Matt & Zack’s Masculine Mid-Century Home

published Sep 30, 2010
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Name: Matt, Zack, Dexter the Wheaton Terrier and Parker the Miniature Retriever
Location: Washington Square — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 980 square feet
Years lived in: 10 months

We first got a look into the home of Matt and Zack during Small Cool 2010. Their home did so well that we knew a full House Tour would be much appreciated. There’s something for everyone in this home, so pay attention!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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Matt and Zack live in the much sought after Washington Square neighborhood of Philadelphia. It’s in the heart of the traditional and historic homes that have been standing for hundreds of years. Their home is a stones throw from the very first hospital — Pennsylvania Hospital. The large front windows, the amazing wood floors and subtle details. It’s a quintessential Philadelphia walk up, and they’ve certainly done it justice.

The living room is a combination of masculine and mid-century modern. From their Eames lounger to the Danish modern dining set, it’s comfortable and seemingly effortless. The ease moves right on into the kitchen where their large cabinets perfectly complement the high ceiling. Their “odd” powder room seems perfectly normal to me, it’s an interesting space that provides much needed storage.

Walk downstairs and you’ll discover their bedroom. It’s a large, wide open room with no closets. The two were originally perplexed about what to do with their clothing, so they built their own closet. While it could have gone all wrong and potentially ruined the room — it turned out great. Their clothing is exposed, yes, but it doesn’t put a damper on the room at all. Another great feature is the inspiring DIY shelf project that Matt completed. After finding eight random wood arches, he transformed them into a shelf that sits in front of the bed. It seems the pair have been privy to several lucky finds, resulting in a fabulous home that didn’t break their bank (or the roof of their car)!

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Matt’s a sucker for anything with a clean line. We lean more towards mid-century and Danish modern, however we’re pretty open to anything as long as there’s a connection to it. When everything is said and done, we think we have a comfortable, attractive, and masculine space.

Inspiration: We buy what we like, what fits our budget, and what ever we can strap to the top my of the car. Matt has a fondness for Thomas O’Brien’s work.

Favorite Element: Honestly, it’s whatever came home last. But if we had to pick one thing it would be the painting above the sofa, which was painted by Matt’s grandfather and passed down through three generations. It’s from the late 40’s but still feels extremely modern and relevant.

Biggest Challenge: Defining spaces. We moved here from a 3 story /4 bedroom house so this has been a decently sized adjustment.

What Friends Say: You have so many chairs! (we do, there’s 11 on the first floor alone, not including the sectional — may have an issue here).

Biggest Embarrassment: The apartment’s odd powder room is the shape of a bowling lane, 15′ x 3′ (I will say it has tons of storage). Also the apartment has no closets so everything is hidden in plain sight.

Proudest DIY: Zack brought home eight random wooden arches of solid oak from a yard sale. They were pieces from older round tables. Matt ended up using them to make a low-lying bookcase that sits below the television by the bed. We were really surprised that it worked out so well (and that its still standing).

Biggest Indulgence: Honesty we have been forced to be quite frugal with our purchases. Given that, the biggest indulgence was the Danish modern wall unit that was purchased through a last minute absentee bid at a local auction. It was a great deal but it was definitely the most we’ve ever spent on a piece of furniture.

Best Advice: Be patient. Don’t try to do everything at once. Only buy things that you really love, otherwise you’ll be wanting to replace it in a few months.

Dream Sources: 1stdibs / RAGO and Freeman’s 20th (mid to late) century auctions.

Other Inspiration: Tons of magazines from Dwell to Architectural Digest, and of course Apartment Therapy.

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Most everything is from local auctions or antique/vintage stores, with a bit of IKEA thrown in for good measure.


    • The dresser by the front door is a MCM piece from Hello
    Home, a great home goods/MCM furniture store here in Philadelphia.
    • The couch is IKEA, along with the top section of the entertainment center.
    • The Campaign chair was found on the curb.
    • The bus scroll was found at Atomic Warehouse in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
    • The round walnut dining table was found on eBay, dining chairs from a local auction.
    • The rest (chrome lamp, nesting tables, clock, mirror, arc lamp, and bullet planter) were all unmarked local auction finds
    • If anyone knows about the modern grandfather clock let us know — it’s a big nagging mystery!


    • The center table and matching stools are IKEA.
    • The marble table is a DIY — Matt found the marble slab being thrown away (I know crazy) and the legs are from a conference table from the Salvation Army.
    • The factory pendant light is from AIDS thrift and the lighting kit is West Elm.


    • The closet system, mirror, bed and desk are IKEA.
    • The low bookshelf was a DIY.
    • The wooden slate bench was found on the curb.
    • The rest are random action finds, including the Selig ‘Z’ chair, Bertoia wire side chair, Brno flat bar chair by Van der Rohe, Danish wall unit of unknown origin, reproduction Eames office chair (eBay), and nightstands with lamps.







    • Sherwin Williams Sandalwood
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Thanks Matt & Zack!

Images: Kristen Lubbe

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