A Newly Remodeled, Maximalist Philadelphia Home
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Name: Rachael, Rob and Frankie Wetherington + Liza Minnelli the Cat
Location: East Kensington — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 1,600 square feet
Years Lived In: 5 years, owned
Rachael and Rob’s first house wasn’t their “dream home” when they bought it five years ago, right before their wedding. But with a giant yard in the city and an open floor plan on a corner in a neighborhood they loved, it had enough potential to be pretty darn close. The biggest issue was it needed work after sitting vacant for a few years. A longtime friend of the couple, Will Stichter of HYMY Industries, helped remodel their open-air kitchen to be the entertaining oasis it is now. And after two years of work — and a cabinet or two falling off the wall (breaking every piece of china they owned) — the remodel was finished. What started out as a not-quite-a-dream-home is now a dreamy home perfect for the couple and their young daughter Frankie.
The couple’s row-home is located in the East Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, surrounded by up-and-coming bars and coffee shops in an established, diverse area. The house sits on the corner, adjacent to two empty lots the couple owns, which gives them ample light and a larger than usual backyard — an optimal place for friends and family to gather on beautiful fall evenings!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Mid-century maximalism with a lot of green things
Inspiration: French country houses from the ’50s
Favorite Element: Our home is almost entirely furnished with thrill-of-the-hunt, one-of-a-kind things we have found on some adventure. I look around and am reminded of so many sweet memories. If we are going to surround ourselves with stuff, it may as well be meaningful and beautiful.
Biggest Challenge: Row home open floor plan with no closets on the first floor, means nowhere to hide anything. When people walk in they see everything.
What Friends Say: There is so much light! Row homes are notoriously dark but since we have the rare find of windows on three sides, we actually have great light.
Biggest Embarrassment: I love plants but I spend a lot of energy keeping a tiny human alive, so sometimes I neglect my other “children” and it is pretty apparent when they die or just look sad.
Proudest DIY: Our kitchen. We hatched a plan with a dear friend, Will Stichter, a multi-disciplinary artist and craftsman who runs Hymy Industries, to collaborate and help us remodel. The plan was to make it perfectly customized to how I use the space and incorporate all my ideas for a dream kitchen…on a tiny budget. It took us almost two years to complete (with a lot of that being very intentional and watching to see how I use space) but it turned out perfect for me. We couldn’t have done it without Will’s brain and know-how and attention to the tiniest details…like a custom wine rack that fits champagne comfortably, a pantry and water closet that were built out of nothing, hidden-but-not-out-of-reach appliances, and more storage than any person really needs.
Biggest Indulgence: The wallpaper in the water closet; it makes this the most luxurious room in the house.
Best Advice: Purge often (including plants) but be okay just storing special things for a while so you aren’t overwhelmed by what is out on display. I don’t like to throw things out that I have attached memories to so I regularly rotate things. You don’t have to have everything you love out all the time!
Dream Sources: Dream of all dreams would be to do an addition designed by Bright Common. I’ve always wanted a sunroom (with an office/workspace above) that can be filled with light and all our baby’s toys where we can relax as a family with our cups of coffee in the morning or nightcaps in the evening, looking out over our garden. We fought with the city for three years to protect the vacant lots behind our house from development. We were able to preserve two of the three and would love to be able to visually enjoy the fruits of our labor in all seasons and weather. Bright Common would be able to balance the historical integrity of the house and neighborhood while being creative and careful with the environmental impact of the build, both deeply important to us. I would also love to fill that sunroom with beautiful things from At Home Modern, Field, Minnow Lane and other local women-owned businesses.
PAINT & COLORS
Cabinet paint color- Sherwin Williams proclassic enamel Black
Nursery paint color — Sherwin Williams Raging Sea
Karlstad sectional couch— Ikea
Replacement couch legs— Uncle Bob’s Workshop
Eames reproduction chair— vintage from Jinxed, similar
Glass-door bookshelf and low credenza behind couch (top separated from bottom)— vintage, similar
Metal Letters— vintage from Jinxed
Lobster educational poster— vintage from Jinxed, similar
Merete Curtains— Ikea
Mid-century wooden lamp pendant— vintage, similar
Chrome desk lamp — vintage, similar
Black Forest German Cuckoo clocks— vintage, similar
Throw Pillows — vintage from Mid-century Furniture Warehouse, and Sanela from Ikea
Ghana Bolga Basket — Weaver’s Way, similar
Scandinavian rataan rocking horse— vintage, similar
Felt vegetables toys — Felt Hungry Creations
SEKTION cabinet bases —Ikea
Cabinet doors and fronts —Semihandmade
DOMSJÖ Sink — Ikea
Faucet — Delta trinsic in Champagne Bronze
Streamline cabinet knobs in brass — Anthropologie
Streamline cabinet handles in brass — Anthropologie
Appliance lift — Rev-a-Shelf
Copper hanging pot rack — vintage, similar
Counter — Karlby Ikea and reclaimed marble
Shelves — Fuugs by Greg Fuguet
Custom design — Will Stichter
Pottery — Matt Jorgensen
Pendant lights — vintage
Pfaltzgraff Yorktown Stoneware — Pfaltzgraff
Fermentation Crock — Ohio Stoneware
American Olean white subway tile — Lowes
Rifle Paper Co. wallpaper — Hygge and West Copper Peonie
Faucet — Delta Trinsic in Champagne Bronze
Tina Wall mounted sink — Home Depot
Bathroom Plumbing in antique brass — Signature Hardware
American Standard Cadet 3 Toilet — Home Depot
Toilet tank lever — Delta Trinsic in Champagne Bronze
American Olean white subway tile — Lowes
Crib — Jenny Lind in Cherry
Changing pad — Kekaroo Peanut in Sable Grey
Waterfall Deco Dresser — vintage, similar
Curio Cabinet — vintage from Circle Thrift, similar
Rocking Chair — vintage, similar
Lambskin Rug — vintage, similar
Velvet Threshold Curtain — Target, similar
Sprout Kid’s Whale Rocker — Minnow Lane
Trashcan — Ikea in white
Books — Home and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Jellycat bashful bunny — Saks Fifth Ave
Salt lamp night light — Himalayan Salt Shop
Knotted baby gown — Candy Kirby Designs
Mobile — handmade, similar
Moses basket — similar
Hanging basket — similar and similar
French blocks — Uncle Goose
“Love Thy Neighbor” print – Meg Lemieur.
Thanks, Rachael and Rob!
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