There’s always an upside to restoring a structure that’s falling down. You can make it even better than it ever was originally. In bringing back a dilapidated cottage on the grounds of a much larger, grander Berwyn home, Proximity Interior Design’s Amy Forshew was tasked with making an old design work for modern times. As a retreat for the owners and a place for short-term guests, the cottage had to, above all, retain the charm of the historic original design. “Reclaimed barn beams and a gorgeous fireplace were must-haves for the client,” says Forshew.
Pale wood floors and white shiplap walls offer a dramatic contrast to black-framed windows.
Accessories are tactical and inspired by nature—woven reed baskets, natural coral served up on a rattan tray, nubby loomed fabrics on decorative bed pillows.
In keeping with the historic nature of the cottage, the materials are an artful blend of the original stone and other elements recovered from other sites. “It was really interesting to watch them salvage the stone and then work it together like a jigsaw puzzle,” Forshew says. “The barn beams are reclaimed from another property.”
Pale wood floors and white shiplap walls offer a dramatic contrast to black-framed windows. A small galley kitchen is outfitted with deep-navy cabinets, soapstone countertops and a milky marble subway-tile backsplash. Open shelves flank a sculptural range hood, and a single French door at the end of the galley ushers in natural light.
“Reclaimed barn beams and a gorgeous fireplace were must-haves for the client.”
—Interior Designer Amy Forshew
Texture is an essential element in the design. Accessories are tactile and inspired by nature—woven reed baskets, natural coral served up on a rattan tray, nubby loomed fabrics on decorative bed pillows. Four clean-lined black armchairs around a rustic round wood cocktail table form a conversation area in front of a fireplace with a fieldstone hearth. A framed photograph of film legend Steve McQueen, the King of Cool, hangs above the mantel. “The image was a fun twist for a very traditional space,” Forshew says.
Proximity Interior Design
503 Lancaster Ave., Suite 210, Wayne, (610) 989-9665, proximityinteriordesign.com