Some designers have a 'look', and you can spot their projects from a mile away. Our approach at Design Manifest is much more bespoke; every project uniquely reflects our clients and their homes. If you scroll through our portfolio, or are already familiar with our work, you know that hiring us will result in a home that is gorgeous, unique and not like your neighbor's! Our Washington Square project, or "Park Perfect" is a newest chapter in our always-unfolding design lexicon. It is sophisticated, global and timeless, and we are so excited to share it!
Some projects have a clear scope from the get-go, while others start as a small exploration of how to improve a living space and then expand into something much grander. This is exactly what happened at #ParkPerfectPhiladelphia, a dreamy condo residence in the Lippincott building on Philadelphia's Washington Square.
The Lippincott, built in 1910, was originally home to the J.B. Lippincott publishing company, notably the publishers of To Kill a Mockingbird. It was converted to condos in 2005, and still features the charm of many original architectural details, plus the soaring ceilings and killer views of the park.
SCOPE OF WORK
Our clients first called us in to help with layout and furnishings in their family room and living room. Being that this was an open-concept loft space, all of the living spaces in the main room flowed from one to the other, including the entry, family room, living room, dining room, kitchen, and bar area. Our clients felt that their family room was dark, and uninviting, and complained that no one ever spent time in the living room. They were looking for more color, and we could see right away that they existing décor felt too stuffy, beige and blah to fit with our clients dynamic personalities.
Dining "Before" Formal living "Before" Family room "Before"
Naomi looked at their existing layout and immediately envisioned a total re-organization of the spaces. She saw the formal living room, meant for entertaining, made the most sense placed closer to the wine vault. The one area that worked well for our clients was their breakfast table by the big, park-facing windows, but the dining table placed nearby made for an excess of tables and a congested feeling layout.
Moving the family room to the former dining area created an open, flowing layout where most of our clients at-home time would be spent. This area had the best access to the kitchen as well, meaning that the daily living spaces all flowed directly to one another. The dining table was relocated to the north side of the room, putting it in alignment with the living room and bar. Positioning all of the entertaining areas on the same side makes for a conducive flow during gatherings.
We presented these ideas to our clients, and they were delighted. Just like that, we were undertaking a complete redecoration of dining, living, family and entry spaces.
THE DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
Our clients were avid travelers, and we felt inspired to bring their globe-trotting lifestyle into the décor of their home. As we developed our designs, we curated textiles, lighting and furnishings from all corners- France, South Africa, Pakistan, Germany, Mexico- as well as pieces commissioned and built right here in Philadelphia. One of the key features of this project is the stunning gallery wall in the formal living room, for which we researched a selection of more modern works to complement our clients' existing collection.
THE LIVING ROOM
In the living room we mixed a traditional skirted sofa upholstered in a creamy wool fabric, an armless loveseat in a statement hand-printed linen, sculptural postmodern coffee tables, and midcentury inspired chair frames. We balanced the frames of the furnishings as well as the floor coverings and textiles in a way that would allow the gallery wall to shine while still feeling collected and interesting in their own right.
A pair of very handsome cane-back armchairs from master furniture maker Alfonso Marina in Mexico City make a beautiful statement that you can see all the way from the entry of the residence. We loved that they were airy enough to keep the space feeling open and inviting as you come into the main living area, but have a real presence to anchor the sitting area as well.
THE DINING ROOM
In the new dining room, we commissioned a beautiful walnut dining table from a local furniture maker. To bring the existing built-ins up to par with the new furnishings, we had new walnut shelves made and papered the inside of the shelves with a lovely textural grasscloth. We gave the shelves a bit more breathing room, and gave our clients a fresh look with new accessories and a thoughtful reorganization of their existing books and objects.