A sorority house is a home away from home for young college women. This University of Pennsylvania sorority house was looking a little less than homey, especially in the bland, lightless basement dining room. Enter down2earth Interior Design.
Over the course of two summers, we were able to make design improvements that improved organization and introduced coziness and cheer to the interior design of this sorority house.
We began in the living room and study. We designed custom trash and recycling cabinetry with granite tops, so loose and ugly garbage cans are no longer scattered around the facility. We also designed custom bench seating, with upholstered cushions, storage beneath, and shelving about to display accessories and plaques. New chairs in durable vinyl and fresh paint on the walls, fireplace (including chalkboard paint) finish of the study, the living room also received fresh paint, including a rose color paint on the soaring ceiling. New rugs and accessories freshen up the interior design of this well-used living room space.
The basement dining hall required a complete overhaul. Gone is the dropped grid ceiling and fluorescent lighting. A drywall ceiling with linear, industrial style pendants upgrades the look, working our way down, the walls now feature a chair rail with panels beneath. This wainscoting detail was created by the same folks who provided the new built-in cabinetry for a perfect match. The cabinetry houses a large coffee and microwave station as well as a supplemental trash/recycling/take-out area. Purple glass subway tiles give a sparkle and pop to what otherwise would have been a clean, but pale room. Barn-style sconces add a cozy and stylish element at the hot food bar. Serving tables were whitewashed, custom-built to recreate a residential look but with a level of durability that can stand up to day in and day out use by a few dozen college students. New tables and chairs give the girls fresh, durable places to enjoy their meals or to have meetings. The chairs have been upholstered in vinyl, the material has a texture that implies a woven textile, creating a more homey feel. But in fact, the upholstery has all the durability and wipability of vinyl.
We love using interior materials in unexpected ways. The wall art is actually wall paper. It was framed such that different areas of the pattern would be visible, providing color, continuity and variety in a cost-effective manner. And the trash and recycling signs are actual house number signs, customized for our purposes by a British vendor we found on eBay. Repurposing and creative thinking of this nature is the kind of approach we bring to all our projects to get the best aesthetics and the best value for our clients.
Interior Photo Credit to Ryan Macchione