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Reader's home

I am pleased to present a fabulous renovation of a reader's home today. This one I can relate to. Interior designer Sary's home looks about as narrow as mine (12') which is quite a design challenge. Here is a bit of history of her home: "It's a typical brick Philadelphia rowhouse built in the early 1900's. The previous owner was an elderly woman that had been living there for over 60 years and probably hadn't renovated it in about 50. It was filled with paneling, peeling wallpaper, drop ceilings, dirty carpets..." The result was basically a gut job by Sary and her family turning this into a spectacular makeover that is SO inspiring. First let's look at a couple of before photos of her living/dining space that was dark, dingy and just plain NASTY.

Sary essentially redid every surface - the walls, ceilings and floors. Track lighting was installed, a brick wall exposed, the railing removed on the stairs, the stairs redone with wood treads....

I loooove the bench/tv stand/book storage unit Sary and her father built (in an afternoon with just a nail gun, using wood she had pre-cut at Lowes) that extends from the living room into the dining space. Talk about multi-functional which is so necessary in a small space. More of Sary's home after the jump...

Next, a couple photos from the powder room located just behind the dining room.

And lastly the kitchen, which had a drop ceiling (that was removed), awful cabinets, countertop and flooring (all replaced). The window was replaced with a larger one and the door with one that is mostly glass. I'm loving the little nook she created with an ottoman opposite the back door. Great for friends to chill out on while she's cooking. :)


CONGRATS Sary! You should be very proud of the incredible job you've done. It shows everyone that you can make any house a home with a little creativity and ALOT of hard work.

Reader Comments (81)

Wow, makes me feel very lazy that my home is pretty much the same as when I moved in. Although I do rent so that's my lazy get out clause.

Great renovation...congrats Sary!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterModFruGal

It's lovely but that staircase is totally not to code here in Ontario

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Awe I live in a Philadelphia row home, so this one is near and dear to my heart. Mine is actually MUCH uglier!! We aren't through yet with the renovation. Wish I could have exposed the brick like she did. So pretty!

Congratulations to Sary for seeing the potential of the space. I couldn´t imagine a greater transformation and the reslt is beautiful.

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEuropean Chic

Oh wow, how is that possible?? Amazing!!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterG.

She has amazing taste....simple, elegant, rustic at the same time. I love a good reno!!!

Oh. My. Gosh. I am an avid lurker if this blog (first time commenting!) but this post made me gasp. An excellent example of how everything has potential if you have the means and patience to do it! Amazing.

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJocqulene

all i can say is..... AMAZING!!!!!! :)

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterivy lane

The lighting in this space (as well as the many splashes of color spread throughout) brighten and accentuate this home perfectly. Lighting (and color) is at the top of my list in my own home and the mood/environment that I wish to create.

I'd like to see the bench project in more detail, as this may be a storage idea for our small (but just right for us) space.

What a great transformation! I love the brick wall and the living room layout.

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMandy Ford

Good jobbie! That's an amazing transformation! You have an eye for detail and space!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon


How thick is that brick wall? Is it built brick to brick or by a set of brick panels?

Nice result by the way.

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRafael


But I am jealous that you are getting away with not getting your staircase to code.
I have an open staircase now and am required to put up rails. BOO!!!!

Lovely brick wall too!!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdesigngal

I love it, looks really cosy!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

Wonderful makeover! Love it!

We left our staircase open like that until we put the house on the market.

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

I big part of understanding the impact of this beautiful home is seeing how it looked before. I always take "before" and "in progress" pictures of my home, because I want to remember just how far I've come in the changes I've made! Our kitchen looks completely different than it did one month ago. This reader did an amazing job making this place into an amazing space... and it inspires me to keep going!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelsi

Fantastic renovation! Nice work!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

My jaw just literally dropped. Incredible transformation and full of great ideas. Well done!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

Thank you for all your wonderful comments! And thank you Desire to Inspire for posting my home!!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSary

Hi Rafael - in "the early 1900's", masonry construction was "brick by brick", there was no such thing as "brick panels".

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSparky

Holy moly that's IMPRESSIVE....interesting all that can be done in such a tiny space!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJEN RAMOS

Really lovely. What I love most is that everything is put together so uniquely. I'm tired of seeing the same things. The dark subway tile (kitchen) instead of white -- gorgeous! That light fixture in the powder room -- omg, I'm breathless! Great post! xoxo

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRLG

absolutely GORGEOUS! what an amazing reno! looking at the pictures make me very happy...thanks so much for sharing!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterallison

Bravo! Bravo! I love everything about your renovation!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkate

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