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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)

Congratulations! You started out with a house and ended up with a home!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLin

AMAZING! Beautiful job!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdriana

wowowee! i love makeovers. Envy to the highest power!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterH

I really love what you've done with that brick wall! Why haven't I thought of that before? It has become the center of attention and almost everybody here has commented on it. I could hang a picture of a piece of artwork on that wall and everybody would notice.

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKellie Dobbie


Thanks for the great post Kim.

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn K.

Wow! What a gorgeous home! The owner should be very proud. I'd love to move in! What a sophisticated color palatte. I am so envious!

4 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpeggy

What a gorgeous remodel. Sary: bless you for not painting that lovely bring wall. My girly side is loving the touches of metallic, damask, and houndstooth. FABULOUS job! And thank you for sharing, Kim.

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCassiMO

I love the exposed brick wall and how you have also lit it. Amazing!

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfodcj

GORGEOUS. It's beautiful and cosy at the same time! Amazing job.

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterimanhw

Great vision in seeing the potential in the house, a great eye for design and detail, and what a stunningly great result! A*!!

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeera@firstsense

This is just fantastic!! Love it... So cute and chic.... :-)

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJode

WOW! What a sexy space! Great job! I dream of this sort of thing...I will keep dreaming until I win a shopping spree to my favorite stores.

I especially like how much that mirror does for the living/dining area! It might have felt dead without it.

The kitchen color looks a lot like Sherwin WIlliams Steely Grey- what color is it actually? (Sorry if you've already mentioned this...)

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commentererin lang norris

The renovation is impecable.
I love the transformation.
The new apartment looks great and very homy / cozy.

I hope you have great times in this new apartment. It is actually an inspiration for me to redecorate.
Thank you!!!!!

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnalía

Wow... what a gorgeous renovation!

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

NICE! I love what they did to the place! I could live there :-)

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatascha

Okay, you've drawn me out into comment world. This is fantastic. It's really even better that it was hardly ever renovated because so often places are "updated" with just new ick and presents a real challenge to gut out new ick and start fresh. So great job! Whew.

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenternamaste

Wow! Love the transformation. Removing the drop ceiling in the kitchen and adding the high cabinets really opened up the space.
Great work!!

5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDianna


the kitchen paint color is sherwin williams storm cloud.


5 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSary

Beautifully done. There's a true tone set throughout the house, you expect to hear expensive taffeta rustling down those stairs! I'd come in every evening, look at that brick and just sigh myself into a happy puddle. Then I'd fix a martini and go swear at the hinges on the fridge for being on the wrong side. And the ottoman corner was an inspired idea, absolutely. (Its never enough -- now I want to see what she did with the bedrooms!)

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenteroregonbird

Mind-blowing! It's unrecognizable

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

It's gorgeous!! I LOOOOVE the blue walls with the black stairs! It's really modern without being stark and cold, it's very homey. Great job!

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDestiny

IMPRESSIVE !! I'm moving in 2 weeks into my new appartment, and I have pretty much the same thing to do. Re-design.

Seriously Impressive :)

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWhitezine

Oooh, LOVE this. Beautiful job! I adore the powder room!!

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

What vision! I'm sure many buyers passed this property by because of the before state. Great job with the open stair.

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCassidy Voyles

Not only is this lovely (and done so well) but it's full of great ideas for other people! Fantastic job

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlojo

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