Custom Stairway Runner Install

The other week we wrapped up an awesome stairway runner install, and we were thrilled with the results! It’s always fun to see a space transform, especially when changing out a major focal point like the staircase.

We knew we wanted to add a decorative tape trim detail for a more customized look, and ended up choosing a classic blue and white geometric for our Palm Beach loving client!

This detail really “popped” and looked incredible against the white wood paneling and coordinating pale blue lattice wallcovering.

Villanova Runner 1


We worked with the amazing team from Prism Carpets who created the goods in-house before install day, so everything was ready upon arrival.  Above was our first peak as it was being unrolled, and right away we knew it was going to be a good install day!

Villanova Runner 2

The piece was laid out, measured and ready to go! Next came the noise – hammers, staple guns – the works!

Villanova Runner 3

Before we knew it, we had this masterpiece on our hands…

villanova Runner 4


Its all about the details, right?

We set the design with 3″-4″ side margins leaving a nice contrast of the gorgeous stained stairs.

Villanova Runner 5

The runner hit just to the underbelly of the top step.

You can also spy the pretty wallpaper that runs down the second floor hallway in the shot above.

Villanova Runner 7

Designer Pro Tip: When installing a stairway runner we recommend you ALWAYS turn the corners on the landings (see above image). You may be tempted to skip the turn as it will save you quite a bit of money, but it really doesn’t provide the same “high-end” look when you cut corners (see what we did there??). When you follow the natural curve of your stairs, you get an overall more “finished” look. You can really see the labor that goes into the process, and you come away with a much more custom design.

(Pssst! – don’t miss the dreamy window seat install that we just finished as well!)

Villanova Runner 6

A common misconception is that you have to select a carpet border or carpet specific binding in order to achieve the above look. We fell in love with this Scalamandre tape trim (used typically for window treatment edges or sofa skirts) and simply applied it on TOP of the carpet goods! You can work with pretty much any tape trim and certainly do not have to limit yourself in this area.

All in all it was a successful install day and we had one exceedingly happy client!

Carpet: Belbridge

Greek Key Tape Trim: Scalamandre.

*Contact Meadowbank Designs to schedule a consultation*

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Things to Spend On Vs. Things to Save On

In this day and age we seem to want it all, and we want it now!

It’s an utter obsession with instant gratification and a need for on-demand speed! With just a click of a button we have almost anything right at our fingertips. But when it comes to designing your home, it’s not always that simple. In fact, most things have to be done in stages and phases. There can be long lead times, delayed deliveries, items damaged in transit….all of which means patience is key!

It’s hugely important to start by making a list and then breaking it down. Decide what specific areas and items are of value to you, and separate them from the things that you can hold off on (it’s definitely better to do it right later down the road over doing it fast!). Once you’ve got that covered, its crucial to pinpoint the key areas where it makes sense to spend, vs. the areas where you should aim to save. I sat down with Kristen and Laura to pick their brains on the best areas to save vs. spend, and they offered some sage advice!


EK: It seems like it can be pretty overwhelming to cross everything off of your wish list at once when it comes to designing your home. Do you have advice on where to start?

KM: Start with researching images on Pinterest or in shelter magazines that you like. Try to find an aesthetic or look that you keep coming back to or keeps catching your eye. That usually tells us what you are really drawn to and what your true style is. Then from there, start breaking it down into manageable parts. Are you wanting a fabulous rug that sets the tone for the room? An amazing wallpaper or rich paint color? Graphic patterned Drapes? Let that be the starting point for you, and work toward those inspirational images piece by piece.

LB: Having a roadmap for your whole home, or the rooms that need design help, is the best way to get started. That way, when you work in phases, your home will be continuous when you finish. For instance, if you know what your foyer will look like once it’s complete, it’s much easier to make decisions on the living room off of the foyer in advance. Your home will flow in style, color, and design. I definitely recommend researching images on Pinterest or Houzz so that you can hone in on your own personal style that fits with the architecture of your home.

EK: What are the top three areas you suggest putting your money during the design process? (i.e. Window Treatments? The Master Bedroom? Lighting?)

KM: I am a big proponent of original art to bring personality and uniqueness to a room. It doesn’t have to be pricy but it completes a huge part of the puzzle in spaces. And don’t be afraid to go big. Second, good lighting can make or break a room. You pay a small price to add varying layers of lighting by adding a recessed floor outlet under your sofa to hide lamp cords, or add library lights to highlight your bookshelves, even adding recessed lighting only requires a little bit of patching and painting and is not the nightmare you might think it is. And put dimmers on every major light switch. The third area would be in good window treatments. You may have to phase this in over time because it is a high dollar investment in some cases, but good drapes elevate a house, especially if you have invested in your dream home or forever home- there is no substitute for quality here.

Middleton Stairway Shot

Statement Artwork and Layered Lighting

Living Room Shot

Statement Artwork and Layered Lighting

LB: Depending upon budget, I always recommend spending more money on the architectural elements of your home along with custom draperies. In areas that are used more often, such as the kitchen, family room, and bathrooms, a little extra planning, thought, and quality of materials goes a long way. Custom draperies or architectural window coverings take a home from average to extraordinary. I would rather see a simple linen custom drapery that is made for a window with proper hardware rather than an embroidered silk panel that was bought at a box store and retro-fitted to a room. It’s very difficult, and usually impossible, to successfully buy store-made draperies for a home.

Middleton Blue Bedroom

Architectural Window Covering

EK: Do you have any tips on where you can save, but still get the look of high end?

KM: With window treatments, you can substitute for pricier fabrics when you use an inexpensive solid fabric like a linen or a lower priced solid silk. And with good fabrication and a fun trim, an inexpensive fabric can look like a million bucks. Also, changing out your pillows for good quality ones is an easy way to bring personality, quick change, and updating to a room. You can also get crafty and hot glue a fun trim to the bottom of your chairs or sofa, or even your shower curtain- a great way to get the high-end, custom design look for next to nothing.

Cliffton Bedroom Shot

Window Treatments: Simple Solid Fabric with a Great Decorative Trim and Bold Hardware + Custom Toss Pillows

LB: Every item in your home can be high-end or of the best quality. When budget does not allow for that, I usually suggest buying furniture for less important rooms from affordable retail stores. If there are any areas you like to “DIY”, go for it! Painting old furniture, changing the hardware, reupholstering dining seats, refreshing pillows, painting a room, etc. can go a long way in saving money and updating your look.

EK: What types of items can be put on the back burner for updating down the line?

KM: If you are starting with a clean slate, window treatments, artwork or wallpaper can be phased in later but you must try to get to these- it’s so important to achieve that inviting, completed look or wow factor you are going for.

LB: When starting with a blank slate, obviously the most important item is furniture. But, maybe hold off on the unique piece in the hall that needs a bit of research and/or extra budget. The last thing you want to do is pour money into something bad. So, if you can’t afford all of the furniture and décor at once, don’t delay the process by buying junk in the meantime to fill a space. Otherwise, you may never end up with your dream room or home.

Philadelphia Style Mag Image Used

EK: What are the non-negotiables for designing your space? (i.e. what are the must-do’s that should never be skipped)

KM: See above- Artwork, window treatments and lighting!

LB: Definitely quality draperies or window coverings (if needed), properly scaled furniture, and a style that speaks to and achieves the homeowner’s dream.


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Scout Local

If you have yet to discover The Scout Guide, you are in for a treat. Prepare to be visually inspired, locally engaged, and ready to shop!

These are the coolest source books on the block, showcasing a perfectly curated list of independently owned businesses that are at the top of their game! What started solely as an online presence in Charlottesville, VA quickly grew into a gorgeous print publication, encouraging it’s readers to live beautifully while living locally…now that’s a lifestyle motto we can get behind!


Scout Guide Main Photo


Did we mention how gorgeous these books are? Before you even crack open the cover, you are greeted with brightly colored bindings and TSG’s signature emblem (now that’s a logo!). This just may be your cocktail table’s new best friend.

Scout Guide Philly and Mainline Cover


But besides being visually appealing, we stand with The Scout Guide because we love their message of community support! You may remember the “live local/shop local” campaigns that everyone started buzzing about a few years back? Well, that buzz is here to stay, because supporting small/local business (really just supporting one another in general) will always be the cool thing to do. Not to mention, there is so much to discover right in your own little town, you may surprise even yourself. I’m always happy to see my favorites listed among the best of the best, but also love to discover brand new local players!

Scout Guide Stacked Books


A quick visit to the site and you’ll come across the “What We Believe” page. All we can say is #brandcrush…read on and you’ll understand why.

What We Believe

1.We believe in creating a beautiful, simple, well-curated life.
2.We believe in authenticity.
3.We believe in storytelling.
4.We believe in relationships.
5.We believe in being proactive, engaged members of our communities.
6.We believe in sharing what we love, advocating for one another, and supporting each other.
7.We believe you should always remain curious, keep seeking inspiration, and be open to discovery.
8.We believe everything you need to have a beautiful life can be found within your own community.

(Taken from the Scout Guide website)


So do we, Scout Guide!!

Confession: I definitely printed this out and tacked it up in my office for on-going inspiration!

You can shop all of the guides here. This is not a sponsored post, but we definitely encourage you to order up the next volume of TSG (coming this fall) and you just may see some familiar faces (wink wink ;) )


Locally yours,

– The Meadowbank Team

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HGTV -Getting Real About “Reality” TV

Raise your hand if you love HGTV!

Chances are you’ve got 5 digits in the air, and you aren’t alone. It seems these days everyone is addicted to this design-centric network, and it’s hard not to get sucked in. I swear I tune in for one show, and then I come-to 3 hours and 6 programs later…

And why wouldn’t you love HGTV? It’s aspirational, motivational and Chip and Joanna? Can you say #relationshipgoals?

Chip and Joanna Gaines

Chip and Joanna Gains of Fixer Upper on HGTV

But truth be told, the good old Home and Garden network can sometimes be a touch “smoke and mirrors”.

Here’s why:

The “simple, fast and affordable” design packages that they present to viewers, are not necessarily a realistic portrayal of how the design process works. It’s just that; a process. It takes time, (sometimes a lot of time) to work through each phase of planning, drawing, furniture/fabric selections, labor etc. The shows however, have selective editing on their side, fitting an entire home re-design into 30-60 minutes of viewing.

Re-designing your space can also be a significant investment, often far off from what you see quoted in these programs. The reason? Many of these shows provide labor and materials that are either discounted or all together free (what a dream!). Meaning, all areas of the process are not always accounted for when they total up costs, and that can be a bit misleading to viewers.

That said, there are definitely some very interesting projects and renovations featured on HGTV, the bulk of which seem follow a pretty standard, uniform formula: One relatable (i.e adorable) family on a strict budget who want it all. Their dream home includes a full renovation, interior design and meticulous landscape work.

We sit, eager to watch the process unfold, and bite our nails wondering, “will they get the heated bathroom floors that they both have to have”? It seems like magic when 20 minutes later (typically after one or two scripted “unexpected bumps in the road”) they’re left with sparkling new countertops, shiny hardwood flooring and a tear in their eye as the big reveal is presented.

They’re happy, and boy are we happy that it all came together for them in the end – why were we even worried? It ALWAYS comes together in the end!

But the moral of this story is: “reality TV” is not always reality (except for the part where it all comes together in the end…that part is real!) :)

Don’t get me wrong, I am a self proclaimed HGTV addict myself (I still can’t decide which property brother I like best), but I’m also glad to know the differences between a reality tv project and, well…a reality project.


Property Brothers

Property Brothers – HGTV


OFFICE POLL: What’s Your Favorite HGTV Show?


If you are about to embark on a home design project, there are some things to know before starting up! Below are our tips for hiring a design professional. Happy Reading!

Tips for Hiring a Design Professional:

  • Educate yourself on the general market place before you begin, understanding what things cost and recognizing the scope and level of the project you are about to undertake.
  • Remember, no two designers are the same: Figure out what you value in the process, and where your budget lies, then interview around to find the right fit!
  • Talk Budget Up Front: A great designer will be very forth coming with what the process costs, (no one wants surprises in this area!) but do note, it’s pretty much impossible to give an exact figure.
  • Get all expectations set from the start: Share what is important to you in the process, and what you are aiming to get out of working together.
  • Articulate how you plan to use your space: Are you always entertaining? Do you have a bunch of pets? Do you have storage concerns? Sharing how you use your space in everyday life will help to create a design road map!
  • Be prepared to discuss appropriate work-around solutions as needed: The process is a marathon not a sprint. Along the way things will inevitably happen (fabrics will be discontinued, items will have delayed shipping timelines). It’s important to remember that there are multiple solutions to everything, not one perfect answer!
  • Have fun! This should be a creative and exciting process. Remember to take the time to stop and enjoy watching it all come together!
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The American Dream: Love, Luck and Fine Design- Laura’s Story


All the experiences you have in the past bring you up to this point and I have been incredibly fortunate in the past decade. For me 2005 was an awesome year. Kirsten and I purchased Meadowbank Designs, and a few months later I met my husband! Since then, our family has grown to include two healthy little boys and we’ve been lucky and wise in our real estate investments. We live on a working horse farm in a renovated Cape Cod-style house. We had been looking for years to purchase the perfect piece of land to build our dream home on. Three and half years ago, we moved here. Now we are ready for this next step – to build our dream home!

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The Bespoke Chandelier

When people speak about “bespoke” and “custom made,” what do they really mean? Bespoke invokes a feeling of excitement and comfort, something especially made to fit the body, environment or event. The intangible feeling of something well made specifically for you is priceless in so many ways. Tangible in that it is only for you and that extra time and skills went into the production of it. Bespoke, it’s all about the details!

To share in our excitement and anticipation around our event on April 1st at the Wayne Hotel, we had an invitation custom made for us. Working with a graphic designer is as much fun as being an interior designer.

We asked Russ Winer our graphic designer at Red Creative (www.red-creative.net) to create a custom invitation, he used letterpress with a hidden needle and thread thru heavy paper for a luncheon hosting Meg Lukens Noonan, the author of The Coat Route: Craft, Luxury, & Obsession on the Trail of a $50,000 Coat. Russ came up with this fantastic design. Look at the back, how did he do that?

invite 1

invite 2

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We Are having A Party!

We are having a party. A Special party,   for our clients and colleagues because we value them and want to do something unique and memorable. Creating the ambience and setting the stage requires a few steps, and with a little excitement and anticipation we would like to share this with you.


We invited a special guest, author Meg Lukens Noonan, who wrote about a $50,000K coat; how it was made, from the tiniest detail of how the silk was spun to the construction of the garment, to join our luncheon, held at the iconic Wayne Hotel. Needing an intimate setting with delicious food, The Paramour Restaurant is just the perfect size to host this venue, providing the exclusive space to mingle after a delightful meal. Here is a picture and link to more venues in The Wayne Hotel.



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Designing for the Francophile

Everyone’s favorite trade show to attend, Maison & Object, was in Paris recently. Even better than attending is designing for the Francophile, an ultimate dream project for just about any interior designer.  Held every year in January, Maison & Object brings together all the new products, design and talent throughout Europe. New cutting edge ideas and merchandise are sold; vendors and designers all gather in the City of Light and Love to discover and showcase new wares. Paris, France and all things French infuse a “joie du vivre,” or excitement for life, that is part of their culture and daily living experience. Check out the debut of this pendalogue shaped chandelier, now that’s a new take on a lighting fixture!


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Hello and Welcome to Meadowbank Memes!

We are excited and pleased to announce, our upcoming ten year anniversary, our new blog, Meadowbank Memes and the publication in the current issue (December2014) of Philadelphia Magazine!

Just a bit about us: Laura and I met as classmates at Drexel University.  We were both studying for our Masters of Science in Interior Architecture and Design. Laura started working for Penny Steele, the founder of Meadowbank Designs, asking me to join her soon after. We were fortunate to start our careers creating luxury custom designs for a large estate on the Main Line. In the midst of this work, Laura and I purchased Meadowbank Designs. That was nearly a decade ago. We’ve been busy ever since – designing luxurious livable environments that personify our clients’ lives and families.

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