Cole and Erica Brown were among many homeowners looking for a new home during the pandemic. Moving out of a downtown apartment, they wanted a home within their budget with room for their two little daughters to play, enough space for a spare bedroom and home office, and close proximity to Philadelphia. The process was particularly difficult in the hectic housing market.
“COVID has really sped up our research,” recalled Cole, who works in biotechnology. “I didn’t have an office, so I was working in the living room, with two kids who wanted to be with daddy coming in and out. But we had such a hard time finding a home that matched what we were looking for.
So last July when they found a 6,000 square foot Colonial in Bryn Mawr with a lush courtyard, stone facade, and five bedrooms, it felt right at home.
“The house has an open concept, which was very important to me,” said Erica, family doctor. “Coming out of the cramped apartment, I loved the space and privacy of the house.”
The house was ready to move in. Their only renovation was to combine an existing bedroom with their master suite to create a walk-in closet. But they needed to freshen up the decor, starting with painting the walls banana yellow.
Choosing the right paint color was difficult as Erica loves color and Cole is more understated. So they hired designer Christina Henck, owner and lead designer at Henck Design in Queen Village, to update the decor in a classic transitional style that they would both like. They opted for soothing grayish blues – Sherwin Williams “Distance” in the bedroom and “Software Gray” in the living room. The dining room wallpaper is a creamy white and ivory pattern.
“We had fun incorporating traditional prints and ikat, an Indonesian dyeing technique,” Henck said. “Luxury window treatments played an important role in the design. We used traditional Roman shades in the [primary] bedroom, draperies in almost every room in the house, casual Roman shades anywhere we weren’t using draperies, and sometimes we even used draperies and Roman shades in conjunction with each other.
The couple enjoy collecting works of art, usually modern, that add color and texture to the decor. One of their favorite pieces in the dining room has four panels with gold feathers, which complements the fabric of their custom wingback dining chairs.
One of their favorite pastimes is spending time in their home theater, snuggled up on the comfy sectional sofa, munching on fresh popcorn from their own machine. Cole often watches movies with his father when he comes to visit, which the couple did while Cole was growing up. He passed this love on to his daughters.
“I always dreamed of having a theater where I could watch movies with my kids,” Cole said. “We recently watched Soul, Raya and the last dragon, and we looked Frozen and Frozen 2 two to three times.”
Erica said: “We also use it for Friday night dates where we go to put the kids to bed and go watch a movie together.
Their en-suite master bedroom has a four-poster king-size bed, which they always wanted.
“Every weekend, because we can sleep and don’t have to rush to work, we will ask the children to come in, give them a little snack for breakfast, and we will all look at pictures. lively together in bed, ”Erica mentioned. “We all love it.”
Erica is creating a “glamorous room” for herself in the nearby seating area. The dedicated space will include a dressing table, a sofa and storage space.
“It’s mostly a place where I can dress and do my hair and make up, maybe hang out and have a glass of wine and relax,” Erica said. “Everyone needs a little ‘her’ space away from children, with no toys everywhere, without your husband bothering you. Just a little retreat for me.
The house sits at the end of a long driveway, surrounded by evergreens, which offers family privacy. They enjoy spending time outdoors, watching the girls playing in the backyard on the one acre lot. Nestled in a hill, the house has a detachable basement that leads to the stone patio.
“Children love to go out. We can’t bring them back, ”Erica said. “We have a grill and a beautiful stone fireplace that will be perfect for entertaining. It is very picturesque.
The Browns appreciate the safety of their quiet and picturesque neighborhood.
“Sometimes we just stand outside or drive off – it’s just a really beautiful area to be,” Erica said.
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