June 27, 2016 |
In 2007, Mark Alter and Margi Shah, who had been living in Brooklyn, began looking for a larger home in suburban Philadelphia, near her family. Margi had two stipulations: "I didn't want a sideways house or a house without a mudroom. " Side entrances, common in area homes, seemed awkward to Margi, who grew up in Newtown Square. She favored a front door facing the street. And a mudroom was essential because she and Mark have two young daughters. The couple, both psychiatrists, house-hunted for a year.
May 22, 2016 |
It is difficult to visit the home of Margaret Meigs and Paul Laskow without recognizing their passion for the Schuylkill and sharing their concern for the river's future. The couple's 2,000-square-foot condominium in Queen Village seems to be dedicated to promoting the Schuylkill even though Philadelphia's western waterway is about two miles west of their new home. Their thoughts are never far from the river. Not only do the couple get up at 5 a.m. each day to row on the Schuylkill, but their aqua living-room rug was custom-designed to show the patterns of the river with its bends and borders housing the boathouses.
December 14, 2015 |
Even from the street, Joyce and Donald Sico's Tudor on a corner in Riverton leaves no doubt that the holiday season is upon us. From its front porch to its upstairs balconies, the house is ablaze with lights that suggest a warm glow indoors as well. But seeing is believing, and a visit a few weeks before Christmas reveals a holiday enchantment inside that has been spun gracefully, without overpowering the home's innate charm. Joyce, 62, and Donald, 61, are both from New York state.
May 24, 2015 |
A few weeks back, I replied to a reader's question about "ghost shadows" on his ceiling. It isn't as spooky as it sounds. The reader was asking about paint he could use to hide the lines, which reappeared after he had painted the ceiling three years ago. Of course, I responded to his request for a paint recommendation by suggesting a shellac-based product that I have used to cover water stains from leaks that have been repaired and to keep...
February 22, 2015 |
Perhaps it's the bitter memory of last winter's polar vortex, or maybe it's just the volatile price of fuel, but homeowners are warming to fireplaces. Contractors and architects say their home-renovation and new-construction customers are eager to include fireplaces of all kinds in their projects - gas inserts, wood-burning, electric units that double as house heaters, even outdoor fireplaces. Ed Barnhart, principal at Always by Design architects and designers in Center City, recently contracted with two buyers of new houses.
January 11, 2015 |
I've never been interested in animal husbandry, so it was with great interest that I recently learned that deer - which don't actually qualify as domestic animals, even though they live in our neighborhoods - mate in cold weather. That information is courtesy of Bobbex, maker of what it describes as natural deer repellents. Mating makes deer more active and aggressive, and a greater threat to humans, pets, and suburban landscapes, the company says. Moving to the city won't help - in Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, and Andorra, there seem to be more deer than people on some mornings.
March 17, 2014 |
The trio of Colonials in Queen Village is as charming as a storybook illustration. Indeed, the transformation of the once-tumbledown dwellings is a family saga. Ann Foringer now lives in one of the end houses with husband Scott and daughter, Mai, 17. Previously, the structure was occupied by Ann's parents, Homer and Helen Rhule, who bought it in the mid-1980s. "My father was offered a job in Center City, and my parents decided to relocate" from Westfield, N.J., Ann said. "Mother wanted to restore a house - the older the better.
February 10, 2014 |
Samy Badawy and wife Toby Shawe were expecting their third child in 1994 and living in a small house in Roxborough. They needed more space, and each had priorities for a new home. "Samy wanted light," Shawe said, "and I wanted our bedroom to be separate from the kids' bedrooms. " The couple found a light-filled, mid-century-modern house with separate sleeping wings and much more in the nearby Wissahickon section of Roxborough. Arthur M. Tofani Jr. had designed the futuristic home on a sloping lot in 1949, just two years after he earned a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
November 17, 2013 |
Q uestion: Our house was built in 1898. I am told we cannot use our fireplace unless we install a sleeve that would cost $3,000 to $6,000. As an alternative, is there such a thing as a gas-fired Franklin stove-type insert that could be put in without venting or, perhaps, with an exhaust pipe up the chimney? Since the fireplace is smack in the middle of the house, an insert could provide a true heat benefit. But I would prefer not to risk asphyxiation. Your guidance will be greatly appreciated.
March 31, 2013 |
Andrew Wyeth died four years ago at 91; in another four years, the centennial of his birth will bring forth a major retrospective exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum, designed not only to commemorate his remarkable career, but also to reevaluate it. The museum has set in motion a five-year sequence of events to set the stage for the centennial celebration in 2017. It wants these events to accomplish two things - introduce Wyeth and the other artists in his family to a new, younger audience, and encourage art historians to reconsider what the Wyeth artists accomplished.