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Winsford Cottage

Welcome to Winsford Cottage, a bright, happy, elegant home that brings a sense of place and a dash of youthful freshness to its serene block in Bryn Mawr. Our clients were a young couple who had just moved from Philadelphia's Society Hill to become first time homeowners in the suburbs. They were expecting their first child, and wanted to make improvements to their new home, a 1935 Tudor. The home had many charming original features but had also suffered some haphazard renovations over the years. The existing layout was extremely compartmentalized with very little flow and connection between the living spaces.

Original floorplan

In the existing layout, our clients' side entrance from the driveway led into a good-sized kitchen, with a separate laundry room, and through an enclosed breezeway was a family room housed in what had been the garage. Needless to say, the family room felt disconnected from the kitchen, and the kitchen didn't reflect the style or finish level of the rest of the home.

Kitchen Before

Before- converted garage family room

The living room and sunroom, located on the other side of the house, felt cut off as well. Both rooms were only accessible by walking through the dining room and the front hall.

Before- Living Room

After- Living room opened up to Dining room

Our clients were intially interested in solving some of the living area layout challenges, furnishing and decorating and potentially thinking about a kitchen reno, down the road. We began with a thorough discovery phase, worked through multiple layout options and talked in-depth with our clients about their needs and lifestyle and how they hoped to use their space. In the end we settled on no less than a major rework of the existing floorplan plus a great room addition which would house a new kitchen and family room.

Naomi worked her space-planning magic on this floorplan and designed a layout in which the old kitchen/laundry was reworked to be a neatly organized mudroom/laundry room/powder room, plus a new wet bar placed conveniently between the kitchen and dining. This style of house is meant to have rooms, and not to function as one big modern open-concept space. We redesigned the layout to create rooms that were better proportioned, had better flow and improved storage while adding just the right touch of openness to enhance the homes more traditional layout.

In our new design, our clients would enter from the driveway into a mudroom drop zone with a bench, hooks and shoe baskets, plus lots of storage, and a washer and dryer hidden neatly behind folding doors.

Mudroom/Laundry Room Moodboard

Next they would pass through the wet bar and go left for the kitchen or straight into the dining room. We envisioned the wet bar as a little jewelbox to enjoy on frequent trips back and forth between the family wing and entertaining wings of the home. We papered this room in a custom colorway of a beloved Galbraith and Paul wallpaper, which is delightfully mixed with white and blue cabinetry.

Our clients wanted their garage converted back to a home for cars and golf clubs, and we added an entrance from the garage into the new family room to allow for dry entrances and exits on rainy days.

We created better flow in the first floor by adding an arched doorway in the dining room to connect directly to the living room, as well as raising the existing doorway heights for an airier feel.

Dining before Dining with new doorway

After carefully studying township requirements to determine what the limits were for the footprint of the new addition, we finalized construction plans, got our engineers stamp of approval and our GC started demo. Watching new spaces get framed and drywalled was a lot of fun, and we made frequent site visits to check that design details were executed as planned and work through the typical litany of little questions and issues that come up with any renovation.

The mood and color story for the fixtures, finishes and furnishings evolved through lots of creative collaboration with our clients. They wanted a home that felt bright and airy, colorful without being overwhelming. We incorporated nods to Nantucket cottage style but brought them into balance with the home's Main Line roots. The finished designs blend a traditional foundation, with a fresh and youthful spirit that reflected our clients' personalities.

Through our design process we honed in on the right balance of white and color, modern and traditional, making sure to push our clients just a little out of their comfort zone in order to create something unique and exciting that really felt like them.

In the family room we incorporated lots of flexible seating. We added built in banquette seating into the bay window, with storage drawers beneath, and set a petite bistro table and upholstered stools in front of it for morning coffee or an even an ad-hoc zoom-from-home session.

From the area rug to the upholstery, family-friendly was the name of the game for our textile sourcing. We prefer to use materials in our projects that can be easily cleaned with soap and water- or even a bit of diluted bleach- wherever possible, and stain treat anything that isn't already mess-proof.

We designed a classic white kitchen with custom inset cabinetry, a statement range and honed black granite countertops. The island, made in a rich stained wood, adds a layer of contrast. Traditional latch hardware in polished nickel on the white uppers mixed with solid natural brass cup pulls on the island make for a collected, casual feel.

We opted to keep the fixtures and finishes airy and neutral in the kitchen, to create a visual breather beside the more colorful family room. However we didn't want to leave *all* the color behind and sourced a vintage Turkish runner rug that brings a nice pop of color and warmth to the space.

A built-in furniture style pantry with cane inserts in the doors brings more layers of texture and warmth to the kitchen. We just love the hardware detail on the doors of this piece as well! We chose island pendants that were striking in scale but delicate in effect, leaving clear sight lines to the family room from the entrance to the kitchen. The curved shape of the range hood, pendants and bar stools provide a lovely counterpoints to the linear presence of the cabinetry..

In the mudroom we ran a herringbone pattern of tumbled brick tile throughout the space and lined the walls in v-groove beadboard painted a crisp white. To make the most of the space we designed a shallow wall-mounted bench and had it upholstered in a cheerful blue color. Add a worn