Photography by Jon Friedrich.
In 2011, newly single Kim Einhorn moved into a cozy 1940s stone colonial in Wynnewood with her two young daughters. In a great school district and close to Lankenau Hospital, the 2,000-square-foot home was just the right fit for the busy obstetrician/gynecologist.
Then Einhorn fell in love with lawyer Paul Brandes, and they decided to get married. The house was still in the right place, but it was no longer the right size. “That’s when we made the decision to build on, pretty much doubling the size the house,” she says.
Together, the couple made a wish list. “We love to cook and entertain, so the open-concept big kitchen attached to a dining area and family room/bar was a no-brainer,” Einhorn says. “We love our outdoor space, so we wanted to put in as many windows and glass doors as possible to bring the outdoors in.”
A true master suite—with a seating area, a luxurious bath and lots of closets—was another priority. “Older homes—including ours—were not designed with much closet or bathroom space,” she says. “We were suffering with two tiny two-foot closets in the master bedroom, and a master shower not much bigger than one of those closets.”
Their ultimate solution was a two-story addition that includes an open kitchen, a living room, a family room and a mudroom on the first floor. On the second floor: a laundry room, a girl’s bedroom and a master suite.
To achieve a sophisticated and inviting aesthetic, the couple turned to interior designer Larina Kase. “Her style is beautiful and casual at the same time, which is why we chose her,” Einhorn says. “We also have two dogs, so she knew just what kind of furniture and fabrics would wear well.”
In designing the interior, Kase evaluated what features to retain and what to change, in addition to color schemes, furnishings and placement. “We wanted to be respectful to the original aesthetic of the house,” Kase says.
With its stone fireplace and charming built-in cabinetry, the formal living room required nothing more than fresh paint and updated furniture, including a pair of club chairs with hidden swivel bases. “They wanted pieces that you can just sink into and be comfortable,” Kase says.
Original hardwood flooring in the living room and formal dining room was carried into the new family room, dining area and kitchen, as well as the second floor. “We chose a rich, warm middle-tone walnut for the stain—a traditional look that’s also great for people who have dogs,” says Kase.
A strategic design in the kitchen ensured that pots, pans and utensils are within reach of the cooktop. A prep sink with a hot tap sits in the island, stationed behind the stove.
Kase’s design is as pretty as it is pragmatic. The backsplash has a contemporary floral mosaic made of pure white Thassos marble inlaid in concrete and framed with ceramic tile. The matte finish on quartz countertops is reminiscent of soapstone. Simple pole-style hardware on white raised-panel cabinets mimics the handles on the industrial-style fridge.
Three large pendants suspended above the island are finished in a copper composite that will patina over the years. The apron-front sink is similarly fabricated from lightly hammered copper.
The table in the dining area is crafted from two large planks of wood on either side of a slab of glass, making it ideal for entertaining. Surrounding it are 10 upholstered chairs that encourage lingering over meals.
Sets of French doors usher in natural light. Overhead, rustic wood beams create a connection with the stone fireplace in the living room.
A sectional sofa in the family room is elegant yet durable, upholstered in performance fabrics that stand up to kids and pets. The ottoman, which provides extra seating in a pinch, is covered in durable leather. “We wanted timeless, unique and comfortable,” Einhorn says.
Upstairs, the master suite is a sanctuary. A sitting room adjoins the bedroom and large closets allow the couple to keep the space serene and uncluttered.
“The bathroom is the size of a New York City apartment,” Kase says.
Dual sinks are inset into dark wood cabinetry, and wall sconces illuminate the mirrors. A walk-in shower is sheathed in shimmering blue glass tiles, while a soaking tub is stationed nearby under a brass and glass starburst chandelier.
On both floors, thoughtful use of space helps to keep an active family organized. In the mudroom, wooden lockers with drawers beneath keep coats and boots out of sight. “Putting the laundry upstairs was a total game changer,” Einhorn says.
With all of the changes, it’s like living in a new home—without the move. “This house is perfect for us, more than any other home we would have found,” she says. “[There’s nothing] we would’ve done differently,” says Kase.