Quantcast

Interiorssneak peeks

A Modernized Charmer For Creatives in Pennsylvania

by Sabrina Smelko

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

A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
1/32
Mike and Nicole's living room looking towards the staircase. The photos on the wall were printed from a photo booth strip at one of Mike and Nicole's favorite bars in Chicago. The dark grey far wall lets the white staircase really pop.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
2/32
The view of the other side of the living room, from the stairs. "We love the light that we get from the big window," says Nicole, "Lola can usually be found snuggled on this sofa as she is here." The yellow arm chair is from Macy's and the rug was an eBay find.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
3/32
The entire McQuade gang enjoying the first days of Levi's appearance.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
4/32
Handsome and adorable baby Levi.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
5/32
To the right of the living room, through the archway, you'll find their dining room.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
6/32
Their dining room is dark and moody, which makes for difficult photographs but cozy meals and dinner parties. A recent addition to their dining room are the shelves which store some of Mike and Nicole's beloved collections of tiny objects.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
7/32
To keep track of when to water which plant, Nicole light-heartedly created an alert system in her Gmail calendar which has come in handy more than once to save some of their greenery.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
8/32
Despite the lack of light in this room, their cacti are quite happy and thrive in the space. Laughs Nicole, "We're hoping all these stay alive!"
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
9/32
A close-up of their shelves shows Nicole's collection of photography props.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
10/32
A little nook in the dining room is home to a show poster held at Dry Hop Brewery in Chicago that Mike created, as well as a trunk of goodies. Through this doorway, you'll find their soon-to-be-renovated kitchen.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
11/32
The home's floor plan.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
12/32
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
13/32
In the bathroom, a small shelf offers a home for storing small bathroom necessities and plants.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
14/32
Mike and Nicole's master bedroom. "We painted the closet doors black when we first moved in, which we love," says Nicole. "Everything else in the room is pretty light, so we like the contrast of the whites/light grays with the black patterned rug, closet and mirror."
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
15/32
The view of their bed from the closet. Hanging above their bed next to a small window are a few of their favorite wedding photos. In the morning, the light streams in as the sun rises!
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
16/32
Nicole hung a vintage hook above her dresser to hold jewelry. "We bought the coconut monkey on our honeymoon and I remember my grandparents having one as well."
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
17/32
The dark and moody guest bedroom invites guests and family to get cozy and "stay in bed as long as they'd like!" The bed frame is from CB2.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
18/32
This nook within the guest bedroom makes for the perfect place to crack into a good book.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
19/32
A small makeshift shelf holds towels and various items for a more comfortable stay. Mike and Nicole purchased this poster when we they were visiting Detroit.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
20/32
Throughout the house, you'll find decorative bottles that were used at Mike and Nicole's wedding three years ago. This guest room dresser is host to a few.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
21/32
"We wanted Levi's room to be calming and cozy," explains Nicole, "so we've layered rugs and textiles throughout the room."
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
22/32
Another view of Levi's room.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
23/32
This is the hallway looking from the nursery into the guest room, with the stairs and master bedroom to the right. "We replaced the hallway light fixture with this one from Etsy," says Nicole. "We love the interesting light the cut-glass globe gives off."
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
24/32
Mike and Nicole's home office, complete with a grand rug found on eBay and pendant lights from Restoration Hardware. The kitchen is to the right and the backyard is to the left. "When we moved in, this room had ugly drop ceiling, panelling and cheap stick-on floor tile," Nicole says. "We wanted it to be clean and modern, so we installed dark hardwood floors and painted all the walls white. It's amazing how much brighter the space is now."
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
25/32
The view of the studio from the kitchen.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
26/32
"This room is an addition," says Nicole, "so the brick wall you see here is the original exterior of the house. We painted the brick white to brighten it up."
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
27/32
A collection of antiques and items sits on top of their flat file.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
28/32
The second room of their home studio is Mike's letterpress corner.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
29/32
This second room, painted in Valspar Jazz Club, is used for comping, printing and reading. It may not be as bright as the main studio area, but it's great for sitting on the couch and reading, or taking a phone call.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
30/32
The couch is from Room & Board, the rug from West Elm, and the coffee table is a vintage piece.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
31/32
Mike and Nicole's front patio area, which is home to a few IKEA chairs, perfect for sitting in the sun with a cup of coffee.
A Modernized Charmer for Creatives in Pennsylvania, Design*Sponge
32/32

Suggested For You

Comments

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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 :)

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • Hello,

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

  • 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! ☆

  • 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!

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

    • 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!

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

  • 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. :/

  • 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 :)

    • 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 :)

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

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

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!!!

  • 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!!!

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

    • Would you mind sharing which line of roman shades you purchased. JC Penney has so many different ones, and I really like the look of yours. Thanks:)

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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. :)

  • Love your home!
    QQ: where did you get the white plant stand, next to your black closet door (seen on images 14 & 16)?
    Thanks! A.

  • Thank you for sharing your home!! So much inspiration! Where is the gold hanging planter from? Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.