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A Bucks County Retreat Gets a Modern Design Update

A Bucks County Retreat Gets a Modern Design Update

East Falls-based firm Vestige HOME provided a thoughtful design refresh, honoring the early-1800s past of this New Hope home while adding a touch of the present.

A Bucks County Retreat Gets a Modern Design Update

Photography by Rebecca McAlpin / Styling by Kristi Hunter

When a young family of four wanted to transform their second home — an early-1800s stone colonial tucked on a pastoral stretch of land in New Hope — into a modern English country-­inspired retreat, they turned to Vestige HOME. It was a perfect pairing: The East Falls-based interior design firm finds inspiration in nature and history, and the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath retreat brimmed with both.

“One of the things we love is figuring out how to take the historic context of an older home and make it feel relevant for today,” says principal designer and CEO Nicole Cole. “And the scenery there is so beautiful.­ It’s very magical.”

The clients wanted to update the house — which had been expanded in 1997 — without embarking on a major construction project, so Cole’s design highlighted the original character of the home. Here, simple,­ traditional­ elements (like Windsor-inspired chairs and peg rails) are mixed with modern lines, super-saturated­ colors, and tons of rich texture and sculptural lighting. The finished product is a serene escape from city life and a timeless blend of past and present.

Dining room

Cole designated the large bay window, which overlooks a pond, as the space’s focal point. “With the lighting in the dining room, it feels so peaceful and welcoming.­ We didn’t need a lot of decor to do that,” she says. Black Windsor-inspired chairs lend a historic feel, and a rustic trestle table expands to seat 12 for large family gatherings. An heirloom mantel clock sits atop the fireplace, which Cole had painted in Benjamin Moore’s Mediterranean Teal.


In lieu of traditional vanity storage, Cole sourced an antique cabinet, which pops against deep charcoal gray trim (Iron Ore by Sherwin-Williams).

Daughter’s bedroom

The antique bed was a lucky Instagram score for Cole; she had it custom-painted to suit the space.

Living room

A Bucks County Retreat Gets a Modern Design Update

Cole blended formality and flair with a pair of custom sofas, mismatched coffee tables, a mid-century-style brass light fixture, and a moody purply-brown paint (London Clay by Farrow & Ball) for the original fireplace. “It feels calming and serene but interesting,” she says.


Published as “Habitat: Country Charm” in the May 2022 issue of Philadelphia magazine.