Philadelphia Home: Inside Drew Becher’s Chestnut Hill Home
Becher walks along a bluestone path that winds between two terraces in the backyard. The walkway is neatly bordered by a boxwood hedge, which adds structure to the garden: “It’s like the frame around a picture,” he says. Becher’s plantings include ornamental grasses, blue and silver hostas, various herbs, black-eyed Susan, oakleaf hydrangeas, Japanese maples, elephant ears, and red ‘Jacob Cline’ bee balm for color accents. An ‘Annabelle’ white hydrangea serves as a backdrop for the dining terrace. below: The stately Tudor is perched on a hill overlooking the Morris Arboretum. When Becher and Lochner bought the house, it was blanketed in English ivy, and the grounds were completely overgrown.
The airy sunroom gets a jolt of energy from a zebra-patterned rug, which is paired with clean-lined wicker rope furniture from Williams-Sonoma Home and a sleek drum pendant light. The 1920s wrought iron side tables are from the sunroom in Becher’s childhood home in Ohio. Walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White, and tall casement windows open to let in fresh air. Becher winters his plants in this room, and the couple sits here to take in sunsets and thunderstorms. “The Wissahickon Valley is right to the northwest, so you can see storms rolling in,” Becher says. “It’s amazing.”
Formerly just a narrow strip beneath the arbor, the back terrace was extended 20 feet for ample outdoor living space. “We are big outdoor folks, and we knew that we wanted to have a living terrace and a dining terrace,” Becher says. “The house spoke to where those things would go.” They kept the original intricately carved arbor, now entwined with purple wisteria. A comfortable seating area features chairs from the Hill Company in Chestnut Hill, polished concrete side tables from Reinboth in Lambertville, and weathered hurricane lanterns from Terrain in Glen Mills. Ferns add visual interest to bare corners, and banana plants lend an exotic touch. “Highlighting some spaces with tropicals is a cool thing. I put moss around the bottom of them,” he says.