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, TheNew 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