Features: The Ultimate Philadelphia Dream House

We picked the best eight rooms by local architects and interior designers and put them together to create one cool, fabulous, fantastical home


 This grand space had a very specific inspiration: the red sash lilting through the Frank Howell painting, a favorite of its Lehigh Valley owners (who asked, as all did, not to be named). “We wanted the art to look as rich and as important as possible,” says designer Barbara Bottinelli of BNK Design Consultants, who worked on the room with Joy Kendall and Karen Spewak. With the red hue juicing the room’s silk wallpaper and sheer, iridescent silk draperies (to a wall of windows at right), the designers chose ivory upholstery for the Baker furniture, to avoid unwanted competition with the room’s focal points. Neutral, yes, but the all-white mix of wool, cashmere and silks is also full of presence. “We wanted it to look almost untouchable,” says Bottinelli. “The family has other family rooms, so we were able to be more impractical with the color for the living room.” Opening up the upstairs catwalk and repeating the tempered glass banisters there also went far to achieve this bold yet airy feel.  

Do-It-Yourself: If you’re choosing just one wall for a serious color accent, make sure it has enough architectural significance to justify the impact. As for finding your red, look for one with more orange than blue. “It will give a lighter and brighter feeling,” Bottinelli says. “Blue-reds such as burgundy tend to bring things down.” —Kathleen Fifield

BNK Design Consultants,
200 Barr Harbor Drive, suite 400,
Conshohocken; 610-941-2943.