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The Best Interior Designers in Philadelphia

18 Min Read

Local son of Philadelphia Benjamin Franklin once said, “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” And the best houses in Philadelphia need to be homes, with rich interior decorations inside. While sometimes you can focus on the outside of a new home or building, you need someone who knows how to bring the inside of those buildings to life. Whether it’s a restaurant, an office space, an apartment, or a rustic home, Philadelphia has a long list of interior designers whKieranTimberlake o can help you make you food and fire for your mind and home. So here are the top 9 Interior Decorators working in Philadelphia right now.

Top Designers

OTTO Architects

453 Johnson Street #100, Jenkintown, PA 19046

Located in suburban Philadelphia in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Otto Architects LLC provides unique interior design solutions. The firm is lead by Principal Joshua Otto. Otto is a Registered Architect and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional and is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland, and he holds a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Certificate. Prior to founding Otto Architects, he worked at Brett Webber Architects, GBQC Architects, and Roger Ferris + Partners. He holds a Master of Sciences in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky. Otto has has served on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Philadelphia’s Board of Directors and co-chairs the AIA Philadelphia Design Committee. He is also the co-founder and coordinator of the Philadelphia Emerging Architecture Prize. He and the firm have won numerous awards, including the 2016 Storefront Challenge for Best Design and being a finalist for the 2016 Restaurant Design Awards. They’ve also won a 2015 AIA National Emerging Professionals Exhibition, a 2014 James Beard Foundation Finalist for Outstanding Restaurant Design Award, a 2014 AIA Pennsylvania Emerging Professional Award, and a 2014 Remodeling Design Grand Award.

Project by OTTO Architects

OTTO Architects were the interior designers of record for Mercer Cafe at 2619 E. Westmoreland Street. With the firm’s help, an existing, one-story former bank has been dramatically transformed inside. Large windows and doors provide ample daylighting throughout the interior, allowing the dining room to open to the outdoors. Upon entering, customers’ attention is immediately directed toward the twin brick pizza ovens in the rear of the market area. The dining room provides open seating and a diner counter, beneath a ceiling of exposed wood trusses. Finishes throughout feature subtle blues and grays, complemented by concrete and wood. Otto was also awarded for their work at Little Spoon Cafe on South Street West in Philadelphia. Winning the Best Design Award in 2016 for their Storefront Challenge, Otto revived the neighborhood restaurant and cheery cafe with a kitschy decor that serves American food, homemade baked goods, and all-day breakfast. The interior is buoyed by a consistent horizontal layer of wood counters and tables, countered by an eclectic seating collection.


100 E. Penn Square #1080, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Founded in 1984, JKRP Architects is a full-service architecture firm built on relationships located in the Center City neighborhood, just next door to City Hall. JKPR specializes, however, in interior design work, specifically when it comes to renovating Philadelphia’s classic architecture. Jerry K Roller, AIA LEEP AP, is also the founder of the firm. He’s served as president of AIA-PA and regional director and vice president on the National AIA Board. He is also an active board member of the BIA of Philadelphia. Paul Georges, AIA, joined JKRP in 1986. Glenn Werner, AIA, LEEP AP, has been part of JKRP since 1987. He’s also a member of the American Institute of Architects, Philadelphia; the ACHE/American College of Healthcare Executives; the Builders Industry Association Green Committee; the Healthcare Facilities Managers Association of Delaware Valley HFMADV; and the Morgantown Area Business Association. David Urffer, AIA, joined in 1998 and is on the board of directors. It also includes Robert McCall, AIA, Jonathan A. Broh, AIA, and Jose J. Hernandez, AIA, NOMA, NCARB as principal architects.

Project by JKPR

JKPR were the interior designers for the project at 1501 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. The project was the restoration of famed Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn’s old architectural office. The building had remained largely untouched, with the exception of poor, ground-floor retail alterations completed over the last few decades. The original elevator was replaced and moved out of the front entry vestibule, and the ground floor was restored back to large expanses of glass to accommodate new retail. A double height space was created and windows were replaced throughout the building. JKPR also worked at a private residency in Society Hill, where JKPR’s interior design team added a second story with vaulted and coffered ceilings that offer a breezy and spacious ambiance to this Society Hill home. Contemporary architectural accents, such as the built-in cabinetry and shelving, custom tile work, and walls of windows contribute to the home’s graciousness and culminate in classic feeling.


1315 Walnut Street, Suite 1614, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Located in the Center City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Boxwood Architects is a full-service architecture studio offering interior design, custom graphic design, and project management. The firm has been featured in AIA Philadelphia Emerging Architectures Exhibition, and their interior design work has been published in the Miami New Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Business Journal,, Eater Philly, and Eater DC. The firm is lead by John Weckerly RA and Sal Guerrero, RA. Weckerly is a graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture and has over 20 years years of experience working in the profession. He leads Boxwood’s business development, project administration, design, quality control, and construction-related issues. He is registered in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, Florida, and Missouri. His partner, Sal Guerrero, RA, has 13 years experience in the profession and is also a graduate of Temple University Tyler School of Art and Architecture. He serves as Boxwood’s Studio Director, in charge of concept design, design development, and construction documents.

Project by Boxwood

Boxwood worked on redesigning the interior for the Nagele family’s house in Rittenhouse, Philadelphia in late 2012. The proposed 100-square-foot interior design project included a new galley kitchen and hi-end appliances with copper clad hood over range, new built-in breakfast nook and detailed cabinetry. The basement renovation included a kids’ play zone, new family entertainment room, and sauna. Boxwood also proudly displays their work on a home for the Palladino-Giuliano Family in Queen Village, Philadelphia. The 96-square-foot addition offered a complementary solution to expanding the home with a dining room and bathroom on the first floor and a new bedroom on the second floor. Renovations to the existing bedroom included new closets, reintroducing an existing infilled clerestory window, and harvesting the removed exterior wood siding as a new interior texture. Existing wood siding paired with painted board and batten preserves the integrity of the existing structure, while color unites the two forms.

Archer & Buchanan

125 W Miner Street, West Chester, PA 19382

Since its inception in 1996, Archer & Buchanan has worked in the Philadelphia area, focusing on renovating and restoring classic homes through their interior design work. Much of their work is inspired by the works and designs of Mellor, Meigs and Howe; Walter Durham; R. Brognard Okie; and Wilson Eyre. The firm is lead by Principals Daniel G. Russoniello, AIA, LEED AP, and Michele L.W. Thackrah, AIA, LEED AP. Russoniello leads the firm’s interior design work. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and has over 30 years of experience at a variety of architectural firms based in Philadelphia. Thackrah leads Archer & Buchanan’s growing hospitality design practice. Before joining A&B in 2002, Thackrah worked at a variety of design firms in Washington DC and Philadelphia. Archer & Buchanan has won a long list of awards, some of which include the 2016 PA Society of American Registered Architects Design Award for their interior design work. They’ve also won the 2016 West Chester Preservation Alliance Bricks & Mortar Award, the 2016 Preservation Alliance Award for Greater Philadelphia, the 2015 PA Society of American Registered Architects Design Award, and 2015 PA Society of American Registered Architects Outstanding Firm Award.

Project by Archer & Buchanan

Archer Buchanan was responsible for the interior design work and renovation at a nearby home in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Originally slated for demolition, the 1950-era house on a four acre-acre, sloped and overgrown property was recovered with major renovations and additions. Additions now extend in every direction, allowing natural light and views from every room. The open plan complements existing ceilings with higher ceilings. Grand interior finishes complement primarily French furnishings. The entrance courtyard was expanded, incorporating site walls and a new wing. Terraces emulate the main rooms within the house, placing the home firmly in the landscape. Archer & Buchanan also worked on the residence of Charles Allen in Penn Valley. A thorough update was made to this 1934 home, designed by Philadelphia architect R. Brognard Okie. Okie’s houses reflect a deep appreciation of local woodwork, scale, and proportion. The alterations brought the formerly “servant” utility spaces of pantry, kitchen, maid’s dining room, and larders up to date for contemporary living, while matching the character and detail of formal “served” areas of the house.


211 N 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

In 2002, Alan Metcalfe invited one of his clients, Aaron Goldblatt, then deputy director at the Wagner Free Institute of Science, to join together to start a new firm. Metcalfe, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, worked as lead designer and partner at three Philadelphia firms before starting Metcalfe. They’ve worked on a number of high-profile interior design projects, specifically in the culinary scene. Metcalfe holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Tufts University, and he is a LEED AP and NCARB certified. The firm’s work has been featured in a variety of publications, including The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Context Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times. Metcalfe has also been feted with a long list of awards, including the 2017 American Association of Museums, Excellence in Exhibition Design Award; the 2016 City of Philadelphia Commerce Department and the Community Design Collaborative Storefront Challenge, Best Overall Design; the 2015 HGTV Fresh Faces of Design; the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums “Buildy” Award; the 2014 City of Philadelphia Commerce Department and the Community Design Collaborative Storefront Challenge, Best Overall Design; and the 2013 PA Brownfields Conference, Extreme Makeover Award.

Project by Metcalfe

Metcalfe worked to create the interior for a new urban bistro out of this cultural landmark in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Goat Hollow, now found at 300 W. Mt Pleasant Avenue, offers a menu of gastropub classic dishes and fresh hamburgers. Metcalfe installed a red canopy, topped by an aluminum goat silhouette, which marks the entrance to this restaurant. They also made extensive use throughout the space of recycled brick, wood siding, and goat-related objects from the neighborhood Philadelphia Salvage Company. In addition, Metcalfe designed a welcoming fireplace to warm the bar and dining areas, and they updated the kitchen and overall infrastructure. In collaboration with Julia Blaukopf, the firm created custom wallpaper images of rustic local buildings and vegetation, chandeliers of tree roots and recycled bottles, and vintage seating. For their work, the project received a 2015 HGTV Fresh Faces of Design award.


1639 N. Hancock Street #302, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Located in Olde Kensington, Groundswell Design Group is a full-service design firm that offers interior design work for a variety of clients, ranging from restaurants to distilleries, to intimate cafés and pop-up activations. A graduate of Florida International University’s Department of Architecture, the firm’s principal, David Fierabend, is responsible for the aesthetic and creation of Spruce Street Harbor Park and PHS beer garden, as well as hip mainstays including Morgan’s Pier and FringeArts’ new building on the Pier. Groundswell’s work has been featured in, ABC6, Restaurant Development + Design Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, Akron Beacon Journal,, the San Jose Mercury News, and The St. Louis Business Journal. Some other notable interior design projects outside of Philadelphia include work for Proximo Spirits to redesign Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Distillery in Denver, the Empire Diner in New York City, and the St. Louis Union Station in St. Louis, MO.

Project by Groundswell

Groundswell provided interior design work for the Philadelphia Distilling facility at 25 E. Allen Street in Philadelphia. The location offers craft cocktails, using house spirits and guided distillery tours in a converted, historic factory. In the fall of 2015, Groundswell was commissioned to design the interior of their new facility in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The interior space included a unique blend of industrial charm and vintage character. A mix of traditional, Colonial-style furniture and reclaimed, white oak floors bring life to the industrial space. Groundswell also proudly displays their work on a Philadelphia Penthouse Apartment. This contemporary apartment mixes cool, clean interiors and reclaimed pieces in this city work space located in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. The space was too bare and the detailing boring, so the homeowners called on the designers at Groundswell Design Group to add character to the home.

Cecil Baker + Partners

1107 Walnut Street #2, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Established in 1982, Cecil Baker + Partners is an architecture firm that offers feasibility studies, programming, design of new structures, adaptive reuse of existing structures, and interior design. The firm has been recognized by The American Institute of Architects, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and they have had their work published across the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America. Recent awards include Building Excellence Awards from American Builders Quarterly, the Residential Architect Magazine Hall of Fame 2008 Leadership Award, and the Friends of Pennsylvania Commonwealth Gold Award. The firm is led by Principal Cecil Baker, who was born and raised in Argentina before coming to the United States in 1959 to attend Williams College, before going on to get his Master of Architecture, studying under Louis Kahn at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012, Baker was appointed by the mayor of Philadelphia to serve on the City Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review Committee. Baker is also a past board member and vice president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA. He has been regional representative on the national AIA’s Standing Committee on Housing. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University and has lectured at other institutions of higher learning.

Project by Cecil Baker & Partners

The University of Pennsylvania was looking to renovate the reception area, lobby, waiting areas and administrative spaces for their Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital Building at 3900 Spruce Street. Thus, Cecil Baker & Partners were brought on to redesign the interior of the one of the foremost veterinary schools in the country. The existing lobby was difficult to find and navigate, the waiting areas were small, dated in their furnishings and design, and dark, with little connection to the exterior. Restrooms and vending areas were hidden and unimproved. Their goal was to bring a calm atmosphere to a previously chaotic space, as well as to improve circulation paths while providing an increased sense of privacy to pets and their owners. At the entry, automatic sliding doors replaced heavy manual doors, and large expanses of glass replaced the heavy brick and punched openings along the front façade. Inside, an open and inviting reception desk is separated in the center by vertical, narrow shafts of LED light that transition through a palette of calming, cool colors. The waiting areas were enlarged and then broken down into smaller areas, defined with built-in banquette seating.

KSK Architects Planners Historians Inc.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 303, Philadelphia, PA 19103

KSK Architects Planners Historians, Inc., founded in 1966, has a professional staff of interior designers working in Center City Philadelphia. They work both in restoring classic architecture and in helping lead the visual process for new projects in the city. They’ve won numerous awards, including the 2016 Preservation Achievement Grand Jury Award, the 2012 APA PA Chapter Opportunity and Empowerment Award, a 2012 Montgomery Award Recipient for Excellence in Planning and Design, the 2012 Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, and the 2010 Historic Preservation Award from the New Castle County Historic Review Board. Philip E. Scott, RA, has been a principal at the firm since 2010. Before that, he was a senior associate and project manager at Kise Straw & Kolodner Architects and an associate and project manager at John Milner Associates. Scott is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture program. He is joined by Paul Vernon as managing principal. In September 2010, Paul joined the KSK team of architects, planners, and historians. He brought over two decades of planning and urban design experience in urban, suburban, and rural communities, as well as a personal portfolio in architecture with a focus on community-based populations.

Project by KSK Architects Planners Historians Inc.

KSK works to bring back to life the interiors of many classic homes in the Philadelphia area. One of these includes The Mansion at Cabrini College, found at 610 King of Prussia Road in Radnor. KSK prepared a master plan and designs for the complete restoration of the mansion, so it could be used for administrative offices, faculty offices, and public event space. The scope of work included replacement of all building systems, evaluation and treatment recommendations for the historic interior and exterior materials and finishes, and interior design services. KSK has continued to work with Cabrini on the adaptive reuse and renovation of this building. KSK was also the interior design of record for the Please Touch Museum found at 4231 Avenue of the Republic — a national leader in experiential education for very young children. Memorial Hall, one of two buildings still in place from the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, served as the fair’s International Art Gallery, and later, the home of the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Philadelphia Recreation Department, and the Fairmount Park Commission.

Krieger + Associates

1800 Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 19301

Krieger + Associates Architects is an award-winning Philadelphia-area firm. Located in nearby Paoli, Pennsylvania, the firm has provided interior design services to residential, institutional, and commercial clients for over two decades, since its creation in 1992. The firm has accumulated a long list of plaudits, including the Design Award of Honor, PA Council of Society of American Registered Architects in 2013, the Chrysalis National Award in 2014, the Professional Award of Honor from the Society of American Registered Architects in 2013, and listed as “Best of the Best” by Professional Remodeler Magazine in 2009. Krieger + Associates is led by president and principal Jeffrey F. Krieger, AIA, LEED AP. Krieger brings over three decades of architectural practice to the group. Prior to founding the firm in 1992, he worked at Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates in Philadelphia. He has been a registered architect since 1985 and has taught architectural design studios at Drexel University for 25 years. He’s also a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects and the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA.

Krieger + Associates Architects has worked on a long list of interior design for homes in the Philadelphia area. Some of these include the “Family Room with a View” in Chestnut Hill. Krieger + Associates renovated the living and sleeping spaces on the first and second floors, updating bathrooms and lighting. Two additions were created on the street side of the house. One provides a new mudroom and rear entrance, while the second adds a large breakfast room and family room. Both additions abut the renovated kitchen and provide expansive views to the yard from the kitchen. The family room was reconceived as an outdoor room with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, large skylights, and a fieldstone floor. White cabinets and cherry and slate countertops harmonize with the exposed interior stone walls. Another project was “Modern on the Inside” in Center City, Philadelphia. This award-winning, three-bedroom condominium remodel project in Center City involves the complete interior renovation of the first floor of a large 1850s brownstone. The contemporary design scheme is based on bringing daylight deep into the interior of the unit. Large, south-facing windows, skylights, and transoms allow sunlight in. Glass doors and transoms permit the light to penetrate interior rooms and hallways. The loft-like living room and dining room feature exposed, existing, heavy timber joists and brick walls. A private flagstone courtyard extends the living area into an intimate garden.


  • Alex Mericle

    Alex Mericle is the Chief Editor at Philadelphie Architects with five years of experience in the construction space. Alex has always had a strong interest in residential and commercial construction and architecture, and he has built up technical experience with building permit data, subcontractor operations, and materials procurement over the years. On top of his experience at Philadelphie Architects, he has prior experience at BuildZoom. His analytical skillset, honed through a degree in Business Analytics from Creighton University and from his work experience, allows him to transform complex construction data into actionable insights and useful, captivating content. Expertise: Residential and Commercial Construction, Building Permit Data, Home Design and Build, Architecture, Subcontractor Operations, Material Procurement Key Highlights: Over 5 years of experience writing and editing in the construction space, Chief Editor at Philadelphie Architects, Previous experience at BuildZoom Education: Creighton University, Degree in Business Analytics

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