Martha + Colin: Episode 1

“We want to grow old here. We love this house and don’t ever want to move!”

It’s no wonder that homeowners Martha and Colin feel this way about their Media home. After all, Media, Pennsylvania is the last suburban town in America where residents can ride a trolley down the main street. Shade trees line the quaint streets and brick sidewalks. Shoppers and diners enjoy a wide variety of stores and restaurants, while other residents stroll to the local library, parks, churches, and theater. Children in Media can walk to any of the three elementary schools in the borough. Pretty dreamy.


Locals call it ‘everybody’s hometown,’ which seems to be a state of mind in Media. Martha and Colin think so, too. When they were ready to buy a home and put down some roots, they looked at only one house – in Media! They fell in love with the home, the area, and the window wall! A solarium with a bank of windows was on Martha’s home-ownership bucket list. Bingo.

They bought the house and did significant updates before settling in to enjoy their home and lives together. That was ten years ago. Things have changed! Two children (and a Boston terrier named Mochi) later, Martha and Colin are feeling squeezed. They considered moving, but the thought was painful. As young parents, they wanted to raise their daughters, Gemma and Ruby, in this house and yard where they felt a sense of calm and peace. Both loved their home and their town; plus, as a bonus, their garden backed up to Martha’s parents’ property. (Can anybody say built-in babysitters?) They just didn’t want to move, but they were out of space.

What about remodeling instead?

Rather than uprooting their family, Martha and Colin decided to expand the home they loved. They planned to create the extra space they needed for their growing family as well as a retreat for themselves – a haven where, at the end of the day, they could escape the busyness of work and family.


That was when they discovered COCOON.

Martha first connected with COCOON on Facebook. She noticed COCOON owner, Angela Payson; Martha and Angela grew up attending the same school – Delaware County Christian School (DC). The Payson and Harris kids all currently attend DC! So, the initial connection was quite personal.

They learned about COCOON’s 3-Stage Process which reimagines home remodeling into an experience that’s both simple and personal. Stage 1 involves planning the space within the homeowners’ goals and budget. The fun part is Stage 2 – selecting the perfect design materials to make dreams come true! Stage 3 is all about action; plans and designs join to construct a thrilling reality. Martha and Colin jumped right in!

Welcome to Stage 1: Space Planning

Soon, Martha and Colin met with COCOON Architectural Designer Lisa, who would guide them toward discovering a floor plan to transform this house into their forever home. First, the couple explained its trouble spots to Lisa.

They wished for a master bedroom suite that offered privacy, light, comfort, and was made for adults. (Their current bathtub was child-size!) Also, their present, small bedroom felt cave-like – very dark with tiny windows. Next, they hoped to upgrade their laundry situation from a closet in the hallway to a laundry room that could accommodate their growing family. Creative kids plus a crazy dog equals a lot of laundry! Thirdly, it was time to deal with the mud. Kids go in and out all day; so does Mochi. The door to the backyard opens right into the kitchen, depositing all the muddy footprints, pawprints, leaves, grass, mulch, (and the occasional critter), right onto the kitchen floor. They needed a buffer zone – a mud room. Lastly, Martha needed a place to put all the extra food as well as the appliances they didn’t have ten years ago. A pantry!

Lisa listened carefully to Martha and Colin’s dreams. Then, she began drawing up the plans to make them come true.

At COCOON, we believe that with some imagination and the right team of experts, Martha and Colin could have the home of their dreams. We always offer customers three different approaches to their project, showing a range of options at differing price points. It’s about seeing the possibilities and understanding their goals. Lisa did just that, then worked to develop a series of three potential layouts to upgrade their special home.

Lisa tackled Martha and Colin’s master suite addition by first considering that one of the things the couple really liked about their home was the beautiful solarium on the front – it had a wall of windows and a vaulted ceiling. So, she created an open bedroom space with many windows, just like the solarium. The plan was to mimic the bank of windows, giving a sense of symmetry to the home. Additionally, the new master bathroom designs offered a spacious (adult-size) spa vibe.

Lisa thinks outside the box; so she developed three completely different concept options to bring these elements into Martha and Colin’s master suite.

Read More +Less –

3 Amazing Floor Plan Options!

Martha and Colin were really excited to see their home reimagined in the architectural designs. They couldn’t wait to see how Lisa incorporated the existing home into the longed-for master suite and how it would change their lives. Lisa was also eager to see Martha and Colin’s reaction to the plans. She wanted to know which aspects would resonate with them, and she was confident they all could collaborate to define a space they would absolutely love. It happened!

The Joy of Mixing and Matching



Plan A

They dove into Plan A. It was efficient and checked all their boxes; it had lots of windows and even a gorgeous vaulted ceiling! The main sleeping space was separated from a spacious dressing area with a partition wall. The plan was fluid and they liked it; it met their needs but was a little plain.

Plan B

Lisa dove in again and got more creative with Plan B. She rotated the master bedroom toward the courtyard to bring in the beautiful views and so much light! This alteration offered more privacy from the neighbors and felt like a secluded retreat. But…they didn’t love the closet.


Plan C brought greater surprises. Lisa shifted the hallway to create more usable space in the bathroom – it had an authentic, spa-like feel with a large shower and free-standing tub. They loved the new bathroom! This design also created more space outside the bedroom for a full laundry room – a winning point for Martha! Plus, the windows in the bedroom mirrored the shape of the solarium windows. This was an exciting design, but Martha and Colin didn’t want to give up some of the aspects they’d loved in Plans A & B, so the three of them started sketching and scribbling to see how the different pieces might fit together.

Combining A & C to Create a Customized Floor Plan!

Lisa knew they were on to something good, so she guided the process to meld together the different design elements that really delighted Martha and Colin – finding precisely what the home needed. Together, they honed in on the facets and features to make their dreams come true, settling on a beautiful layout. They loved it! They’d discovered the perfect floor plan and were just about ready to move on to Stage 2: Design Selections, when…

Martha and Colin decided to move the addition to the other side of the house?!

What! We did not see that one coming! Yet, at COCOON, we are always up for a challenge.

Martha and Colin were gazing out the windows one day, just visualizing all the good things they anticipated for their future in the home they loved, when they realized that all their fabulous plans would affect the kitchen. The addition would cast a shadow, and they’d lose some of the sunlight they enjoyed there. There was no way around that unless….

They did some more exploring and dreaming before deciding to move the addition to the other side of the house?! Yeah, it was a big deal, so they called Lisa and talked it over.


Are You Ready to Reimagine Your Home

Get Started Today

Call us today!