This Philly Row House Brings Woodsy Vibes to the City

Philadelphia, PA’s Society Hill neighborhood is home to a large collection of 18th- and 19th-century row homes, one of which was recently given a refresh by designer Nicole Cole. “Our clients wanted an engaging space inspired by upstate New York—where …

Philadelphia, PA’s Society Hill neighborhood is home to a large collection of 18th- and 19th-century row homes, one of which was recently given a refresh by designer Nicole Cole. “Our clients wanted an engaging space inspired by upstate New York—where they love to vacation as a family,” she explains. A slew of organic nods to the great outdoors did the trick.

Paint by Benjamin Moore. Stools by Leeward. Ceiling by Buckminster Green. Photo by Rebecca McAlpin

Cole’s thoughtful additions begin in the upstairs den, which she folded into the lush garden beyond through a splash of Benjamin Moore’s Cypress Green. So as not to distract from the view, she then pulled out one of her signature moves: She painted the white window trim to match the walls.

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Who Says You Can’t Decorate a Ceiling? Ideas This Way.

It took a trip to Italy (remember travel? Sigh.) to get me into the habit of looking up upon entering a room. Nearly everywhere I went, there was beauty on the ceilings of grand cathedrals and humble, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, alike. From dynamic t…

It took a trip to Italy (remember travel? Sigh.) to get me into the habit of looking up upon entering a room. Nearly everywhere I went, there was beauty on the ceilings of grand cathedrals and humble, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, alike. From dynamic textured stucco to ornate pastel murals, walking around with my neck craned was a big part of my experience of soaking up Italy’s well-worn beauty.

Upon returning home, I quickly noticed that buildings here, especially residential ones, didn’t draw my gaze upwards as much. While it is certainly possible to find historical homes that boast original tin ceilings or rustic farmhouse beams, more often than not, ceilings are forgotten features of home design—only discussed if they need to be made to feel taller or less… popcorn-y?

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A Camper That’s Stylish, Functional & Fits a Family of Five

Whenever they can, Californians Roman and Christina Molitvenik pile their three kids, Liam (5), Iris (2), and Matthew (6 months), into their motor home-away-from-home and hit the road. “We want our children to love the outdoors, and the camper is an ea…

Whenever they can, Californians Roman and Christina Molitvenik pile their three kids, Liam (5), Iris (2), and Matthew (6 months), into their motor home-away-from-home and hit the road. “We want our children to love the outdoors, and the camper is an easy way to experience them,” Molitvenik says, adding that it’s also been a great way to travel while social distancing.

And that travel is now both stylish and comfortable thanks to some thoughtful, Scandi-inspired touches: leather benches elevate family dinners; blonde cabinets keep things light and airy; and IKEA bedding beckons the family of five after a long day of hiking.

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Throw Pillows Are Meant to Be Fun—Here’s How to Style Them

Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Home52’s Resident Design Wiz), Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances wi…

Follow the Pattern is a brand new column from furniture maker and upholstery expert (and Home52's Resident Design Wiz), Nicole Crowder. Nicole is here to show us how to breathe new life into old furniture, reuse and repurpose materials, take chances with color and pattern—and develop a signature aesthetic. Today, she shares her love for styling with throw pillows.


The pull towards a springtime refresh is upon us, and our homes—where we have largely been laboring and living for the past year—are taking center stage among the areas of our lives that we’re reimagining. Considering the weight of the news that sits just outside the thresholds to our homes, I love to turn to color and pattern to both brighten my mood and reinforce the truth that I am well, and able to experience joy. Adding accent colors and textures to my home is also how I express my personality, and the throw pillows on my couch are the perfect vehicle for that.

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A Bedroom Makeover, Courtesy of a Hardware Store Staple

Interior designer Aly Velji and his partner Jason are hard to catch. Whenever possible, the globetrotting couple’s off exploring interesting locales and staying at equally-captivating hotels. Like most of us, though, they’ve been grounded in their Calg…

Interior designer Aly Velji and his partner Jason are hard to catch. Whenever possible, the globetrotting couple’s off exploring interesting locales and staying at equally-captivating hotels. Like most of us, though, they’ve been grounded in their Calgary, Canada home quite a bit as of late. Tired of staring at the same four walls (aren't we all?), Velji recently embarked on a bedroom refresh and, with a few simple tweaks, has made it feel like they were in a totally new place. No passport required.

Photo by KLASSEN PHOTOGRAPHY

It wasn't as if the bedroom was in bad shape, says Velji of its textural gray accents, brass detailing, and geometric wallpaper—the results of a 2010 renovation; it just needed a facelift. Enter: A fluted accent wall, which a team of tradespeople helped bring to life using plywood’s softer cousin, MDF. Velji explains: “The flutes were sliced right into the MDF boards. The boards were then spritzed with Benjamin Moore’s Aegean Teal, mounted, and voilà!”

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10 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Color at Home

Lately, I’ve been craving a little more color in my world. If you look through my pins on Pinterest or my saves on Instagram, you’ll find a world of colorful interiors. Open the door to my apartment, however, and you’ll find a pretty limited palette of…

Lately, I’ve been craving a little more color in my world. If you look through my pins on Pinterest or my saves on Instagram, you’ll find a world of colorful interiors. Open the door to my apartment, however, and you’ll find a pretty limited palette of white, black, neutrals, and some touches of blue.

Research shows that color makes us happy. How exactly it does is still a mystery, and you’ll find conflicting advice from various studies that try to explain how specific colors make us feel. When I interviewed Ingrid Fetell Lee, the author of Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness last year, she shared a study that found that we tend to feel happiest in a place that provides a medium range of stimulation—an idea which struck a chord with me. According to the study, a neutral environment quickly becomes very unstimulating; bolder colors start off as more stimulating, but will even out to that medium level of stimulation that will bring us more lasting joy.

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How to Make the Most of Every Awkward Nook in Your Home

Home- and apartment-hunting is full of compromises: You may have to adjust your exacting preferences around price and location, or overlook a few nonsensical design details—all in the name of finding a home that suits you. The Home52 contributor who le…

Home- and apartment-hunting is full of compromises: You may have to adjust your exacting preferences around price and location, or overlook a few nonsensical design details—all in the name of finding a home that suits you. The Home52 contributor who learned to love the shower in her kitchen leaps to mind, but it’s more likely than not that your new home will have a few nooks and crannies that don’t come with a clear intended purpose. Maybe there’s one behind your kitchen cabinets; or perhaps there’s an odd open corner in your recently renovated bathroom.

Some might think they’re strange, but we’d prefer to say they add character and stir up creativity. Besides, even if it’s unclear how or why these little spaces came to be, there’s no reason why you can’t make good use of them now.

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Century House Reno: Amanda & Timmie Roll Up Their Sleeves

The beach house was built just before the turn of the 20th century, back when the Hamptons were mostly potato fields and pitch pines. William Dwight Whitney, a Sanskrit scholar and linguist, constructed the house with proceeds from his 10-volume Centur…

The beach house was built just before the turn of the 20th century, back when the Hamptons were mostly potato fields and pitch pines. William Dwight Whitney, a Sanskrit scholar and linguist, constructed the house with proceeds from his 10-volume Century Dictionary, published in 1889. For this reason, it became known as “Century House” generations ago—and we call it that to this day.

My husband Tad’s family, and an evolving generational tidal flow, have owned the house since 1915, but even as bankers have built gilded fortresses all around it, the Friends have staunchly resisted the temptation to sell. Instead, they’ve doubled down on keeping the house intact.

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5 Totally Doable Decor Swaps to Refresh Your Home

The advent of a new year often brings with it a desire—even enthusiasm—for a necessary refresh. While I think we can all acknowledge that it’s just a date on the calendar and improvement can come in many forms and during many months of the year, I can’…

The advent of a new year often brings with it a desire—even enthusiasm—for a necessary refresh. While I think we can all acknowledge that it’s just a date on the calendar and improvement can come in many forms and during many months of the year, I can’t help but also be drawn to the idea of a refresh for 2021.

Like many people, I’m skipping resolutions this year (can we all agree to just not put that on ourselves?), but I am game for a few easy-to-pull-off ideas to help make my home feel fresh and new—all without a lot of time or money.

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The Piece of Decor Your Kitchen Is Calling For

It’s practically undeniable at this point that kitchens are the beating heart of our homes. They’re where we gather to make delicious food, deepen our relationships, and forge new memories (not to mention hold 3 p.m. corporate brainstorms and 11 a.m. a…

It’s practically undeniable at this point that kitchens are the beating heart of our homes. They’re where we gather to make delicious food, deepen our relationships, and forge new memories (not to mention hold 3 p.m. corporate brainstorms and 11 a.m. art class). The fluidity of these spaces is of paramount importance: You have to have enough room to seat the whole family, a table that doubles as an eat/work zone, enough gizmos and gadgets to help you take on all the additional home cooking... the list goes on. But for as functional—and beautiful—as many of our kitchens are, are they truly reflective of our homes, and our style? I’d venture a guess and say maybe not.

Ask any designer and they’ll tell you the biggest impact you can make in a space is often with art. Not only does it help tie a room together, but it’s a great way for homeowners to imbue their dwellings with their unique taste and point of view. Yet, oftentimes, the kitchen is the last place we add decor layers like artwork.

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