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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)

How beautiful - Great job!

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara


6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatelynne

so amazing what an inspiration!

6 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

C'est toujours un plaisir de découvrir vos reportages car ils sont source d'inspirations.
A très bientôt. Co

7 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarreco

wtf they removed the banister. When did safety and simple convenience become incompatible with room design?

8 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDMF

Beautiful home, but I am puzzled by the removal of the stair railing, that so would not meet building code here in Boston.

9 Aug 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramyks

This has made my Day? My renovation plans for my own living space have been renewed. Mine will be nothing so involved as now I'm just renting, but there are plans in the works to start traveling to fine home . At 53. I'm still not home. I know that making someplace home is what I will be doing. My home will have to fit like a glove and articles such as these fuel my fire. Thanks.

10 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia Marie

beautiful beautiful house! (: cant wait to get my own!

11 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLianne

Just to clarify, the brick was underneath the wallboard or paneling or what ever in the before photo?

Beautiful result.

I love the look of the open stair, but codes require rails for a reason. Not a stairway I'd have in a house with kids and even without I'd at least put a hand rail on the wall side. just a suggestion

11 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFlirt

I reallylove this renovation project. It really shows that even the most bland and seemingly hopeless space has potential. I love the brickwork, the lighting and those splashes of red - I could go on as I think it is one great design scheme but I'll stop now.

Well almost - congratulations on a fantastic makeover!


11 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Alessi

This is awesome! How creative.

19 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

This is FANTASTIC! I have the hardest time seeing my home in a new light. I can't look at a place I've lived for 10 years, and re imagine it like this. I so wish I had the creativity and imagination Sari has. Genius and inspired. BRAVO!

26 Aug 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

I am impressed ,that brick wall adds so much warmth to the room. great job to be proud of.....

2 Sep 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfrenchie27

A lot is two words.

7 Sep 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Really beautiful! I own a building and will be looking at your work for inspiration when things look like they are not going well. The final product is truly wonderful! Welcome home!

11 Sep 2010 | Unregistered CommenterColin

Dang, BIZZY!

22 Sep 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrice

It looked better empty sans the cliched purile miscellany. Or am I being too kind?

29 Sep 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjoethelad

@joethelad. If you're going to throw around fancy words, you should at least spell them correctly. It's puerile, meaning silly or childish. To use in a sentence... "your comment was puerile and bitchy."

29 Sep 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspellchecker


7 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBleaning

Stunning! Beautifully executed.

11 Oct 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrabryson

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... AND A LOT OF MONEY!!!

14 Oct 2010 | Unregistered Commentermatías

OK, in the 5th photo down, that yellow clock thats just a silhouette of a cuckoo clock, does anyone know who makes those or what theyre called, or just in general where to find them? ive been going nuts trying to track one down!

any help appreciated :)

22 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTango

Tango, I have a black one (see here) and I got it at a local store here in Ottawa a few years ago. Mine is by a company called Ergo and I've seen it sold at a few different stores (maybe Urban Outfitters had one? EQ3 used to carry some). It's an actual cuckoo clock but it's flat with a battery thing on the back.

22 Oct 2010 | Registered CommenterKiM

tango - i got that clock at a marshalls for about $10 3 or 4 years ago. it was black but i painted it green. i have no idea who made it though.

25 Oct 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSary

What a lovely, chic transformation with a lot of soul! The only item I would have kept was the stair railing.......looks like it had a lot of character!! Enjoy your great space!

26 Oct 2010 | Unregistered Commenteraj

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