Even though the couple has only been in the home for six months, they moved quickly to make the space their own. “We painted on every wall in the condo, tiled the kitchen backsplash and our friends painted the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom,” Michelle remembers. The result is a delightful explosion of bright colors and expressive patterns that make the space feel energized and creative.
Naomi Stein is the principal designer at Design Manifest (http://www.designmanifest.com/), a Philadelphia-based firm that grew out of her father’s business as a contractor. Since her father’s retirement in 2016, Stein continues to lead the family business, designing luxurious interiors on Philadelphia’s posh Main Line, while bringing her own unique blend of modern and vintage style to her home. Located in the Washington Square West neighborhood in downtown Philadelphia, Stein’s condo offers a perfect mix of contemporary design mixed with modern, vintage and global elements.
The foyer presented one of the condo's biggest design challenges. "The foyer is an odd shape and designed so that you looked right into the kitchen when you first entered the unit," says Kay. So she and her team relocated the kitchen entrance to the back, closer to the dining area. "This gave us a more inviting foyer and a wonderfully spacious kitchen pantry!" Kay says.
Kay's team also created an enclosed hallway with arched doorways at each end. This space doubles as an art gallery for the owners' collection, with room to grow. Another thoughtful aspect of the foyer redesign hid the utility closet door, so the focus remains on the art.
Although many homeowners invest the majority of their home design budgets into their kitchens, it's the area of Chris' condo where he spent the least. By working with the brown and black tones of his existing granite countertops, he used color to give the otherwise basic, modern kitchen a personalized look. Glossy-black penny round tiles bought for $8 per square foot were used on all wall surfaces to add architectural interest and sheen. To help the pantry door visually recede, he had it painted the same shade of black as the tiles. Since the adjacent living room is wrapped in a black-brown grass cloth with a metallic backing, he carried the look over to the bar area to tie the two spaces together. All together, Chris' kitchen decor came to $1400.
You can now rent an RV through sites like RVshare—an Airbnb-like platform where owners rent out their RVs—for about the same cost as a decent family hotel. There are four main categories, or classes, of recreational vehicles. Class As are the biggest. They’re those huge buslike rigs you see barreling down the road, the ones that have more in common with a 2-bedroom condo than they do a car. Class Bs are the smallest RVs, basically a large van with a kitchenette and a small bed pallet (and/or loft). Class Cs are what RVshare calls the “Goldilocks Rig” of motorhomes, not too big, not too small. Then there are trailers, which my husband and I knew we didn’t want to deal with—even RV pros admit that it can be tough to get the hang of hauling a trailer. We went with the smallest Class C we could find, a late-model 25-footer with a clean, streamlined interior that other renters reviewed as easy to drive.