That House Out There: Modern with a Classical Accent in Queen Village

617 S. American St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images from Keller Williams Center City

617 S. American St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images from Keller Williams Center City

The beautiful thing about Postmodernism is it allows you to mix and match periods and styles to your liking. Usually, the standard pairing is the insertion of Modernist furnishings and design elements into fusty old classical interiors, sometime with a nudge and a wink.

This home in Queen Village does the reverse: it’s a starkly Modernist home that has been outfitted with traditional design elements of the kind you might see in Architectural Digest. The effect is, dare we say it, rather refreshing. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: A Real Estate in Bryn Mawr

560 S Bryn Mawr Ave, Byrn Mawr, Pa. 19010 | TREND images via Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty

560 S. Bryn Mawr Ave, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010 | TREND images via Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty

There are manors, and then there are manors.

This week’s Jawdropper of the Week features Holly Hill, an estate with a fascinating blend of history and modern design. Originally known as Fox Hill Farms, this property was commissioned by Fidelity Trust Company of Philadelphia President Rudolph Ellis in 1881 as his summer home and designed by architect Theophilus Chandler. While pared down to a manageable 5.247 acres from its original plot of 320 acres, this estate has not lost its grandeur by any means.

The exterior of this home is truly eye candy. The driveway begins at a stone gate house designed by noted Philadelphia architect Wilson Eyre and winds around to a private, gated residence sitting amid impressive grounds that largely follow landscape architect Oglesby Paul’s 1914 plan. Even from a distance, the eye is drawn to the weathervane-topped turret, attention-grabbing red tile roof and the curved stone walls. Read more »

First-Time Find: A Place to Park Yourself in Belmont Hills

Living-dining room

19 Rock Hil Rd. #6A, Bala Cynwyd, Pa. 19004 | TREND Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

The purpose of this weekly feature is to showcase outstanding properties first-time buyers can afford. So far, we’ve shown a compact but comfortable home in a great school district in Queen Village and an absolute knockout in Fishtown. So we got to wondering: Can we find anything like these on the Main Line?

It turns out that we could. The difference is, this place has plenty of neighbors already built in.

That’s because it’s a recently refreshed condo in The Greenhouse, a handsome 1970s multi-unit building in bosky Belmont Hills. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: Let There Be Light in Northern Liberties

1003 N Orianna St. APT A, Philadelphia, Pa. 19123 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

1003 N Orianna St., Unit A, Philadelphia, Pa. 19123 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

You’ll be as snug as a bug in a rug in this charming trinity in the heart of Northern Liberties. While this home is admittedly quite small at 800 square feet, this classic trinity with exposed brick on all floors offer a cozy retreat from a day in the grand city.

This home’s corner location means all the rooms have windows on two sides, giving them unusually abundant natural light. The generous amount of windows (for a trinity) creates a breathable space for the living room, highlighting the red oak floors and a newly built red oak spiral staircase with original plaster detailing. Read more »

That House Out There: Form Follows Function in Spring Garden

living room and kitchen

1700 Melon St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19130 | Images via Keller Williams Center City Realty

The part of Spring Garden where this recently built townhome stands was once home to several light industrial buildings, some of which have since been converted into residences.

Given that heritage, it’s quite logical that this home would reflect that industrial aesthetic, but it does so with contemporary flair and elegance.

The main floor of this 24-foot-wide residence, for instance, is completely open in plan, which means you can arrange it to suit your lifestyle. There’s plenty of room to relax and entertain, and the kitchen is equipped to handle it all, with high-end finishes and features that include a gas range with double oven, a wine fridge and a generously sized island with bar seating. If you’re in the mood for outdoor dining or entertaining, the patio in back is just the right size for grilling. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A French Fantasy in Merion Station

247 Winding Way, Merion Station, Pa. 19066 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

247 Winding Way, Merion Station, Pa. 19066 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

Sometimes, the soul just craves a romanticized French farmhouse rather than a traditional colonial home on the Main Line.

This beautiful Normandy-style stone home, built in the mid-1920s in a style modeled after French provincial country manors, is nestled on dreamily landscaped grounds in Merion Station. From a distance, you can easily spot the home’s most distinctive feature: the round stone tower topped by a cone-shaped roof with a touch of Tudor style decorative timbering. Approach the front doors at your own risk: you may find yourself just about ready to purchase this home from the curb appeal alone, what with its four sets of French doors topped with hand-carved wooden lintels. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: Rustic Colonial Comfort in Yardley

1466 Oxford Valley Rd., Yardley, Pa. 19067 | TREND Images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

1466 Oxford Valley Rd., Yardley, Pa. 19067 | TREND Images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

If this home were a person, she’d be that quiet, charming friend with the thousand-year-old soul.

Built in 1720, but with all the carefully-executed upgrades of a modern home, Willow Bend is a home with all the charm you’d hope for in an old farmhouse with none of its antiquated maintenance problems. (The six-zone heating and central air are all up to date and energy efficient.)

Nestled on four acres in Bucks County, this spacious five-bedroom home casts natural light as the star of the show with its 9-foot-high ceilings and large windows boasting of beautiful views all around. The foyer is sandwiched between spacious and separate living and dining rooms in classic center-hall Colonial style. Both the living room and the dining room feature large stone fireplaces with wood-beam mantles as focal points. Read more »

First-Time Find: Urbane Renewal in Fishtown

1515 E. Montgomery Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19125 | Photos courtesy Custom Philly Homes

1515 E. Montgomery Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19125 | Photos by Plush Image, courtesy Custom Philly Homes

You’ve seen houses like these before in neighborhoods across the city: smaller rowhouses set back from the street, shrinking violets that often exude charm but not much else.

But we’ll bet you’ve never seen a house like this before. That’s because more than the porch on this home was filled in. This unassuming-looking home got a total gut renovation and now epitomizes contemporary Fishtown style. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: A Surprisingly Spacious Three-Bedroom in Northern Liberties

122 W Laurel St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 | TREND images via RE/MAX Home Experts

122 W Laurel St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Home Experts

This Northern Liberties home retains the familiar elements of intimate trinity living, like the three-story structure, the spiral staircase, and the cozy one-room top floor. Should you invite your out-of-state friends to this home, they’ll still marvel at this classically Philadelphian build. But this expanded trinity home also features spacious living, dining, and kitchen areas on the first floor that will make entertaining them easier than finding a touristy-enough cheesesteak shop to take them to for dinner.

When you walk through the doors, you’ll be welcomed by the natural light-filled living room that features an exposed brick wall. The open floor plan enhances the airy and spacious feel, seamlessly connecting the living room to the dining room to the kitchen. The thoroughly up-t0-date kitchen features a built-in wine cabinet and a breakfast bar where you can enjoy your morning eats with a healthy dose of natural light. Nestled into a comfortable corner on the first floor, the laundry area adjoins the hallway leading to the backyard.

It’s hard not to fall in love with the serene, private patio behind this home. An impressive waterfall installation, bamboo walls and beautiful stone patterns add charm and more entertaining space to this unusually spacious (for a trinity) home. It’s also a great place to take a breather from your energetic friends.

The finished basement is perfect for an additional bedroom, storage or office space. Whether you want to host folks or catch your breath in the middle of entertaining them, this spacious trinity home can handle it.



BATHS: 2 full, 1 half


PRICE: $375,000

OTHER STUFF: If you find yourself wanting to get out of the home, the Schmidt’s Commons, Liberty Lands Park, and plenty of shopping and dining options are within walking distance.


122 W Laurel St., Philadelphia, PA 19123 [Liz Lutz | RE/MAX Home Experts]

Main Line Monday: A Woodsy Midcentury Modern Retreat in Penn Valley

326 Sprague Rd., Penn Valley, Pa. 19072 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

326 Sprague Rd., Penn Valley, Pa. 19072 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

Midcentury Modern homes come in two basic varieties: homes that stand in defiance of their environment and homes that embrace their environment. This home is firmly in the latter camp — so much so, in fact, that it looks like it grew out of its hillside lot in Penn Valley instead of being built on it.

Designed by architect Robert McElroy in 1965, this home features several trademarks of his signature style: gently peaked roofs that form vaulted ceilings inside, exposed beams, a wraparound deck, and walls of glass that let in abundant natural light.

What’s so mesmerizing about this particular home is its easy flow from room to room. The main living spaces extend naturally from the skylit living room just behind the main entrance. The open floor plan contributes to this sense of an airy home and makes effective use of every square foot of space. Read more »

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