Interior Design: Katie Groves, Studio 882, 882 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, (610) 314-8820, studio-882.com.
Once inside Chad and Katie Groves’ Glen Mills home, your eyes are drawn to the furniture. From the chic Serge de Troyer Lucite trunk in the living room to the iconic Bertoia side chairs set against the dining room’s original 1717 stone walls, nothing is what you’d expect to find in their restored farmhouse—and that’s exactly what makes it so appealing.
“It definitely looks like a farmhouse on the exterior,” says Chad. “We didn’t think we had to make it look like that on the interior, too.”
Of course, it also helps that Katie is an interior designer with talent for blending styles in a cohesive way. Her passion for high-quality furniture has worn off on her husband, who now shares her passion for timeless brands like Baker, Kindel and CR Laine. “When we moved into our home three years ago, it was difficult for Katie to find anything in this area that met her design style,” says Chad.
So Groves had to buy everything online or through auction. It would be the last time they did that. They have since opened Studio 882, their own furniture showroom in Chadds Ford. “We’d always wanted to own our own business,” Chad says. “So this felt right.”
Katie concurs. “What we tried to do in our home is the same thing we’re trying to do with the showroom,” she says. “We’re bringing people pieces of quality furniture they can use in multiple ways. It’s about longevity and versatility.”
Initially, the Groves weren’t sure whether they wanted something new or old—until they came upon a Glen Mills farmhouse immaculately restored by its previous owners. Taking on a major renovation would’ve been a challenge for a couple with two kids under 5. “This was the perfect hybrid of old and new,” says Katie.
With its two-story vaulted ceiling, the kitchen boasts a corner floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. “We’ve made so many s’mores with our sons in that fireplace,” Katie says.
The kitchen’s island is topped with a piece from a black walnut tree cut down on the property. The same wood is used for the stairs and windowsills throughout the home.
Beyond the kitchen, the open layout has dining and living areas. The Groves’ sons take full advantage of both. “Since we don’t have a basement, this whole floor has to accommodate us and the kids,” says Katie. “I didn’t want to stuff the house with furniture, but I still wanted it to look grown-up.”
A sleek BDDW credenza houses the kids’ toys—a nod to Katie’s preference for multi-functional pieces “that have sophistication and elegance, but are also family-friendly and make sense in terms of how they can function on a day-to-day basis.” And she’s always thinking long-term, too. “I try to buy things that could be moved to a different room or have a different purpose as our needs change,” she says.
In the living area, a vignette of impressive pieces includes a Milo Baughman armchair, an Erinn V. Maison sofa, a Bentwood rocker chair and the aforementioned Lucite trunk. “The first piece I bought for this house was that Serge de Troyer trunk,” says Katie. “I like mixing styles like I did in this space because it looks like they’ve been collected over time.”
Designed for maximum impact, the sofa’s “Wedgewood” style is a play on the classic Chesterfield, with tufting on the back and arms. A wood-ledge inset at the center of its back creates a one-of-a-kind look. “We use it to hold books when it’s just us, and the kids and guests use it for their drinks when we’re entertaining,” Katie says.
The Groves remedied the lack of a livingroom fireplace by installing a framed gas version over the couch. It’s flanked by Baker LeLoop oval mirrors and a pair of Ro Sham Beaux Ananas lamps on side tables.
The original walls in the family room posed their own challenges. “I had a hard time finding a coffee table because of all of the stone work,” Katie admits. “I wanted something that looked really natural.”
She chose a live-edge piece from elpis&wood, a Washington State company that makes tables, desks and benches with reclaimed wood from the Pacific Northwest. It’s also one of the lines the Groves sell at Studio 882.
The couple initially had hesitations about making the space next door to the family room a dining room, since it wasn’t adjacent to the kitchen. But they grew to like it that way. Katie didn’t want to go too rustic with the furniture for fear that it would look too “kitschy.” She went with a mid-century Danish teak dining table with seating for eight. The Bertoia wire chairs mix well with all the wood and original stone. “We hosted Christmas
dinner in here last year, and it was really cozy with the fireplace going,” says Chad.
And he can’t help but to continue singing the home’s praises. “The previous owners put a lot of pride into the construction of this place,” Chad says. “We’re just so happy it’s ours.”
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