Yesterday was a very house-y day. The hubby and I peeked in on two different open houses (cuz who doesn't love doing that?) AND we went on a home/garden tour. Yea, how's that for home voyeurism?
The house tour was hosted by the Society Hill Civic Association. (Society Hill is a neighborhood in Philly.) There were 13 properties you could tour, from gardens and courtyards to houses, a synagogue and a museum. The variety of properties was impressive, and inspiring. But it was also educational. I had no clue that the neighborhood--which is very historic, well located, and pricey--was not the kind of area that you'd let your kids wander around 70 years ago. Kinda blew my mind.
Let's face it though, the real reason I went on the tour was to peek into homes in my city. And I have to tell you, I was not disappointed. There were charming trinity houses (Very common in historic cities like Philly--they're three stacked rooms, with itty bitty staircases. Not much room to navigate, but affordable, and usually extremely quaint.), 1700-era mansions and everything in between.
Sadly, we couldn't take pictures on the tour. Buuuut, I did find out that some of the houses are available for sale. And you know what's included on listings? Photos!
This is from the most inspiring house on the tour. It's one of the "Bouvier Houses," which were owned by a predecesor of Jackie Kennedy. The house dates back to 1850, and the bones are outstanding. But don't expect all old-world charm here. This is a modern house, owned by people who love modern design.
The next property that was for sale was equally stunning, but in a whole other kind of way. Again, it's an historic building. This time, we're talking about The Willings at Independence Park, a condo building that once housed the Reading Railroad. (Great for Monopoly addicts.) Sadly, the folks selling the unit don't have many photos available. I was able to uncover this one of the kitchen, from The Willings website.
It's hard to understand how classic most of the building is without seeing it, but envision an old, southern mansion, dropped in the middle of a northern city, with a sleek kitchen like this. It's a mix of styles, and it works really, really well. There were lots of oohs and aahs from the group in this house.
After checking out this much Philly real estate, I'm inspired for my house. Our property isn't historic, but that doesn't mean I can pull a few ideas from these houses. I'm thinking about adding more texture (exposed brick and reclaimed wood were huge themes), and maybe some more color. We'll see!