Ever on the prowl for fresh minds, we set our eyes on the Philadelphia-based Nicole Cole. She’s one of those creatives who bring thoughtful action into a cookie-cutter world, an interior designer who provides time and time-again unique solutions to design questions. Her look? Soft, beautifully-curated, and admirably mindful. Nicole’s style is one you’ll remember. I’m grateful she has family in Kansas City, that we get to visit when she comes to town and that I can call her a friend in real life, not just online! I’m happy to share her story with you along with her gorgeous master bedroom and her design process.
Hi, I’m Nicole!
Interior designer, and owner of Vestige Home, a design studio that focuses on creating spaces that are interesting, engaging, and encourages people to live well. My greatest joy is helping clients create homes that are thoughtful, functional with a style that makes them feel like their home is a sanctuary.
My day to day is always different and can range from floor planning a 3-D model of a space, to selecting materials and finishes, to checking in on the construction of a project on site with contractors and trades, or I might be wading through the piles receipts and invoices that always need to be attended to 🙂
How would you describe your style?
I like so many different things it’s hard to say for sure, but I can broadly describe my personal style as modern colonial with a strong nature influence. I love historic homes and we are currently in the process of renovating our 1940’s stone house in Philadelphia, there are deep windowsills, large moldings and high ceilings which I think make the perfect backdrop to more modern elements. But I am not afraid to throw a primitive colonial period piece into the mix though. I think that all interior design should have a little tension and mixing periods and materials is a great way to achieve that. I also grew up with antiques (often accompanying my mom to the shops) and pieces from the past still influence me today.
What are you passionate about and why?
I am passionate about helping better people’s lives and love their homes. When I was growing up, my dad was in the Navy and so we moved every couple of years. Despite these frequent moves, my parents still took the time to try and make whatever house we were in feel special and personal, which I think made us feel safe in what could be a bit of a tumultuous life starting over every couple years. This experience strongly influenced my desire to do work that helps people to live better lives. Having a home that functions well for you and your family and makes you feel happy and calm every time you walk in the door can extend to improving so many other areas of your life as well.
Show us What You’re Coveting
What’s on your wishlist right now?
We bought some of this incense at Coveted Home on our last trip to Kansas City and we are addicted! My husband lights it almost every evening when we settle in to watch our favorite TV show and says it reminds him of when he was a little boy in church. As much as the visual of an interior play to our senses, the scent is also an important consideration in setting the mood.
I’m always on the hunt for good pottery whether newly made by a local artist or a vintage piece with an unusual glaze or form. I display them as part of a larger grouping or our old butler’s pantry (used as a display case). This vintage tall jug caught my eye – the narrow, skinny form and the single squiggle line down the middle. Perfect for a fireplace.
Silk & Wool Throw
Another gem from the Coveted Home, this throw is one of my favorite pieces in our living room. It’s sustainably made and pairs perfectly with our linen lounge chair
House Tour + Q&A
Jaclyn: You recently moved into a new home, and I’m so excited to see how it evolves. Your master bedroom is stunning! It looks like the first space you completed is the master. In my experiences, people often start with the living/dining/kitchen. Why did you choose to design this room first?
Nicole: Thank you! We knew the renovations were going to be a long term project. In other homes we have renovated we usually take a year or two to get things the way we want (mostly because we moved around frequently for my husband’s job). With this house, we intend to stay here for a while, so we really want to take our time, see how the spaces function for us and save money before making any big decisions.
We wanted to ensure we had a sanctuary where we can go to while other parts of the house being renovated. Since we have a large bedroom with a fireplace and reading area, we started here. It’s also more secluded from other areas of the house so I didn’t have to think as much about how the design would impact the rest of the rooms, as compared to something like the living or dining room open to other rooms. It was also one of the less expensive rooms to do and we were able to do all of the work ourselves which helped to save costs since we have expensive projects like central A/C and hardwood floor refinishing that we are planning on tackling pretty quickly.
Jaclyn: What was your design process like for the master bedroom: Did it come together quickly? Exactly how you envisioned? Did you run into any problems? Anything you would do differently?
Nicole: The design process what much like the process I use for my clients. I put together a mood board and a 3D model of the space and laid out a floorplan. I thought about what the different functions we would need in the space were and ensured that the design would support those needs.
The room came together very quickly as I did it as part of the One Room Challenge, which is a six week design challenge. I did some of the planning in the weeks beforehand so we could order materials and furnishings, but it was a very quick process overall.
The room came together just as I envisioned. The biggest challenge was getting it together on the short timeline. During the process I was continuing to work on client projects full time, as well as move into the new house, so there wasn’t a lot of time to spend on the actual work on the bedroom except for late evenings. It was a very stressful and sleepless time, but it felt really good to have a finished space that I am proud of.
After 6 months we still love it and it functions really well for us. I’d like to add is a sliding or pocket door on the closet so that we can utilize the interior of the closet more efficiently, otherwise, we really love the room!
Jaclyn: What area will you be working on next?
We’ve been slowly tackling our kitchen as part of a “mini-makeover” until we do a full renovation in a few years. We’re having the hardwood floors refinished next month and I’m hoping we can have space completely in the next 6 weeks or so. Our back deck and garden are also on the list since we can get outside and enjoy the warmer weather!
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