This Designer Lets You Buy Her Services in Bite-Sized Pieces

This Palm Springs-inspired living room features some of Gage’s trademark design elements: colorful wall prints, appropriate greenery and vintage objects. | Photo: Michelle Gage

Have a bedroom where you have the furniture you want, but you want to give it some extra oomph?

Many people in this situation would turn to an interior designer for help. And most interior designers would tell them how much it would cost to have the room done up right.

Not Michelle Gage. Instead, she would give you an estimate of how much time it would take to tackle your problem and charge you for that many hours.

The Havertown-based interior designer is on the cutting edge of a trend in the interior design field: pay-as-you-go design services where clients are billed by the hour. This, she says, saves clients money because it lets them tailor their work to their needs. Read more »

7 Innovative Ways to Style Your Empty Wall

Image via Barbara Spencer

Is that big, blank wall in your home so…bleh? Is the boring artwork just not working? Philadelphia-based interior designers have the perfect fix. Here are seven stylish suggestions to spice up your white space. Read more »

A Room of One’s Own

Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

Open-plan main floors have been so popular for so long with both builders and buyers that anything else is hard to find — at least, in new or newly renovated homes. “I think open plans have been desirable for buyers here because homes are so narrow. They allow for the best entertaining,” offers Kelly Straka, owner of interior design firm Lux-Living and builder-broker Custom Philly Homes. And if the slew of house-flipping, home-improvement and house-hunting shows on HGTV is any guide, it’s not just Philly: All the world loves (and wants) an open floor plan.

Or … does it? Read more »

Habitat: Bespoke Tailoring in Rittenhouse

Master bathroom. Photography by Jason Varney

Master bathroom. Photography by Jason Varney

Moody, masculine style often gets an unfair rap: man caves, blob-like leather recliners, walls dominated by hulking flat-screens. But a local entrepreneur’s Federal-style townhome just off Rittenhouse Square defies convention thanks to a trio of pros who brought his overarching design directive — a European feel, the sort you get when wearing a finely tailored Savile Row suit — to life. Read more »

Networking Comes to the Field of Design

Mix & Match Design worked with a Malvern couple to turn an empty apartment bedroom into a charming rustic space. By doing the furniture-buying themselves based on Charney Widmer's list of items, they saved a bundle. | Photo: Mix & Match Design

Mix & Match Design worked with a Newtown Square couple to turn an empty apartment bedroom into a charming rustic space. By doing the furniture-buying themselves based on Chaney Widmer’s list of items, they saved a bundle. | Photo: Mix & Match Design

One of the great blessings networked computing brings us is the ability to do our work from just about anywhere.

Medical professional Chaney Widmer realized that early on when she decided to give her interest in interior design room to roam on the side. Then, as friends began asking her if she could help answer their design questions, she realized something else: networked computing makes it possible to work with just about anyone, no matter where they might be.

Put the two insights together and you get the business Widmer left the healthcare field to launch, Mix & Match Design Company.

Her firm’s product: Affordable interior design for the rest of us. Read more »

Scientists Discover a New Shade of Blue That Could Lower Your AC Bill

blue

Image via Oregon State University

Back in 2009, a group of scientists at Oregon State University were testing new materials to be used in tech advancements. What they found instead was a surprising, brand-new shade of blue when they heated manganese oxide and a cocktail of chemicals in a furnace to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Aside from its obviously gorgeous, vibrant hue, the color compound contains properties that make it energy-efficient, super safe, and long-lasting. Why should you be excited about this now? Licensing agreements have only just come to terms, meaning the new shade of blue will hit marketplaces soon.  Read more »

This Expansive Persian Rug Showroom Is Manayunk’s Best Kept Secret

Parisa rugs

Parisa and her father in their Manayunk showroom. | Photo by Lauren McGrath for phillymag.com.

Manayunk may not be the hippest neighborhood in Philly anymore (that honor belongs to Fishtown), but that doesn’t mean it’s not home to a few hidden treasures.

One such treasure—a magnificent Persian rug showroom—belongs to Parisa Abdollahi, owner of Parisa Rugs and Décor in Old City, and it seems decidedly out of place along the banks of the Schuylkill.

“It’s kind of like Ali Baba’s secret cave,” she chuckles as she leads us into her private collection of roughly 3,000 antique Persian rugs. She’s definitely not wrong. Read more »

Meet the Design Genius Behind Philly’s Coolest Shops and Restaurants

Kate Rohrer

Meet Kate Rohrer. | Photography by Courtney Apple for Philadelphia magazine.

You might not know Kate Rohrer by name, but if you’ve ever been to Double Knot, Bud & Marilyn’s, Lapstone & Hammer or Union Transfer, you’ve seen her work. She’s the founder of Rohe Creative, the Fishtown interior design firm behind some of Philly’s most well-designed hot spots, and she’s making serious waves in the city’s design scene.

So what goes on behind the scenes? I caught up with Kate as she shuttles between projects – these include a high-end beer hall in Rittenhouse! – and sushi lunches at Seiko in NoLibs to get the low-down on her favorite people, places and things. Here’s what a day in Kate Rohrer’s life looks like, as well as what inspires her, where she finds all those cool salvaged pieces for her design projects (fun fact: She’s using 93 antique frames for a wall installation in a current project!), and exactly which product she uses to get those covetable curls.  Read more »

East Market: Hub of a New Design District?

Architect's rendering of the new Design Within Reach showroom at Market East

Architect’s cutaway rendering of the new Design Within Reach showroom at East Market | Image from D Form A (DFA)

An interior designer I recently had the pleasure to meet hails from Italy but has resided in the United States for well over a decade now. Nonetheless, one aspect of American urban commerce mystifies him: the tendency for similar businesses to cluster in identifiable districts in our large cities.

Apparently, there’s no Garment District in Milan, no Jewelers’ Row in Rome. That’s actually a shame if true, for districts like these offer distinct advantages for both merchants and shoppers alike. For shoppers, these clusters provided an easy means of comparison shopping long before the Internet came along. Merchants were assured more of the people passing their stores were interested in what they had to sell. And the businesses could more easily gain knowledge and trade insights with one another while keeping up the competition.

Both Jewelers’ Row in Center City and Fabric Row on South Fourth Street have survived for more than a century because of these advantages. Now it looks like a new trade hub is about to join them. Read more »

Here’s Where to Find the Most Insanely Amazing Home Goods in Philly

designcollab

A sneak peek of the space. | Photo via Marguerite Rodgers.

Home decor obsessives, free up your agenda this evening: Philly’s interior design forces are teaming up for the first time ever to present the Design Collaborative, a free showroom event showcasing the region’s most amazing home goods, taking place at the spacious 2,000-square-foot Art & Industry building in the up-and-coming New Kensington arts district.

Attendees can enjoy light refreshments and drinks as they walk through an array of chic residential spaces put together by the region’s top design professionals, artists, and collectors. Plus, we’ve been told that the main showroom opens up to a 5,000-square-foot warehouse space containing overflow home goods for sale.

Read more »

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