Tim & Sara's South Philly Setup

Tim & Sara's South Philly Setup

Kristen Lubbe
Mar 18, 2010

Name: Tim Lewis & Sara Castillo (and our 2cats: Octavius &Pinkie)
Location: South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 2,100 square feet — 4 bedrooms
Years lived in: 5

We've previously talked about Tim Lewis' handcrafted abilities as a furniture designer and builder. From the looks of his house &mdash he can make a lot more than just a great piece of furniture. Tim and Sara's South Philly Setup is a renovation in progress &mdash and they're doing all of the work themselves.

We can't imagine what the South Philadelphia home of Tim and Sara looked like before they got their artistic hands on it, because the progress they have made thus far is pretty impressive. Tim is a furniture designer and builder and Sara is an entertainment blogger. Their differing styles have come together and the result is imaginative and artfully reworked.

The home is made up of three floors: the first floor where the living room, dining room, kitchen and pantry are located. The second floor is still under renovation and is where the first bathroom is, as well as bedrooms. The third floor features the second bathroom, a door to the deck, a work studio as well as their bedroom. Interestingly enough, the third floor was originally an in-law suite &mdash complete with a kitchen. Tim and Sara removed all but the sink and converted it into a studio and made the adjacent bedroom their own.

The South Philly home is eclectic, old world and unique. The variance of simply structured store bought couches, furniture hand made and designed by Tim Lewis and the vintage vibe from the kitchen is inspirational to say the least. We love when eclectic and time bending design turns out with great success. It's not the easiest look to pull off because it's so easy to cross a line on either side and end up lost. We're thinking that the pieces Tim designed and made are good anchors to help blend old and new. A few of his pieces are reinterpretations of previous designs &mdash old school aluminum lawn chair meets maple.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My/Our style: Sara likes gold, Tim likes wood and we meet in the middle.

Inspiration: We don't have one large point of inspiration for the house. At times it seems more like a challenge - how do we fit the things we love together? We are trying to bring the house back to what (we think) its former glory might have been. If you ask Sara, she'll say her inspiration is Pee Wee's Playhouse meets a South Philly Versailles.

Favorite Element: Tim&mdash The kitchen pantry area, but probably because it's the newest. 
Sara&mdash The gold plaster crown molding.

Biggest Challenge: We have a varied aesthetic, so it can be a challenge to fit the things we love together into a cohesive look.

What Friends Say: "Do you punch each other through the saloon doors?"

Biggest Embarrassment: The room of shame, aka, the cat room (on the second floor). We don't even have electricity in there yet.

Proudest DIY: Tim &mdash Most of our house is DIY, so it's hard to narrow it down. But, taking the time to build good cabinetry for the kitchen and pantry has been great, now everything has a place.

 Sara &mdash I love the lighting that Tim made in the pantry.

Biggest Indulgence: We don't spend a lot on our furnishings. In fact, we just bought our first retail couch. But our one indulgence was probably the chandelier in our living room. We found it on eBay from a salvage company.

Best advice: If you plan on doing all the renovations yourself, buy smaller!

Dream source: Sara &mdash Walnut wallpaper in LA. They have a great array of designers and the patterns are lovely. 
Tim &mdash Any phone book sized industrial supply catalog like MSC Ind. and Outwater. Also, New England Demolition and Salvage and grandbrass.com.

Resources of Note:

Furniture: Enameled dining table, mahogany dentist cabinet, upholstered furniture from Urban Outfitters, various inherited furniture, everything else made by Tim Lewis.

Appliances: Vintage GE refrigerator, vintage Caloric stove, Sears scratch and dent.

Hardware: Kitchen pull- kitchen pulls cast by Naomi Cleary, she's a local ceramist and good friend. Door knobs, towel racks from salvage yard.

Accessories: wallpaper via eBay.

Lighting: Some Tim, some eBay, some IKEA, and some original to house.

Tiles & Stone: Ann Sacks backsplash in kitchen.

Flooring: Original heart pine floors. In the Kitchen/pantry: Jatoba.

Window Treatments: Mostly Ikea and home made.

Artwork: Tim and Sara, Tom Sanford, Beth Uzwiak, Zoe Strauss, John Freeborn, Eric Steinberg, as well as random found and left.

Thanks, Tim & Sara!

Images: Kristen Lubbe

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