Krista & Zak's Philadelphia Art Hotel

House Tour

Name: Krista Peel and Zak Starer of Philadelphia Art Hotel
Location: East Kenzington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 1,700 square feet — 3 story brick rowhouse
Years lived in: 9 months

If there's one thing we know right off the bat — Krista and Zak are not afraid of color! In fact, they embrace it and use it in every square inch of their home. The vibrancy of their color palette and walls decked with artwork make their home truly stand out from the rest and serve as an inspiration to all.

What's so inspirational about their home isn't just the fact that it's a non-profit art hotel for traveling artists, but that the budget was minimal and yet they were able to do so much. Krista and Zak have only owned their home for 9 months and viewed it as a blank canvas. They knew when they bought it that it was the perfect place to start the art hotel. Even though they aren't thrilled with every aspect of their home, they're able to live with what they'd like to change until their budget says otherwise.

The couple live on the first floor of the three story rowhome. The main entrance, living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and workroom are all on the main floor — but it wasn't always like that. To create their own bedroom, Krista and Zak built the wall that divides the now narrow entryway and their bedroom. They also turned a small closet into the first floor bathroom — quite the challenge, but the finished product would have you thinking it was always there.

The second floor is where the green and orange rooms are. Each room has its own bathroom, a necessity for housing guests for extended periods of time. The third floor is home to the grey room, a fourth bathroom and the communal kitchen. The staircases leading to each floor are bright orange and keep the momentum up for the next great room you're going to discover!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

How would you define your style? Bold colors, high contrast, warm modernist, creative re-use.
What is your greatest inspiration? Creating, showing, living with, and facilitating the making of art.
What is your favorite element of your home? Micro living / dining / entertainment room, featuring the awesome vintage couch we found discarded outside a synagogue.
What is the biggest challenge of your home? Incorporating the public space, our living space, and artists’ private spaces.

What DIY project are you most proud of? Turning our first floor half bath into a full bath and laundry room. Since the 2nd and 3rd floors are public / artists’ spaces, we had to have a place to shower and do our laundry on the first floor. Fitting a sink, shower, toilet, washer, dryer and storage into a 6' x 7' space was a good puzzle.
What is your biggest indulgence, when furnishing your home? Paint.
Best Advice: Dark colors expand rooms, install a rain barrel, and acquire original art.
Other Inspiration: House on the Rock (Wisconsin), Casa Bonita (Colorado), The Museum of Jurassic Technology (California), The Museum of Science and Industry (Illinois), The Tonga Room (California), Xochimilco (Hidalgo, Mexico), Brasilia (Brazil).

Thanks Krista & Zak!

Images: Kristen Lubbe

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