A “Warm, Colorful, Retro-Femme” Rowhome Has 60+ Plants and Neat ’70s Design Features
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Name: Emily Smith and partner, Hayley Tintle
Location: South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Type of home: Rowhome
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Hayley and I have been together for six years. We moved back to Philadelphia from Boston in May 2020 and started the process of looking for our first home. There’s a lot of new development in Philly, but we knew we wanted an older home with lots of character. As soon as we saw this house, we knew we could make it feel warm and unique. The house had some comical quirks, like a built-in chopping board in the kitchen counter and an old-school magazine rack in the bathroom (also built-in).
The house has a very ’70s vibe and gets amazing light, which is a must for our 60+ plants. We’ve slowly been working on redoing/repainting every room in the house. The kitchen was our biggest project, and we’re so happy with how it turned out.
Our identity as a lesbian couple is definitely reflected in our choice of art and the books we choose to display. We’ve been somewhat bold in our color choices throughout the house, really leaning into a more retro-femme aesthetic. We wanted our space to feel warm and sanctuary-like, which I think led us to choose more earthy tones, especially in the living room. We lovingly identify as plant mothers, and our plants have acted as kind of a baseline decor aesthetic in each room. I’m a public interest lawyer and my partner is a consultant, but our creative passion is home decor and building a beautiful space for ourselves.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: A warm, colorful, retro-femme jungle.
What is your favorite room and why? The bathroom. I’ve never loved a bathroom more. Sometimes I just go and hang out in there with the plants and my disco ball. Neither of us had ever been able to paint in our past homes, so getting to paint a bright pink accent wall was a real thrill. The bathroom came with a beautiful teak vanity and retro floor tile, so we decided to run with that aesthetic: ’70s chic all the way.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We recently found a vintage type tray at Retrospect Vintage in Philly, which we hung on our hallway wall. We also recently purchased an incredible mid-century modern credenza from an amazing thrift store in Portland, Maine, Flea For All.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Surround yourself with things that you find beautiful, whether that be art, books, mementos. Don’t be afraid to be bold and take chances, especially with color. Paint can always be covered up. Oh and plants make everything feel better.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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