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These TV Set Designers Gave a Historic Fairmount Townhouse an Old-School Look With a Modern Twist

Don’t miss the custom cabinets (complete with a library ladder) in the kitchen.


oak design project renovation

Take a look inside this home renovation by Oak Design Project. Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

You may not have heard of Oak Design Project before, but you’ve definitely seen owners Rachelle Lazzaro and Kevin Bennert’s work: They build out sets for commercials and shows on Netflix, HGTV and DIY Network. They actually met while working on Stone House Revival, a makeover series set in Bucks County, and decided to launch a design firm together in 2018. (Lazzaro is based out of York County; Bennert is in Old City.)

This limestone townhouse presented some challenges, including the fact that at nearly 2,500 square feet, it had only one and a half baths. Lazzaro and Bennert added a third-floor master suite complete with a sitting room and a spacious bathroom for the in-from-New York owners, who relocated for the wife’s job at Comcast. “They were very involved in the process,” says Bennert, “but also trusting with our vision of an old-school look with a modern twist.”

“We built out an entire floor and installed custom cabinetry in the kitchen, so we tried to keep the furnishings as budget-friendly as possible.” — Kevin Bennert, designer

Master Bath

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

Lazzaro and Bennert built an alcove to add some drama to the acrylic tub (a budget buy from Wayfair). “It makes it look like it’s been there forever,” says Bennert. The walls are Card Room Green by Farrow & Ball; Bardiglio and Carrara marbles cover the floor.

Master Bedroom

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

The owners lucked out with two original elements: hardwood floors (which were refinished throughout the home) and a brick wall, which was whitewashed. The light fixture is from Restoration Hardware.

Living Room

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

The designers kept this room neutral so the bay windows and fireplace could shine. The velvet chairs are from West Elm, the mirror is Anthropologie, and the sculpture and vase are from Material Culture in North Philly.

Kitchen

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

oak design project renovation

Photograph by Rachelle Lazzaro

Bennert and Lazzaro blew out a back room, added windows, and had Freestate Millworks (owned by Rachelle’s brother) make the cabinets. The porcelain countertops are from Garden State Tile. “Porcelain is more durable than quartz and can be cut to any size,” says Bennert.

Published as “TV-Ready” in the April 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.