This Bryn Mawr Home Gets a Demolition-Free Update

Philadelphia-based firm Kaminski + Pew is behind the floor-to-ceiling redesign that's both comfortable and family-friendly.

A couple in dire need of space was happy to find a big stone house in Bryn Mawr with lots of room for their young children and the family dog. Built in 2008, the home is steeped in the traditions of centuries past, with a center hall, dentil and crown moldings, ceiling medallions, coffered ceilings, and decorative paneling and wainscoting. The new owners would’ve preferred a more modern aesthetic, but with two demanding careers and an active household, they decided to forgo sledgehammers in favor of an artful, demolition-free update.
Dining room Kaminski

IN THE DINING ROOM, A CONTEMPORARY CHANDELIER DESCENDS FROM A CEILING MEDALLION.

Foyer

IN THE FOYER, A MID-CENTURY MODERN CREDENZA RESIDES COMFORTABLY WITH TRADITIONAL WAINSCOTING.

To give the home a fresh new look, they turned to the Philadelphia-based firm Kaminski + Pew. “They were hoping to get their family settled into the new home as quickly as possible,” says architect Kevin Kaminski. “So we opted for a minimally invasive approach.”

WE FOCUSED ON SELECTING ITEMS WITH DURABLE FABRICS AND FINISHES —THAT WOULDN’T BE TOO PRECIOUS WITH SMALL CHILDREN AND A PET.
—INTERIOR DESIGNER ALEXIS PEW

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living room

The couple describes their overall style as transitional—one that borrows from various design types and time periods to create something that feels at once classic and current. They were looking for the timelessness and functionality of mid-century modern, the simplicity of a contemporary farmhouse, and the relaxed vibe of bohemian and rustic design. They wanted a home that was chic and polished yet comfortable and inviting.

wallpaper Kaminski
The wallpaper is a fun detail in this Bryn Mawr home.

“WE LOVE OUR FUN DOG-PRINT WALLPAPER,” SAYS ONE OF THE OWNERS. “IT’S SOMETHING WE NEVER WOULD’VE PICKED ON OUR OWN.”

The team at Kaminski + Pew gave them a floor-to-ceiling design that emphasized rugs, furnishings and lighting fixtures. Some pieces from their previous home were reupholstered to fit seamlessly into the new space. “Given the client’s timeline, we selected in-stock and semi-custom pieces that would allow for faster installation,” says interior designer Alexis Pew. “We focused on selecting items with durable fabrics and finishes—that wouldn’t be too precious with small children and a pet.”

“THEY WERE HOPING TO GET THEIR FAMILY SETTLED INTO THEIR NEW HOME AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, SO WE OPTED FOR A MINIMALLY INVASIVE APPROACH.”
—ARCHITECT KEVIN KAMINSKI

In the foyer, a mid-century modern credenza resides comfortably with traditional wainscoting. The living room is elegant yet kid-friendly, with a streamlined leather sofa, a round wood cocktail table and soft, flexible occasional seating. In the dining room, a contemporary chandelier descends from a ceiling medallion. And there’s whimsy in the powder room, with wallpaper inspired by the family dog.

“We love our giant, comfy couch and our fun dog-print wallpaper,” says one of the owners. “It’s something we never would’ve picked on our own.”

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Kaminski + Pew
912 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, (267) 239-5559, kaminskipew.com

Related: A Media Farmhouse Gets a Family-Friendly Upgrade

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