A St. Davids Home Rehab and Redesign that Mixed Modernity and History

PS & Daughters takes a historic colonial from dereliction to a designer’s paradise. 

“Nothing here is precious; it’s all family-friendly. It’s about folding in that warmth and comfort so you don’t feel any inhibitions about relaxing,” said PS & Daughters founder and designer Phoebe Schuh of this St. Davids home makeover / Photography by Mike Van Tassell

When this classic center-hall colonial in St. Davids hit the market five years ago, it needed more than just a buyer; it needed a giant leap of faith. The house, built in the early 1900s, had been vacant for years. The interior was a gutted-out shell, and the basement was under two and a half feet of water. Luckily, a local couple — both real estate entrepreneurs — was up to the challenge. First order of business: Enlist an architect and Wayne-based interior design firm PS & Daughters to renovate the home from the inside out.

A year and a half ago, after having lived in the space for a while, the couple was ready for phase two, which involved a more intensive design and decor focus. “I like when it’s an older home,” says PS&D founder Phoebe Schuh. “I like to have a foundational approach of traditional elements and then incorporate modernity in unexpected ways — a color you wouldn’t expect, or artwork.” The formerly derelict home is now a masterful mix of warmth and wow factor, a bit of history brought beautifully back to life.

Family Room

Schuh designed a custom 14-foot banquette for the widely used room and anchored it with a custom pendant light of her own design. But the best part is what you can’t see: touch-latch docking drawers concealed in the banquette’s upholstered kickplate. “They have four kids, so this keeps the mess of charging earbuds, iPads, phones and laptops organized,” says Schuh.

Dining Room

The wet bar wears Farrow & Ball’s Duck Green paint and is set off by the brand’s lotus wallpaper. The ceiling is swathed in silver-leaf wallpaper. The client husband “lived in London for a while, so we gave him a chic London Town vibe,” Schuh says.


The husband’s hangout is moodily sophisticated: a custom leather Chesterfield sofa, custom brass-studded grass-cloth wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries, and Iron Ore paint by Sherwin-Williams.


Schuh built a “fabulous foundation” with salvaged handmade French clay tiles. “I didn’t want it to feel too modern. These give a bit of history, so it feels established,” she says.


Published as “Habitat: Modern History” in the June 2022 issue of Philadelphia magazine.