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From Historical to Modern: Interior Design Inspirations from Main Line Homes

Philadelphia’s Main Line are leafy, peaceful suburbs known for their grand homes, some dating back to the late 1800s. In these wealthy areas, price tags on properties are sky-high, both due to the many amenities nearby and because of the beautiful houses themselves. Rich wood flooring, soaring ceilings, and thoughtful built-ins denote a place of restfulness, a property that withstood all the passing design trends with grace. 

Whether you’re perusing Philadelphia homes for sale in hopes of snagging one on the Main Line, or you simply wish to elevate your own property’s style, there’s a lot to learn from these gorgeous properties that have been lovingly maintained for decades. Let’s look at some of the hot trends in Main Line homes to glean some interior design inspiration. 


The venerable Main Line, a collection of 17 suburbs of Philadelphia, is centered around the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Main Line, which was the first railroad in the world to be built by the government. The area got its start in the 19th century when wealthy businessmen would avail themselves of the brand-new rail to commute downtown before returning to their large estates outside of the city. 

Given the homes' historical connection to the area, it’s no surprise that many residents have leaned upon older design principles when furnishing their spaces. Far from being passe, fresh wallpaper can offer a whole bevy of design ideas, especially when you choose one with a clean, simplistic design, such as muted stripes.

Light, Neutral Tones

If wallpaper isn’t your thing, consider lighting things up with a bright neutral, whether that is white or eggshell. Main Line homes often have lofty ceilings, which, when painted white, add an even greater sense of space to the room than could be achieved with a darker color.

Another reason that light neutral tones are so common in these homes is that they often have gorgeous patterned flooring, such as oak herringbone floors. Rather than take away from this immaculate craftsmanship, white walls let it shine all the brighter. 

Farmhouse Style Furniture

The farmhouse style harkens back to the colonial period in the United States, and it has roared back into popularity in recent years thanks to its simplicity and focus on earthy materials. Since many of the Main Line homes are in the colonial style, farmhouse furniture blends seamlessly with its aesthetic. 

Solid furniture with natural wood will last years, only growing more beautiful as time goes on. When it comes to soft surfaces, farmhouse style prioritizes comfort and simplicity, which makes it all the easier to enjoy your beautiful property as you stretch out across a luscious sofa. 

Antique Crockery

If there is anything that Main Line residents are proud of, it is their heritage. This area of the United States has played a key role in the development of Philadelphia as a powerhouse of commerce, stretching all the way back to colonial times. As such, it only makes sense that the interior design of these high-class properties would focus on embellishments that recall Philadelphia’s important role as the first capital of the United States.

One of the easiest ways to appreciate this is by displaying delicately patterned plates, ewers, and mugs from an earlier time. The jaw-dropping designs on old china plates make wonderful showpieces when hung on a kitchen or dining room wall, adding interest thanks to their bright, contrasting colors. 

Mid-Century Modern Lighting

One of the most fascinating things about Main Line interior design is that it seamlessly blends both old and new, just as the area itself has homes dating back to the 19th century that nestle comfortably beside more modern developments. The cozy farmhouse style is illuminated and enhanced by the sharp edges and naturalistic inspiration of mid-century modern, the style most embodied by Frank Lloyd Wright. Like farmhouse style, mid-century modern prefers natural shapes and earthy colors, often choosing materials for their interesting patterns and working to embellish their unique beauty. 

A spindly wooden ceiling light, or a smooth circular shade, doesn’t look the least bit out of place when paired with soft neutrals, especially if it is in proportion to the surrounding furniture. You will be fascinated by how well these two contrasting styles work together, resulting in a unique style all your own.


Main Line is the cream of the crop when it comes to Philadelphia properties, located near the best attractions and selling for astronomical prices. As such, anyone can draw inspiration from the ways that these homes are lovingly designed for maximum comfort and style. By blending various interior design traditions and backdropping them with airy neutrals, any home can feel like it belongs in Philadelphia’s most prestigious suburbs. 

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