How to Decorate a Cave, Philly-Style

From Margaret Everton on March 5, 2010 in Philadelphia

I’ve constantly been impressed by people who can take a simple (and sometimes ugly) space, and transmogrify it into a veritable museum of interest, beauty, and character. Often, the people who do so aren’t interior designers. They are simply people with personality, passion, and creativity. Here’s how one Philadelphia resident by the name of Augustine did it. philadelphia studio augustine Admittedly, he is an interior designer. However, he shows how easy it is for anyone who’s not what he is by trade to do what he’s done. His living space was a cave—15-foot ceilings and one gigantic room. He knew that creating less space was important. So, he chose to re-segment the room using smart design tactics. philadelphia studio living room The first segment became a sitting area. He used part of a wall as this segment, but created the remainder of the section by situating the furniture just-so. Furniture arrangements alone don’t create new space with personality. So, he framed a piece of junk—packing material—and placed it on the wall. Instant interest and true artistic ingenuity. philadelphia studio dining roomThe kitchen, still part of the same vast room, is an area all its own. An ex-churchgoer (a pew) and an ex-shop rat (an antique metal worktable) now serve as placements in the eat-in kitchen. The eclecticism of the kitchen art fits in with what the designer sums up in his simple statement: “If you love something, get it.” philadelphia studio bedroom Beyond the kitchen is Augustine’s closet. He uses careful arrangement to define a generous and wide-open area that gives him room to dress, and to survey his clothing rack from a distance, if necessary. philadelphia studio bedroom Augustine’s bed lies nearby. He chose a very low bed so that it does not intrude upon the overall feel of the room. To further achieve this purpose, Augustine made the artwork the most significant thing—using a vast frame with minimal design, and even adding some silk screen portraits to his bed pillows. philadelphia studio artwork Every designer must have a laboratory. And Augustine has his. The corner reserved for this sanctuary is a museum in its own right, boasting a wooden sculpture, a yard or two of fencing, and the interplay of colors and paintings.

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