A 100-Year-Old Row Home is Dripping With Charm

updated Feb 19, 2019

A 100-Year-Old Row Home is Dripping With Charm

updated Feb 19, 2019
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Name: Stephen and Amy Saxton and their dog Miko
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years Lived In: 3.5 years, owned

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After living in Philadelphia for over six years, Stephen and Amy bought their first home together in the city’s Fishtown neighborhood in 2013. Fishtown, a classic working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia, is named for its history in the shad fishing industry. It is home to many restaurants, cafes, and breweries, including the notable Philadelphia Brewing Company and Stephen Starr’s beer garden, Frankford Hall. It’s the perfect neighborhood if you long for the small town feel in a big city.

Most of the homes they had looked at were either complete flips short on personality or outdated properties that required substantial renovations. This two-story, 100-year-old row home felt different. From the original wood flooring to the built-in bookshelves and abundant natural light, it had a warmth and charm that resonated with them.

Stephen, an IT professional at an architectural firm, has enjoyed taking on projects such as exposing brick in the living room, refinishing a bedroom floor and renovating the vestibule. Removal of a partition wall provided more than enough scrap wood for him to reuse in a headboard, storage bench and the vestibule wall paneling. Amy, a social media and digital marketing manager at Whole Foods Market, has sourced and styled virtually all of the furniture and decor in the house. Much of the artwork and wares are from local Philadelphia artists and craftsmen.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Bright, modest, timeless.

Inspiration: Flea markets and junk shops, travel, Nicole Curtis, Emily Henderson.

Favorite Element: Original heart-pine wood flooring throughout the house.

Biggest Challenge: With such a small, narrow row home it has been challenging to find furniture, storage and room layouts that maximize space without sacrificing comfort and function.

What Friends Say: The kitchen gets the most love. It has a sort of farmhouse chic vibe that people like. Guests also comment on all the natural light the house receives — especially in the morning.

Biggest Embarrassment: The bedroom ceiling fans. Replacement has been a low priority because they’re completely functional…but we really don’t like the style.

Proudest DIY: This past winter we took out the partition wall between the living room and dining room. There was just a cased opening before, and now the first floor feels so much brighter and open. We also love the added flexibility for arranging furniture.

Biggest Indulgence: The quartz countertops in our kitchen.

Best Advice: Don’t buy anything so precious or expensive that you can’t enjoy it!

Dream Sources: Schoolhouse Electric, Restoration Hardware, Herman Miller


Dining and Living Room — “Chelsea Gray” from Benjamin Moore
Bedroom 1 — “Wrought Iron” from Martha Stewart (Glidden)
Bedroom 2 — “Revere Pewter” from Benjamin Moore

Light — vintage

Hamilton sofa — West Elm
Pillows – Woolen pom pillow from Anthropologie
Curtains – Striped Ikat Curtains from West Elm
Coffee table – DIY with hairpin legs
Locker cabinet — IKEA PS Cabinet in white
Brass wall hanging – At Home Modern
Accent chair — Homegoods
Rug — vintage from Jinxed Philadelphia
Light — West Elm Globe Pendant

Kitchen table – Gift from Amy’s parents. Amy grew up eating at this table.
Chairs – West Elm
Light – Home Depot Sputnik
Artwork – House Painting by artist Matt McCarthy. Gallery wall – most artwork from Rifle Paper Co.
Vintage pulldown map – eBay
Rug – Ikea

Light – “Ivanhoe Bomber” in Jadeite from Barnlight Electric
Pottery – Latte bowls from Anthropologie, confetti fruit bowl from Felt + Fat, mugs from Wilcoxson Ceramics and Recreation Center, and planter from Group Partner
Countertops – Silestone “Lagoon
Curtain fabric – Jo-Ann Fabrics
Kitchen hardware – Lew’s Hardware Bar Series in matte black
Storage bench – DIY

Rug – West Elm
Dressers – vintage
Reading light – West Elm
String lights – Bright Lab
Headboard – DIY
Clothing rack – DIY
Pillows – Target (pom pillow is DIY)
Curtains – Crate and Barrel
Chair – Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse
Indigo Throw – Uncommon Objects
Gold side table – flea market
Milk glass hand vase – antique store
Yellow dotted vase – Art Star
Quilt – Made by Amy’s mom using Rifle Paper Co. Fabric

Sofa – Paidge Sleeper Sofa from West Elm
Curtains – Fabric from IKEA
Desk – vintage
Pillows – Target and IKEA
Deli board – trash-picked
Side table – Threshold Accent Table from Target
Cart – vintage
Ice cream cone – flea market

Shower curtain – Anthropologie
Hairbrush print – Rifle Paper Co.

Thanks, Amy and Stephen!

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