October 12, 2014 |
Once Dora Siemel saw the cedar house on the Unami Watershed in Green Lane, Montgomery County, she knew she had found a place Buddha would have yearned for. The setting is calming, verdant and serene. "There is no ugly way to get here," she says of the journey through abundant woodlands, where creeks snake past colossal boulders. The land is home to fox, deer, trout, and several species of salamander. That tranquil spirit also exists inside the two-story, 2,200-square-foot house where Siemel and her husband, Bob Wolfarth, have lived for 22 years.
August 17, 2014 |
Teresa Shields Westkaemper lives in a sprawling four-bedroom house in Jenkintown with husband Paul Westkaemper and their three daughters. She is an accomplished watercolorist with a master's degree in fine art, and a very specific artistic sensibility: She loves circles and the colors red and blue. "I can't tell you why I like circles, but I always have, and I express them everywhere," she says. It makes sense, then, that after a renovation that included demolishing and rebuilding the rear of the structure, the Westkaemper home is blue in the front and has a red caboose, so to speak.
June 23, 2014 |
Looking down from the wall of the dining room of Fred and Elizabeth Walker's home in Wyndmoor are Jean Baptiste and Francoise Verdenal, who came to the United States from France in 1830 and made their way to St. Louis before ultimately traveling in a covered wagon to California, where they settled in 1852. "They were my ancestors, many generations back," Fred Walker says. "My mother gave me the portraits, which had been sitting in her attic for years, and we restored them and set them on our wall of our new house here.
April 14, 2014 |
At first glance, Darlene and Bart Ingraldi's Hainesport house looks like a well-designed and well-decorated traditional one, with contemporary touches. Look around some more, though, and it's clear that this house combines convention with whimsy, the pleasantly ordinary with the totally extraordinary. Bart Ingraldi is a collector of the old and unusual, most especially ephemera - those things not initially meant to be preserved, and particularly, but not limited to, paper items. "I inherited this happy madness from my parents, and even when I was a kid, I loved old things," he says.
March 8, 2014 |
Kitchen design used to be simple: It was all about the work triangle, allowing the cook to move efficiently from refrigerator to range to sink. Now, though, designers have more complex calculations to make. After all, the work triangle never accounted for the second island, the extra prep sink, or the double oven - or where to situate the love seat, fireplace, tablet-docking station, and flat-screen television. "It's quite a revolutionary time in kitchens," Philadelphia kitchen designer Joanne Hudson said.
February 16, 2014 |
Marc Vetri has heard the jokes about battling for pizza dollars with Sbarro, his neighbor at the Moorestown Mall. He's heard the wisecracks about needing to accessorize with blinking pagers - and a Cheesecake Factory line's worth of waiting diners - if his new Osteria is to amount to anything in chain-crazy South Jersey. But Vetri, as much a master contrarian as he is a maestro of ethereal "Francobolli" ravioli and spit-roasted suckling pig, is ready to prove his doubters wrong. Again.
February 2, 2014 |
There are two contrasting points of view when it comes to the memories a home holds after a spouse or partner has died: "So many memories - I can't stay!" is one. "So many memories - I can't leave!" is the other. For Miriam Grossmann, who lost her husband of 59 years last spring, the latter emotion determined her plans. "We built this house together - we lived here so happily that it's really where I belong," Grossmann says of the Haddon Heights rancher she and her husband, Saul, had built back in 1961 on an open parcel known as the "Penn Hughes Tract.
December 13, 2013 |
Avance opening Friday Friday is opening night for Avance , the progressive-American restaurant from Roxborough-bred/New York-honored chef Justin Bogle at 1523 Walnut St. (215-405-0700). He and business partner Chris Scarduzio stripped the dining room and bar of its past as Le Bec-Fin 3.0. The sleek dining room features a dazzling ceiling fixture of old-fashioned bulbs set to varying heights, adding contrast to candlelit, unclothed walnut tables. Vertical strips of greenery trim the side walls.
November 1, 2013 |
And for the next big act debuting soon on the Avenue of the Arts: Dinner in 16 one-bite acts? "The stage is set for Iron Chef Jose Garces," touts a blue banner draped across the Spruce Street flank of the Kimmel Center, where the marquee restaurant called Volvér is under construction for an opening by the end of the year. That the Kimmel Center is trying again to house a serious restaurant is only part of the story. The first attempt 11 years ago failed miserably with Cadence - the second-floor venue doomed by high prices, inconsistent cooking, and even more sporadic hours.
October 21, 2013 |
If it could talk, Diana Post's "little square house," as she calls it, would probably like to thank the letter carrier who delivered architect Shep Houston's New Yorker magazine to her by mistake about 10 years ago. As these things go, it was quite the fortuitous mail mishap. "Shep also lived behind my house in West Philadelphia," Post says. "I returned the magazine and found she was my neighbor just when I was looking for an architect. " Houston, she says, had worked with many Main Line homeowners who "love their old houses and want to improve them, not tear them down.