Tour a Stylish Row House Retreat in Philadelphia

Interior and production designer Chanae Richards brings total relaxation and stylish comfort to her city oasis.

December 11, 2019

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Photo By: Chinasa Cooper

Chasing a Dream

Interior and production designer Chanae Richards is the founder and principal creative behind Oloro Interiors. The firm provides locations and design services for a variety of photo and video projects in addition to Chanae’s residential design work. Prior to starting her own company, the Bronx native pursued careers in both criminology and non-profit finance. For years, Chanae had rented the Philadelphia home that she purchased while attending school. But just over a year ago she decided to make her income property her full-time residence and turned it into an incredible retreat.

A Philadelphia Staple

The sunroom is a signature design feature of Philadelphia’s classic row homes. Essentially a large vestibule separating the front door and the living room, it can be designed to function as its own room or used as a transitional space. Here, with a beautiful wooden bench and a stylish floral vignette in front of a striking black and white art piece, Chanae is keeping things simple and elegant while setting the stage for what’s to come.

A Living Room Oasis

Despite her move to Philly, Chanae still spends time in New York for business. But Philadelphia remains her refuge from New York’s hustle, and she’s designed her home to reflect that. "I think of this as my country home," she confesses. The design of the living room enhances that feeling of escape. The luxurious, textured rug pairs with the soft neutral tone of the walls and accents of blues and greens to create the perfect oasis.

A Spot of Pattern

Chanae’s design talents shine through in the mix of accent pieces in her interior. Solid colors are often used to break up too much overstimulating pattern in the space. But Chanae still finds ways to inject moments of excitement through her furniture choices. The pattern on these side chairs is eye-catching, and yet, the black-and-white color scheme keeps them consistent with the room’s overall aesthetic.

Good Bones

Row homes in Philadelphia have a centuries-old history, and Chanae does a wonderful job of keeping her designs consistent with the home’s original bones. A brick fireplace in the corner is now a design feature, offering texture in the room. It also offers a space for a vignette of collected pieces, from favorite books to an antique mirror.

Modern Minimalist Dining

Chanae’s dining room is a perfect example of the designer’s self-described "Afro-minimalist" style. On the wall, a painting from the local gallery, Rush Arts Philadelphia, brings the room’s palette of black, blue and blush tones together. Around the table, a mix of modern dining chairs shows that minimalism doesn’t have to be boring. And a soft, tufted rug from Philadelphia’s hottest resale boutique, Remix on Main, is a callback to the living area, creating a sense of continuity and completeness between the two rooms. The result feels quiet and unhurried — and miles away from the outside world.

A Country Kitchen

Renovating the house from the space her last tenant lived in into the home Chanae currently enjoys has taken about a year. The kitchen, which was originally designed with prospective tenants in mind, is one of the few spaces left unmodified, yet it still fits perfectly with the aesthetic of the home. Rustic elements, like sacks used as window coverings, complete the look and feel of a country getaway with a fresh, modern edge.

A Space for Meditation

Upstairs, Chanae puts each bedroom to a specific use. Her middle room is part home office, part meditation room. Mint green furnishings and forest green walls allow for a fresh, open environment. Devoid of unnecessary clutter, the floor remains open for yoga practice and reading.

A Touch of Green

Along with her other talents, Chanae is blessed with a green thumb that explains her thriving collection of vibrant and happy tropical plants. They are the perfect accent to the foliage-themed wallpaper in her guest bedroom. The room is a true delight for anyone who loves sunlight, the feel of nature and the color green, provided that they don’t mind sharing space with the room’s other residents. "In the winter, this room is where the plants live," Chanae explains.

A Stylish Repose

The master bedroom is a stunning detour from the calm restraint of the rest of the house. Peaceful repose is the rule in just about every other room, but Chanae’s bedroom is full of color and pattern. The most recently designed space in the home, this room is dominated by bold hues. The bedroom walls are a moody blue, a perfect match to the upholstered bed. Fuchsia and pinks accents are bold and energetic when playfully layered against dark colors.

A Jewel Box Bedroom

Teal walls are the center of attention in this room. In addition to turning the entire room into a jewel box, the color beautifully highlights the strong architectural bones of the space. Here the clever play with color on the walls highlights the arch of this alcove while the interior is emphasized with wallpaper featuring bright florals against a dark backdrop. Completing the picture is a comfy, pink velvet parlor chair.

A Colorful Bedroom Vignette

The embrace of color continues in this bedroom vignette. The gold frame of this Venetian X-bench is echoed in the palm fronds hung as sculpture on the wall. Dark red cushions stand out beautifully against the teal wall.

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