Interior Designer Jen Fuller Revives Bryn Mawr With Modern Touches

The sprawling Georgian home got a much-needed update.

The dining room//Photos by Floyd Dean, Dean Digital Imaging     

Introducing a bold color into a room—tastefully, of course—is never something Jen Fuller shies away from. The Main Line interior designer understands that not everyone shares her appreciation for vivid hues, so when her clients gave her the go-ahead to sweep color throughout their sprawling Georgian home in Bryn Mawr, Fuller knew it would be a project she could have fun with. 

“We had so many opportunities in all these various rooms where we could incorporate different color palettes,” says Fuller. “The only way to create something different was to step out of the box and go for strong color. Otherwise, it would’ve gotten really monotonous.”

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And for Fuller, monotonous is never an option.

From Left: the formal living room; detail from the daughter’s bedroom

Made in the Shade

Fuller had the chance to tour the house with her clients before the previous owners moved out. “It was crazy formal,” she says.

The clients made it clear that they wanted the new interior to reflect a much more relaxed version of sophistication. Their respect for the history behind the classic Main Line estate inspired them even more to bring it up to current standards that matched their lifestyle. “Every room now has its own story,” says Fuller. “The clients allowed me to exercise my creativity.”

The clients brought with them an extensive art collection, which Fuller used to influence her color choices in the design. For example, a painting of lavender orchids drove the decision to use gray and lavender in the formal living room.

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With two elementary-age children, the clients wanted a house that was comfortable for both family gatherings and parties. The grand size of the formal living room allowed Fuller to create two separate sitting areas. A beaded chandelier hangs over each of these sections, adding a touch of glam to the room. A faux lizard-skin coffee table is set between a lilac chesterfield sofa and a pair of light-gray club chairs. A splash of unexpected color appears in two bright-turquoise upholstered benches in front of the fireplace. Two tufted Edward Ferrell slipper chairs in deep lavender and a set of Mr. Brown glass nesting tables are arranged in the second sitting area. “We wanted to maximize seating space,” says Fuller.

Sisal rugs cover the hardwood, which was an obvious choice due to the amount of entertaining done in the room. “Furniture can easily be moved around when they are entertaining,” says Fuller.

The room represents what Fuller considers the new Main Line way of living. “It’s the new traditional,” she says. “Spaces are more relaxed, but still sophisticated.”

the study

Special Request

A Gracie wallcovering lines the formal dining room, achieving its purpose of making a major design statement. The extravagant wallcovering, which was on the client’s list of must-haves for the interior, is made up of hand-painted murals of gold flowering trees and birds set against a blue-gray background. The company allows clients to have a say in the look of the design, and in this case, it let them pick how many birds appear on the wallcovering and where. Another bonus? “If they ever move, they can take down the wallcovering and bring it with them,” says Fuller. “Or have it framed.”

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Existing elements—including crown molding, a fireplace and a set of built-ins—further add to the room’s formality. But equally important as the formal areas are the casual spaces. The family’s main gathering spot is in the study. Mahogany paneling that was already present is softened by furniture choices like an inviting custom sectional and a low-backed, tufted leather club chair in deep aqua with nailhead trim. “This is where the family watches TV and plays games,” says Fuller. “So it had to be comfortable.”

Lavender appears again in one of the daughters’ bedrooms. Instead of covering the walls in the hue, Fuller kept them white and only colored the trim. “We wanted to do something out of the box,” says Fuller. “If they didn’t like it, it was a quick fix.”

Relaxed Roman shades in a lavender-and-white floral Osborne & Little fabric adorn the windows. Under each of the two windows is a cross bench in a geometric-patterned Quadrille fabric that’s also in the lavender-and-white color scheme. “We wanted to give the room more personality,” says Fuller.

A custom dressing room reserved for the lady of the house reflects her favorite things. “The client wanted it to be pink and feminine,” says Fuller.

One wall houses open shelving with drawers below. A geometric hot-pink wallpaper lines the back of the shelving and also runs along the opposite wall. While the top row is dedicated to displaying a select few handbags, the remaining shelves feature keepsakes and photos of family and friends.
A vanity is set in the corner next to the window—ideal for the natural light. A white faux-fur bench from Emporium Home sits in the center of the space.

In one of the guest rooms, Fuller cocooned the walls and ceiling in orange grass cloth. “In a guest room, you can have more creative license because it’s a room that’s not used every day,” she says.

Guests staying in this room will feel like they’re at a trendy boutique hotel. Keeping with the orange-and-blue palette, the linen headboard and bed are in deep navy with orange-and-white Jonathan Adler bedding. A blue-and-white geometric-patterned rug lines the floor. An orange, shaggy faux-fur ottoman with Lucite legs from Outpost Original rests along the foot of the bed. “We wanted to add a fun piece, and this was the perfect addition,” says Fuller.

Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!