Dressing Rooms Complete!

You’ve heard of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) well this is Community Supported Design.

The design team’s objective was to transform the dressing rooms at the 12th Street boutique into beautiful, unique spaces that would help the woman using it to see herself as someone unique and beautiful.

This project collected some of the most talented, dedicated, and kind people from Moore’s Continuing Education director who allowed me to explore this project with the assistance of the students to the painter who drove through the night from Maine on his last night of vacation to be on site for Day 1 of the installation to the wallpaper hanger who rearranged his schedule with three days notice to the contractor and electrician who swooped in minutes before the Media Day event to repair a sconce.

Early in my career I learned the value of surrounding myself with good people, and this project gave me the opportunity to highlight industry professionals who are incredible at their work, are trustworthy, generous, and make it all look easy.  I also had the pleasure of meeting new professionals like the talented interior designer, Tonya Comer, and phenomenal leader, Barbara Silzle.

I’m honored to have been part of something this special. Thank you.

Dress for Success Dressing Room Project: Part II

Dress for Success Dressing Room Project: Part I

Between teaching at Moore, organizing site meetings at Dress for Success, and managing KO Angotti, the last four weeks have disappeared in a flash.  Final revisions were due last week, materials orders are due June 18th, and installation begins June 26th.

We’ve had some amazing add-ons to our list of vendors, and those who agreed from the beginning have accommodated every request.  It’s unfortunate that you may not feel the energy by reading a blog post, but the excitement around this project and the impact it will have on the women who walk through those doors is hard to describe.

Below are a few photos from the recent student presentations at Moore College of Art & Design to our clients at Dress for Success.  I didn’t include much because I have to save some surprises for the post installation follow up.

DFS (7)

Material selections within a dressing room

DFS (6)

Romantic scheme

DFS (5)

Students working through final presentations and lighting selection

DFS (4)

Lady’s Boudoir scheme

DFS (2)

Student presentations

DFS (1)

Dress for Success team offering feedback on final presentations

To publicly thank our generous sponsors, students, and tradespeople, Dress for Success is hosting a Media Day on Friday, July 12th from 1:00pm-3:00pm within their boutique at  233 N. 12th Street, Philadelphia, 19107.  We invite all media professionals (bloggers, print, TV, radio), fashion and interior design folks, and those interested in supporting our local community through involvement with Dress for Success.  It’s also a great time to meet the designers and find that perfect intern to help you move your business to the next level.

Dress for Success Dressing Room Project Participating Sponsors:

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design,  energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.

Dress for Success Dressing Room Redesign Kicks Off!

Contract wallcovering options and carpet tile

Contract wallcovering options and carpet tile

Late last summer I started working with Dress for Success to evaluate their energy consumption and maximize their leased space through more efficient space planning.  After completing that portion of work, the Executive Director approached me about redesigning the dressing rooms.  She wanted to enhance the space for their clients so their experience at the boutique would be special and positive.  The planning team started to discuss ways to execute this project through community engagement, donated product, and pro bono services.

It took several attempts to get this program off the ground, but one day everything fell into place and I’m excited to share that my current group of students were selected to design the dressing rooms and make this idea into a reality.  The students are currently enrolled in Moore College of Art & Design’s Interior Design Certificate program and are the first to have this opportunity presented to them.

This week the first group of students visited the boutique to survey the space and select materials.  It was exciting to watch their process and consideration of materials.  They dug right into the paint deck, carpet samples, and wallcoverings.  Within the next two weeks the students will refine their design and present it to several Dress for Success staff members for approval.  After the final changes are made, students will submit a material order and then we wait for the goodies to arrive.  Installation is tentatively scheduled for late June with a public media day to follow shortly after the July 4th holiday.

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design,  energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.



Storefront Window: Final Installation

In just over three hours the storefront window at Jerry’s Fashions, on the 2900 block of North 5th Street in Philadelphia, went from busy to streamlined and simple.  Over eight mannequins were removed prior to our arrival, and six still remained!  With the assistance of Jerry’s employees, we selected dresses to match the backdrop material, dressed the mannequins, and cut strips of plastic tableclothes for installation.

Interestingly the owner never tried a single-themed window display, but was excited to showcase only prom dresses since that’s what makes up the largest portion of annual sales.  After presenting over five concepts, my client chose the gradient ribbon backdrop.  My three goals were: budget, visual impact, and ease of installation.  With a budget of $200 I knew I could accomplish all three goals successfully and be proud of the finished result.  I selected plastic tableclothes as the ideal material for the following reasons:  easy to source, inexpensive, brightly colored (likely to match the dresses), and offers extra material for future displays.

The old adage “less is more” worked well in this application.  The wood paneled walls dated the space and added to the visual clutter.  I camoflaged the walls by stapling strips vertically (from floor to ceiling), at an angle (to the viewer), and positioned them between the rear wall and glass.  Gradient bands of pink, lavender, and light blue not only delivered a colorful backdrop, but allowed natural light to filter into the store.  Unfortunately the client has some terrible glare on their windows, but since any structural or architectural changes were outside of my scope, I made a point to push the mannequins as close to the window as possible.

Beyond the contagious excitement from the employees, I noticed several pedestrians lingering around the windows during the transformation.  Not only was the owner pleased with the finished result, but while I photographed the windows, a fellow storefront owner ran across the street to compliment us on the display and commented, “That looks so good, I’m going to steal the idea!”.  I’m thrilled to work on such a fun project and look forward to the opportunity to work with more storefront owners.  I hope this drives additional sales for Jerry’s and inspires them to take a fresh approach.

Thank you Yvonne from HACE and Robin from Community Design Collaborative for diligently working on this project to make it a reality.

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design,  energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.


2013 Travel Highlights

I recently traveled to San Francicso and Washington, DC for a mix of business and pleasure, and below is a collection of photos and links of highlights from both cities.  I discovered most of the San Francicso spots through wandering around one afternoon, but I must give credit to friends who made some solid recommendations

San Francisco

Shopping and dining recommendations:

Miette Confectionary – delicious macarons

Hayes Valley Pop-Up Neighborhood – fun spot to relax, grab a beer, coffee, or ice cream after shopping

The Burritt Room + Tavern – creative and delicious cocktails in a low key, hipster-style lounge

Dosa on Fillmore – mouth-watering South Indian Fare in a vibrant setting

Karikter – funky little store off of Union Square; terrific incense papers and French stoneware

Harputs OWN – well crafted and clever garments for the modern dresser

Britex – unbelieveable selection of fabrics, notions, upholstery, and anything your sewing heart could imagine.  It’s a must see

Washington, DC

Shopping and dining recommendations include:

Graffiato - seasonal small plates with big flavor

District of Pi - deep dish and thin crust pizzas and a family-friendly atmosphere

Cowgirl Creamery - West Coast based creamery now available in our capitol

National Portrait Gallery - open daily until 7:00 with a beautiful interior atrium and illy coffee

Freer Sackler - two of my favorite galleries; be sure to look for the stunning flower arrangement in the Sackler lobby

Happy travels!

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design,  energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.



Storefront Window Display Redesign: Part II

Yesterday I met with the owner to review all design schemes and within five minutes he’d made his selection and was ready to get started.   I explained the difficulty level, labor, and materials needed for each concept and his final selection was Scheme …

Gradiant ribbons behind figures

1: Gradiant ribbons behind figures

Tissue paper flowers within viewing box

2: Tissue paper flowers within viewing box

Figures pulling on ribbon for accessories in the middle

3: Figures pulling on ribbon for accessories in the middle

Large bands of fabric meet the glass for a mod look

4: Large bands of fabric meet the glass for a mod look

Models deconstruct window and "PROM" remains

5: Models deconstruct window and “PROM” remains

Do you really think I’d tell you and ruin the suprise?!

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design,  energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.


Storefront Display Redesign

KO Angotti and the Community Design Collaborative are working with HACE and three shops owners in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia to re-envision their prime real estate – storefront windows.

Storefront windows are critical to the street side presence of a retailer, they also provide safety through views to the outside, and natural light within the space.  After the initial consult with my client, I returned to the office to work on a few ideas that were flying around in my head.  Faced with several challenges, I’m confident each of these will be successfully attained and delivered with creative flair.

1) Budget: $100 or less

2) Window size: 23′ long x 5.5′ deep

3) Install date: early March

Initially I noticed the quantity and variety of product within the window.  Then my eye moved from the mannequins to the light source – fluorescent tubes at the ceiling.  The light isn’t clear, consistent, or placed close enough to the glass to spot light specific mannequins or articles of clothing, therefore it compromises the effectiveness to catch your eye.  This can be remediated by removing the tubes and installing LED spots behind the security gate rails; they’ll be out of sight, brighter, and more energy efficient.  Lastly, the background in the display area competes with the product and introduces a sense of overstimulation.  A quick solution involves a paintbrush and white paint.  My top three recommendations to envision a new window are these: less is more, neutral backdrop, and lighting.  Individually they’re important and collectively they’re powerful.

Next week I’ll present my concepts to the shop owner and collect feedback to either move forward or refine a single idea.  Once they approve the design, I’ll submit a materials list for purchase, and install it with their staff for the big reveal.  It’s a quick turn around with a tight budget and fun theme, just in time for Prom!

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design,  energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.

Michael’s Decorators

If you’ve followed the KO Angotti blog for any period of time you know I’m passionate about locally sourced materials and buying from independently owned shops.  I’m thrilled to share another example of how I practice what I post.

In early December I visited the Galbraith & Paul sample sale and purchased 2.5 yards of green boucle and 2.5 yards of hand printed fabric to reupholster two mid century modern chairs.  I bought the pieces at an estate sale for roughly $100.  These sturdy little oak frame chairs were designed and manufactured by a furniture maker in Hanover, PA in the 1950′s and remain in terrific condition.

With several design projects on the books for 2013 I found it the perfect opportunity to test out a new upholsterer.  Michael’s Decorators is a family owned and operated business, serving the metro Philadelphia region for 45 years.  Customer service is terrific, and their craftsmanship meets the standards of Philadelphia’s top designers.  Michael’s Decorators, located on Frankford Ave., serves trade professionals and general public; pricing is available upon request.  The following is a breakdown of expenses related to this project.

  • Chairs: $100
  • Fabric: $97
  • Upholstery: $350 ea.*

*Note: cost reflects general pricing; additional fees may apply (i.e. $75/ chair: glue and frame tightening)

Compare the cost of this project to the quality and cost of new chairs from the following companies and you’ll see that although the dollar amounts may be close, your money returns to the community more quickly by working with the “little guy”.  Economic impacts calculated by Independent We Stand states, “when you spend $100 at an independent business, $68 returns to the local community. Spend that same amount at a national chain and it drops to $43.”

$99; Imported; Solid wood frame

West Elm: $99; Imported; Solid wood frame


Crate & Barrel: $349; Made in Italy; Solid wood frame

Crate & Barrel: $349; Made in Italy; Solid wood frame

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design, energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.

Wallpaper Wreath How-To


Christmas wreath

Christmas wreath

Every year I enjoy making a new craft around the holiday season.  This year, while visiting the York Wallcovering showroom in York, PA, I picked up a “how to” for a fun and festive wallpaper wreath.  I’ve since made three wreaths, each with a different color palette and pattern, and admit that my first wreath remains my favorite.  If you can’t quite figure out how to roll a paper cone, you can watch the short clip below.

Materials list:

  • Unpasted wallpaper
  • Pencil
  • Cutting mat
  • Exacto knife
  • Stapler
  • Hot glue gun
  • 36″ yard stick or metal straight-edge
  • 8″ diameter circle
  • 4″ diameter circle
  • Shatter-resistant ornaments
  • 12″ x 12″ foam core or cardboard
  • Florists wire or twine (to hang the wreath)


  1. Mark 7″ x 9″ rectangles on back of wallpaper
  2. Cut out (80-100) 7″ x 9″ rectangles; you can make larger cones for larger wreaths by increasing the ratio or vice versa for smaller wreaths
  3. Roll each piece into a cone
  4. Staple 1″ from the bottom
  5. Trace an 8″ diameter circle in the center of the 12″ x 12″ foam core board
  6. Trace a 4″ diameter circle in the center of the 8″ circle
  7. Mark “12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock” on each circle
  8. Hot glue the first cone at 12 o’clock on the outer circle
  9. Hot glue the next three cones at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock
  10. Fill in the remaining outer circle with cones until traced line is covered
  11. Hot glue a cone at 12 o’clock on the inner circle
  12. Repeat steps 9 and 10 until the inner circle traced line is covered
  13. Glue remaining cones in areas where needed
  14. Hot glue first ornament in exposed area on the foam core
  15. Arrange and glue ornaments until satisfied
  16. Attach wire or twine through substrate and hang where desired

I estimated my costs for this project around $25 ($12 for the double roll of wallpaper and $13 for ornaments).  If you make a wreath, please post photos to the KO Angotti Facebook page; we’d love to see your creativity. *This wreath is not intended for outdoor use*

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design,  energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.


Galbraith & Paul Sample Sale

Early December marks two annual Philadelphia traditions: PaFA student print sale and the Galbraith & Paul sample sale.  I visited both this year and captured footage of the sample sale crowds and goods available for discounted prices.

The chairs were delivered to the upholsterer this week and I hope to receive them before the end of 2012.   Part II will include before and after images, an upholsterer review, contact information, and pricing.

KO Angotti is a Philadelphia interior design,  energy analysis, and sustainability consulting company that supports the local economy.