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Habitat: A New Approach on the Main Line

A traditional Bryn Mawr colonial gets a pared-down glam redesign.  


Great room: The main hangout area for the family, this room had to satisfy mom and dad and kids. Aiming for a clean and cozy look, Widell and Boschetti chose a plush sectional from Crate and Barrel. They incorporated two leather chairs to warm up the room. Photography courtesy of Madeline Tolle

Barette Widell and Christina Boschetti had garnered some attention for a few small-scale projects each did on her own, so when they paired up in 2016 to create their own firm, North Philadelphia-based Widell + Boschetti, the duo was ready to tackle something major.

A few months later, that something major came along: A young family they knew through a connection in town was moving to the Main Line and needed help turning a traditional, incohesive interior into something that felt a little more like home. It turned out to be a good match: Widell and Boschetti were eager to get to work, and the clients had a generous budget and little to say about the design process overall, aside from the fact that they wanted the 4,500-square-foot space to emulate their style — edgy, sleek, sexy, posh and minimal, all wrapped into one. “The aesthetic was a bit eclectic, with hints of surprises,” says Boschetti.

The project is ongoing, and Boschetti attributes success thus far to the homeowners’ faith in their designers’ vision. “The client let us just go with the designs,” she says. “This is a win-win scenario — for both the client and the designer.”

Morning room: A gallery wall — made up of art and family portraits — is the focal point of the dining area. Massive windows in the adjoining great room bring in loads of natural light.

Formal living room: To create a posh space for the adults, the designers painted the off-white built-in fireplace and bookcases in a dramatic neutral shade. Two printed canvases by artist Christie Adelle were hung on each bookcase and tie together the room’s rich color scheme.

Formal living room: The client doesn’t like clutter, so Widell and Boschetti enhanced the space with color, metal and texture instead. A teal velvet couch sits on a geometric rug made of pony hair. Brass sconces play on the idea that lighting is the “jewelry of the house.”

Published as “Habitat: A New Approach” in the April 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.