovation at the moment, so you’ll forgive me if all I can think about is a gorgeous finished bathroom to call my own. It’s going fine. Just, you know, slow.

Even though I’ve got a plan in mind, I can’t seem to keep myself from scouring the internet for nuggets of design inspiration. After all, the beauty of a slow DIY re-do is that it’s never too late to swap a paint color, or add a light fixture, or rethink the vanity.

Take a look at these gorgeous Philly-area bathrooms and dream with me. You can even click on the photos to see more angles of the spaces, or other projects by the talented local designers, architects and builders included here. You won’t be disappointed. Read more »

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