Stephen and Ann Gitter stand on the main staircase just inside the front door. They demolished the solid-walled version that had been installed in the 1970s and replaced it with an airier, streamlined design. The spindles are slightly turned for added visual interest.
The Art of the Find
The foyer is the most formal room in the house, and is reminiscent of the couple’s former residence (and more traditional aesthetic) in the Barclay. A durable Pennsylvania bluestone floor is a nod to history, and to the couple’s no-fuss way of living: “That’s what the sidewalks used to be made of in Philadelphia,” explains Ann. “Plus, you don’t have to wipe your feet or take your shoes off.” The sofa, now on its third reupholstering, belonged to her great-grandfather, an eye doctor who had a practice just outside the city; he used it in his waiting room. A large oil painting by Friedrich Georg Papperitz is center stage among antique needlepoint that Ann culled at Pine Street’s M. Finkel & Daughter.
Old and New
The main living room, on the second floor, was once divided into a living room and bedroom. The clean-lined B&B Italia sofas from OLC are a modern counterpoint to family antiques, including a breakfront that belonged to Ann’s grandmother and now showcases antique teapots and biscuit jars. Ann grew up dining at the drop-leaf mahogany table, now topped with trays bearing her collection of antique Scottish tartanware. She bought the leather ottomans at George Smith in London. The living room floors are original, as are the ceiling beams, which were uncovered during the renovation. The antique rugs are mostly from Freeman’s auction house on Chestnut Street and S. Nucho Oriental Rugs on South 20th Street. “I like the really beat-up, threadbare ones,” Ann says. “They can’t be worn enough for me.”