To contrast the trim, she painted the walls a creamy white with just a hint of green. Then came the art and furnishings. It would have been easy to keep highlighting the traditional elements, but Schuh pulled back from taking the room too much in that direction. “I got two superfunky, big Italian contemporary drum-shade chandeliers, and that was all it needed,” she says. “It popped into this cool, eclectic vibe that was way more me.”
She then brought in iconic midcentury modern pieces from auctions and stores. The TV console is a 1960s black lacquer piece with brass handles by Jens Risom Design. A custom mobile by local artist Rob Cortez hangs above. “I try to shoehorn them into every single one of my designs,” she says.
Trim paint: Mark Twain; wall paint: Asiago, both by Valspar
The swivel chairs on rosewood bases are originals by Milo Baughman. Schuh had wanted them for a long time, but could find them only in high-end furniture galleries for $8,000 a pair. Luckily, she discovered a pair piled in the back of a Palm Beach store for $800, and re-covered them.
The side table to the left of the sofa is a handmade 1960s piece with a slate top and a mahogany base. The side table to the right is a turn-of-the-century African stool that Schuh bought when she was 21. “I couldn’t afford rent, and I was buying really expensive, weird furniture,” she recalls.
Sofa: Restoration Hardware; sisal rug: custom
The floor is original, wrought with countless nail marks that form somewhat of a zigzag pattern. “There may have been another floor over it, or it was salvaged by the people that built it,” Schuh says. It’s red pine, a mysterious species commonly found in old Philadelphia homes. “I hear people say it’s extinct,” Schuh says. “Others say you can still get it.”
While the feedback on her home has been positive, Schuh wasn’t sure of her designs. “As a designer, you never really trust your own instinct that it’s finished or it’s great, or people are seeing what you want to see,” she says. “So this is fun way for me to think, ‘OK people do like it.’”
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