A Modernized Charmer For Creatives in Pennsylvania

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Nicole and Mike McQuade are the husband and wife design-team behind The McQuades. After working independently for a handful of years, they joined forces three years ago and now run their own small design studio from their home in the heart of Haverford Township, Pennsylvania. Besides design, Mike is also an illustrator who has worked for clients that include Time Magazine, Wired, The New York Times and The Atlantic, and Nicole works as a freelance photographer. Together, they share their 1948 two-story, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home with their 3-year-old Boston Terrier, Lola, and their baby boy — and first addition to their family — Levi.

After living in Chicago for nearly a decade (where we were also given a peek into their space), the couple made the move to the East Coast last year to be closer to family and start a family of their own. As bittersweet as leaving was, when they stumbled upon this home — which neighbors Philadelphia — they were pleased to discover the amount of space it offered for them to grow into, the proximity to good schools and amenities, and the large addition in the back which would serve perfectly as their home office space.

As first-time homeowners, Nicole and Mike were eager to roll up their sleeves and put plenty of elbow grease into the home, and over the last year, they’ve tackled many cosmetic upgrades which include: removing drop ceiling and panelling, replacing drywall, installing and refinishing hardwood floors, painting nearly every room in the home, removing carpeting, and all of the little details in between. After living in a 2,000-square-foot loft with 16′ ceilings and massive windows, they’ve had to adjust a bit to detached-home living, the good and the bad. And although the year was a busy one, they are still motivated, excited and currently working away on updating one of the bathrooms and planning for a kitchen renovation. “We’ve replaced almost every light fixture and added things like shelves in the dining room. With the exception of refinishing the original floors, we’ve done everything else ourselves with a lot of help from my parents,” Nicole says. “It feels as though the work will never end, but it’s nice to look back and see all that we’ve accomplished in the first year and how much better it makes the space look and feel.”

When not wielding a hammer and tackling home reno projects, Mike makes fine art in his spare time (which he frequently shares on Instagram, to my delight), and Nicole enjoys baking (you have to check out her blog, Some Kitchen Stories). Together, they love frequenting local auctions and sifting through items at vintage and antique stores for unique pieces to add to their curated collection of home decor and furniture, all with the goal of creating a simple, comfortable space that everyone — including Lola and Levi — can live in. For the McQuade family, home truly is where the heart (and art) is. –Sabrina

  1. Allison says:

    Your home is beautiful. I love it. Random question: where did you get that amazing baby hat? The color and knit are beautiful and I’d like to find something similar for our little coming this winter.

      1. Allison says:

        Thank you so much! :)

  2. Emily says:

    Such a lovely home!

  3. Jess says:

    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous home. Your little Levi is the sweetest!

  4. Augusto says:

    This is one of my favorite posts. Simply beautiful! Thanks.

  5. Kathryn says:

    This is one of my favorite homes to date. It’s the style I aspire to in my own home! You’ve managed to strike that perfect balance of uncluttered/minimal that’s still full of personality and coziness. I’m doubly impressed you’ve done this with a little one at home.

    Can I ask where you’re leather couch is from? I’m looking for something just like it. Thanks!

    1. Nicole says:

      Thanks Kathryn, the couch is from JCPenny (it’s the Darrin Leather Sofa). And the little one came after all these photos were taken, just 3 weeks ago :)

  6. Lulu says:

    Can I ask about the curtains and paint colour in the guest room? So cozy!

    1. Nicole says:

      Sure, it’s Peppery by Behr

  7. Libby says:

    I second Kathryn’s comment above! My favorite rooms tend to be bright white or dark grays and blues, so your home is one I especially admire. Beautiful aesthetic and lovely home – thank you for sharing.

  8. Marti says:

    Such a beautiful home. Thanks for sharing so many photos! Serious rug envy happening now — off to eBay I go…

  9. Annabelle says:

    Gorgeous! As the mother of an 11 week old I’m amazed that you pulled of this shoot with a newborn at home.

    Can I ask if the LR photos were blown up from the strip itself, and if so where did you get that done?

    1. Nicole says:

      Thanks, Levi came after most of the photos were already taken, so that helped!

      I scanned the photobooth photos really high res on our scanner and then re-sized them using photoshop and printed 8×10’s through Snapfish.

  10. Sierra says:

    Beautiful home! My husband and I are in the process of purchasing our first home, and we will be repainting everything. Could you share your paint colors? Thanks!

    1. Nicole says:

      Sure, all the white rooms are just plain white paint.
      The nursery is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.
      The staircase wall and guest room are Peppery by Behr.
      The dining room is Old Monterey Grey by Glidden.
      The blue room is Jazz Club by Valspar.

  11. Sarah S. says:


    Beautiful home, and Levi is gorgeous. :) Can you pretty please tell me where you bought that very simple plant stand? I LOVE it. Thanks.

    1. Nicole says:

      Thanks, are you referring to the black one in the living room? If so it’s from http://shophorne.com/ (Case study planter)

  12. Yah, I was totally saying to myself ‘dark and moody’ on the dining room, before I read you wrote the same. Of course that brass plant holder is sick! .. and I like the room including chair rail is the same shade. Anyways, Levi – you’ve got a cool pad! ☆

  13. Joanna says:

    what a lovely home- love the high/low contrasts! Would you mind sharing the etsy shop where you purchased the light in the upstairs hallway? It’s perfect!

    1. Nicole says:

      Sure, they’re etsy shop name is LampGoods

  14. Lisl Sukachevin says:

    I absolutely love your home! Any tips on finding a rug like that on eBay? Is there a specific seller you’ve used?

    1. Nicole says:

      I’ve bought them from a few people on ebay but mostly from the ebay seller “www.ecarpetgallery.com”. I also like to shop “vintage turkish rug” and see what comes up. The big rug in the living room was listed from an estate sale. Hope that helps!

  15. Rachel says:

    The paint in the nursery is perfect! What’s the color?

    1. Nicole says:

      It’s Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.

  16. Michelle says:

    I adore this home! Wonderful inspiration and I hope Design*Sponge does another tour once the kitchen is finished!

  17. Nancy says:

    Forget about your house, it’s beautiful but Baby Levi is awesome.

  18. erica says:

    Could you share the source for the shelf brackets in the dining room? They are super cool!

    1. Nicole says:

      The shelf brackets are from etsy shop Designs2Create

  19. Kim says:

    Beautiful home! Would you mind sharing where you purchased the shelves and brackets in your kitchen?

    1. Nicole says:

      The shelf brackets are from etsy shop Designs2Create and the shelves themselves are just pine boards from Home Depot stained dark

  20. Your home is gorgeous. What a craigslist find in that rug and I love that yellow chair. Congrats on your new little boy! Also, the tip to set a google reminder. I’m stealing that. I’m ashamed to say I have a dead cactus sitting on my kitchen counter right now. :/

    1. Nicole says:

      I still can’t keep them all alive, a few of the plants in the photos have died since I’ve photographed!

  21. Sam says:

    Love love love!! Such a beautiful home. Every detail, paint color, rug, love it all!!

  22. Liz says:

    LOVE the photobooth photos! But why put a lamp in front of them?!

  23. Melissa says:

    Your home is beautiful!

    I do have a question/challenge for you…how will your design change once your little one is old enough to get around? (example: the modern lighting in your bedroom with hanging cords). I find so many great design ideas, but I know that with a toddler some of them are impossible!

    You both are an inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing your home with us :)

    1. Nicole says:

      Yes, we’ll definitely have to look at everything again once Levi can get around on his own as we have a lot of sharp corners and child-proofing to do. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it :)

  24. Caitlin says:

    I would also love to know where you got the shelves in your dining room!

  25. Tia says:

    Would love to know the manufacturer of the black leather chair in your living room. It looks really cozy.

    1. Nicole says:

      The chair is from Room & Board

  26. Sarah B says:

    This might be my favorite interior yet! It’s absolutely beautiful. Congratulations on Levi! Thanks for sharing the paint colors, too.

  27. Sarah Roberts says:

    This home is perfect! And so nice to see someone from Pennsylvania featured. We live in West Philly and are currently shopping for a “fixer-up.” I wish I could have seen photos of your house before all your amazing work! That studio space in particular is DREAMY!

    Can I also ask who you got to refinish the wood floors? Did they have to do much patching or other fixes?

    1. Nicole says:

      Hi Sarah, feel free to email me at nicolepmcquade@gmail.com and I can share with you who refinished the floors and more details.

  28. This is such an amazing space! And a beautiful showcase of rugs, I might add. :) Love how you’ve brought in hand-knotted, flatweave, Turkish, Turkic and Moroccan all under one roof — and managed to make them look so perfectly in place. Nice!

  29. Sacha says:

    Beautiful home! Can I ask where your dining chairs are from?

  30. Batya says:

    Well done! I love the clean modern aesthetic, that blends vintage finds into the mix. I’ve decided to paint various rooms in our home, and I love some of the more moody tones you’ve picked (ala the guest room). Thanks for the inspiration. D*S, I might have missed this, but is there a reason you’ve chosen not to include sourcing inside the image description? Poor Nicole has to answer all these questions (“Where did you find…” “Could you share the source…”, and I think there’s probably a better solution here :) Thanks!

  31. emily says:

    what a fantastic use of color to create different moods in their house. love this home!

  32. madeleine says:

    One of my favorite interiors featured on DS! Would you let me know where that planter is from next to the coconut monkey? I have a Monstera that is outgrowing it’s current planter. Thanks!

    1. Nicole says:

      Thanks! The white planter is from West Elm and the stand is from Terrain.

  33. Mikayla says:

    Where did you get the dresser?

    1. Nicole says:

      All the dressers are from craigslist

  34. Mary says:

    Nicole – is the Manhattan poster Mike created available for sale anywhere? I’m moving in with my boyfriend later this year and he would absolutely love it!

    1. Nicole says:

      Hi Mary, sorry, just seeing this now. Yes, please email us at mrs@themcquades.com and I’ll set it up, thanks!

      1. Liz says:

        I’m interested in the print as well. Is it still available for purchase?

  35. Great use of space! I really enjoy the use of textiles and fabrics, beautiful color choices.

  36. Hope says:

    Where is your dining room table from? Love its legs,

    1. Nicole says:

      It was from a yard sale, so I don’t have the source, sorry!

  37. Monica says:

    What’s the name of the paint color in the master bedroom?

    1. Nicole says:

      Statuesque by Behr

  38. Dan says:


    We love your design! Where did you get the planter and stand in picture #16 (in your bedroom)?


  39. Justine says:

    Hello! Absolutely amazing home. I couldn’t find in the above comments the name of the grey paint for your bedroom. It’s perfect! I think it’s the same as the picture of the mid century console and plant in stand. Thank you so much!!!

    1. Nicole says:

      Statuesque by Behr

  40. julia says:

    Beautiful home – thanks for sharing the pictures. I wonder if you can tell me where you purchased the carpet in the picture of the Foyer. I’m looking for exactly this type of carpet and having a very difficult time finding. Anything you could share would be helpful. Thanks so much!!!

  41. Emma says:

    What a seriously beautiful home!! I would love to know where you got the white blind in the bedroom from? Thanks!!

  42. Nicole says:

    They’re from JCPenny (the roman shades)

  43. Ali says:

    Hey Nicole, Im over in bucks county! Love your home!

    would you mind sharing where the gold bed frame in the guest bedroom is from? Ive been looking for it or anything similar.

  44. MaSol says:

    Hi! Love the decor. I like the dresser. What can you tell me about it? I’m looking for something similar for my bedroom. Is it all wood or laminated?

    1. MaSol says:

      I should specify that I’m talking about the dresser in the picture with the plant.

  45. Wendy says:

    Hello. I love your home. You said that the white rooms were just plain white paint. Cam you share the actual color and brand. It’s so hard to find the perfect white. Thank you

  46. Charlotte says:

    Great rug! Where from/who makes it?

  47. Naushin says:

    Your house is so beautiful! We could be design twins! The house we just moved into is very similar with the positioning of the staircase and a dark dining room. Would you believe the CB2 bed is also on our to-buy list! Thank you for posting the paint colours- exactly what I had in mind and went searching for on Pinterest. :)


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