Stone and Copper and Wood, Oh My!
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Featured Company: Jena Marchione Interior Design - Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Project Type: Residence - Project Name: Glenn Project
Photos by John Armich, johnarmich.com
By Brandon Goei
Drama isn’t typically something that a designer or homeowner wants to see in the process of a renovation, but it drips from the walls of this Philadelphia house. The drama, however, wasn’t the financial or interpersonal type that sends all too many projects into a tailspin. Instead, interior designer Jena Marchione found a way to incorporate it into the details of the interior with a variety of materials, textures, and more than a handful of surprising features. And though much of the project is defined by bold pairings and a daring sense of creativity, the execution and end result show just as much harmony as drama.
The design work began with a dedication to preserving much of the home’s existing structure and materials. “[The design team was] inspired to reincorporate what we could of the existing home,” Marchione says. “We found the original mahogany paneling [to be] a source of creative inspiration that we traced throughout, both inside and outside.”
One of the most prominent mahogany features is a massive ridge beam that runs across the length of the ceiling of the living room and kitchen. By exposing the beam, which was large enough that it needed to be transported by train at the time of the home’s construction, the ceiling rose to a lofty height, highlighting the fireplace installation, which Marchione calls “the dominant feature of the interior space.” The contrasting play between its mahogany, limestone, and copper elements, which were executed by a local craftsman and builder, embodies the spirit of the project while also concealing a TV behind decorative panels.
Meanwhile, the kitchen features a keen balance of classic elegance and modern sophistication with white marble surfaces adjoined to a mahogany dining area, and an unassuming armoire that masks a refrigerator. Of all the rooms, it’s the kitchen that echoes the homeowner’s desire for an incorporation of “elements of traditional design in an updated and refreshingly contemporary way” and to have “a home to share with family and friends in a variety of ways, both formal and casual.”
A covered porch sits next to the kitchen and serves as both an extension into the surrounding woodland landscape and as a representation of the interior’s harmony with the outdoors. According the Marchione, the porch is one of the homeowners’ favorite features due to newly created memories—no doubt enabled by its design and location.
The large porch stands out as one of the homeowners’ favorite features, rendering the garden of upmost importance. Dear Garden Associates, an award-winning firm specializing in the design, construction, and maintenance of exceptional gardens, created open walls to divide spaces and add structure to the garden without creating a heavy feel. They focused on a simple plant pallet centered on perennials of different textures and heights planted in large drifts to create a relaxed and elegant look, which also served as a great platform for the Japanese Maple near the front door. “This was a great opportunity to use plants and stonework in a manner that complemented both the individual characteristics of the home and site,” says principal Bill Dear.