How the Owner of a Gladwyne-Based Cake Company Created a Home Office for Her Start-Up

A mudroom becomes a workspace for a sweet small business.

Mudroom turned office for Sweet Yums Cakes. / Photograph by Rachel McGinn

Former teacher Megan Genkin used quarantine to finally build the business of her dreams — a custom bakery called Sweet Yums Cakes. But to really succeed at her new venture, the industrious mother of two and her husband, Matt, needed to rethink the layout of their home.

With the help of John Milner for architecture, D.F. Sheridan for construction, and Shophouse Design for interiors, they soon came up with a solution. Their formal dining room adjacent to the kitchen, which they had been using as a kids’ playroom, was portioned off to include an informal office, a homework room, a proper mudroom, a laundry room and a walk-in pantry. The former mudroom/laundry room would become the office for Sweet Yums Cakes. The walk-in pantry would stock baking necessities. And the playroom would be moved to the finished basement, since the kids were now old enough to go down there by themselves.

Mudroom turned office for Sweet Yums Cakes. / Photograph by Rachel McGinn

“Megan and Matt had some unused real estate to allow for areas they actually needed­ in their home,” Shophouse’s Betsy Helm says. For the clean design of Megan’s office, “We went with classic, timeless materials with a hint of prep, like Sister Parish wallpaper, Stark carpet, a Knoll table, Rogers & Goffigon fabric, and a Lee Industries chair.” The Philadelphia Woodworking Company provided millwork and built-ins, and Main Line Window Decor helped with the bench seat and window treatments. For a hint of playfulness, Shophouse placed Golden Girls bobbleheads (it’s one of Megan’s favorite TV shows) on the shelves above her computer.

Considering undertaking your own bonus-room makeover? Helm has a helpful tip: “Think of the areas that aren’t serving the lifestyle you lead and what would make your life easier and more enjoyable. Chances are, those areas are already there and just need to be repurposed.”

Published as “Room to Grow” in the December 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.