February 15, 2015 |
It was 2010. The kids were grown and out of the house. Ron Ettinger was tired of cutting grass and shoveling snow - he wanted to downsize. At 60, he was ready to move to a new home in a 55-and-over community. His wife, Hope, then 50, was not keen on the idea. She was too young to live in such a place and had always wanted to restore an old house. Though he is a talented woodworker, Ron nixed that notion. "I know my limits," he says. "Restoring takes more than being handy. " A visit to Montebello, a 55-plus community in West Berlin near their Voorhees home, helped Hope grow more amenable to Ron's plan.
December 20, 2014 |
Even before the front door is opened - even before one climbs the outside steps of the Spinelli home in Riverton - the dazzle begins curbside. The wraparound porch, the gazebo - and in this season, the lights and decorations - all suggest that something magical is unfolding. This is an exceptional place in any season, but at Christmas, the pre-Victorian home takes on a glow with an aura of yesteryears that blur present and future. The soaring ceilings, the woodwork, the fireplaces and arches and crown moldings all explain why 700 visitors poured in for a holiday tour sponsored by the Riverton Free Library last year.
November 6, 2014 |
Bar/restaurant plus butcher Across the street from the artisan work at the new La Colombe Torrefaction flagship in Fishtown, restaurateur Michael Pasquarello and butcher Bryan Mayer are behind the new Kensington Quarters (1310 Frankford Ave., 267-314-5086). It's a bar/restaurant with a butcher counter and classroom built in. Mayer, one of the godfathers of a new generation of butchers, ran the show at Fleisher's Grass-Fed & Organic Meats in New York. A chance meeting with Pasquarello - who with his wife, Jeniphur, owns Cafe Lift, Prohibition Taproom, and Bufad - sent him, his wife and daughter to Philadelphia.
November 2, 2014 |
FORTESCUE, N.J. - As volunteers had done at least a half-dozen times in the last few months, a group came to scrub, scrape, and paint to try to save the old Charlesworth Hotel, inundated two years ago by Hurricane Sandy. When the sunny morning rolled into a dark and cloudy midafternoon, one of the 20 or so volunteers noticed a piano among the still topsy-turvy mess of the main dining room. An impromptu concert broke out featuring Bach, Chopin, show tunes, and that beginner's favorite, "Heart and Soul.
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.