Habitat: A Light and Lofty Space in Northern Liberties

A beloved Main Line interior designer gets to experiment with luxe boho style in her own city loft.


Living room: The sofa was a new purchase from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, while both sets of chairs and the coffee table were vintage finds. The whimsical peacock wallpaper both defines the space and sets the color palette — neutrals with punches of pink and blue — for the rest of the loft. Photograph by Courtney Apple

The good news about Naomi Stein’s Northern Liberties loft is that it’s a big, light-filled space. The bad news? “Open-concept is a real challenge to decorate,” she says. Her building, a former factory, still retains some original artifacts — iron hooks, exposed metal — and features odd alcoves and nooks throughout. Stein, an interior designer and creative director at Ardmore’s Design Manifest, decided to use these quirks as starting points for creating distinct “rooms” within the 1,400-square-foot space. In one niche, pictured below, she painted a wall blue. “It’s the only wall I painted — the rest of the space is white — so that helped give the area purpose,” she explains.

Reading nook: The reproduction Eames chair sits atop a cowhide rug that Stein scored from eBay, her favorite place to shop for hides. Tucked behind the shelving is a mirror, to reflect both light and her treasures on display. Photograph by Courtney Apple

Because this was her own place, Stein was able to experiment with her design in ways she often can’t in her clients’ homes. “I let myself be free to break the rules,” she says. The outcome, as she describes it, is a “clashy-matchy,” personality-driven patchwork blending old and new, thrifty and luxe, pattern and color, all tied together with a neutral base. “It took me a full year of collecting, editing and mixing to see it all come together,” she says. “It was my passion project.”

Office: Stein painted the desk, a secondhand West Elm find, in Very Berry from Glidden; the blue wall is Olympic’s Brilliant Blue. Stein painted and reupholstered the stools herself. “A stool with a paint job and new fabric gets a custom personality,” she says. | Bedroom: The bedroom continues the pink and blue theme, but in more muted tones, to make it feel more serene. The Marilyn Monroe print is from Cozamia.com. Photography by Courtney Apple

Published as “Habitat: Light and Lofty” in the December 2017 issue of Philadelphia magazine.


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