Get a Home Makeover From IKEA

home-tour-squadIKEA calls itself the Life Improvement Store, and it’s now expanding its services to make good on that moniker. Taking a page from the book of home-makeover shows that have become so popular, the Swedes have launched the “grassroots” IKEA Home Tour, which will send a team of experts to different cities to work with desperate homeowners (design-desperate, that is. This ain’t no Extreme Makeover).

The IKEA “Home Tour Squad” is composed of five IKEA employees (pictured, left) who are leaving their store-bound jobs and going on the road to provide two makeovers in each city they visit. So far the cities on that list include Atlanta, Charlotte, Baltimore/D.C., New York and Philadelphia.

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Flintstones Furniture to Match Dick Clark’s Unbelievable Flintstones House

livingstone with child

A small child enjoys Stéphanie Marin’s Livingstones. Photo via the designer’s website.

This week Web Urbanist published “Flintstones Furniture: 15 Designs Made of Stone and Lava,” and while I can’t be sure they were thinking of the late Dick Clark’s unbelievable Flintstones house, each of these designs is a lovely complement to his home’s interior. In fact, the gallery offers prospective buyers some decor ideas, should they be overwhelmed by the possibilities.

My favorite pick is the Livingstones, which I’ve long been obsessed with because I’m basically a cat and I just want to sleep all the time. In fact, I love all of Stéphanie Marin‘s work because so much of it caters to the high-end beanbag audience — and you know who you are. Below, a slideshow of Marin’s “stone” work, which would soften the hard edges of Clark’s home, both inside and out.

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Art Deco Meets Old-Fashioned in Fairmount

Photo : Conrad Benner

Photo : Conrad Benner

Name/Occupation: Kevin Clerkin, founder of Walk On Socks, and fashion writer/editor Laura Camerlengo, who works with the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Costume and Textiles collection

Neighborhood: Fairmount/Art Museum

Why did you choose to call this neighborhood home?
Kevin: “We love this neighborhood because it’s laid back and walkable, and it has a lot of great restaurants. Plus, it’s close to Laura’s job, and to Center City.”

How would you describe your home’s style?
Laura: “It’s probably best described as ‘bringing the past into the present.’ Our building dates to 1940, and some of the things that attracted us to this apartment were the original details, like the built-in cabinets in the kitchen and the parquet floors throughout. When we were decorating, we tried to find items from that same period, like the Art Deco ceiling panels from Provenance in our dining room. We mixed these items with new purchases, hand-me-downs from our friends and family, and a few DIY pieces.”

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Home Design Trends: Wood is the Word

roost recycled wood furniture

Roost Home Furnishings excels at recycled wood home decor. Photo: Heaven’s Gate Home & Garden

According to the folks at (imagine every page marked “home decor” on Pinterest plus steroids), wood grain is making a comeback. We’re not talking about your grandparents’ paneled basement. Think: butcher block countertops and upcycled or creatively reused wood furniture. Which ties nicely into the other big trend for 2014: sustainability.

Below, a slideshow of local examples to help you get in on the trend before 2015.

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Home Design Trends 2014: Navy Blue Rooms


Design blogger Mark D. Sikes was asked by House Beautiful what he thought a 2014 home design trend would be, and he said, “Navy blue will be a big trend for 2014. I’m seeing a lot of the shade on the runways, on the streets, in editorials, in chic interiors… I actually think everyone will get it in 2014.”

At 2221 Locust Street, the owner got it even before 2014, painting the living room walls a rich navy blue framed by white molding. It looks terrific, but everything about this restored 19th-century townhouse is terrific, from its high ceilings and two kitchens to its historic archways, built-in wooden closets, pine floors, and leaded glass windows. There’s a garden out back and access to a rooftop deck as well. And needless to say, the location is phenomenal.

The listing says the home was just appraised for 1.635 million, making the current asking price a “major value purchase.”

Gallery and info below.

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Splendiferous Interiors: Necessity Is the Mother of Fantastic in Old City (GALLERY)

old city transformed home

The home used to double as a hair salon. Unfortunately, the barbershop chairs are not for sale.

The house at 140 Vine Street may look like a typical Philadelphia rowhome, but inside it’s anything but. Cross the rubicon of a traditional front door, and walk into the magical kingdom hairstylist Cynthia Kehl has created. Her unique design aesthetic — a collection of broken antlers to mottled walls and cabinets — was minted by necessity.

“If I could throw everything out and buy new I would,” she says. Because she can’t, she trash picks, she dumpster dives, she goes to flea markets, she gets gifts from friends who understand her singular tastes. “I’m a big believer in using what you have. If I had a cardboard box on the corner, it would be the most fantastic cardboard box you ever saw.”

This house’s transformation was very much DIY. “I never knew one end of the hammer from another until I purchased this house.” It helped to have contractor friends, but Kehl’s artistic modifications are her own. Like the walls, which look professionally treated but came instead from Kehl’s intuition. “I usually have an image in my head of what I want a wall treatment to look like,” she says. “I use whatever I have lying around. I learn to go with my mistakes, and I end up liking my mistakes even better.” It’s a good lesson for anyone embarking on a home project. And the end result looks professional. Kehl likes to say, “Caulk and paint make it what it ain’t.”

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Habitat: A Bright Green Menagerie in South Philly

It should come as no surprise that the South Philadelphia home of a Philadelphia Zoo primate keeper and an environmental engineer would be replete in flora and fauna (living and taxidermied). And yet – and yet! – the rowhouse unfolds in room after room of delights.

Samantha Nestor (the primate keeper) and Andrew Haneiko (the environmental engineer) bought the home in 2005 and have been renovating ever since. We are as gaga for the animal-centric details in this house and the ways in which they sneak up on you as we are for the talented Laura Kicey‘s photos.

Sure, this looks like a standard chartreuse living room.


But, surprise! It is also a reptile house for rescues, home to the couple’s iguana, king snake and lizard.

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Habitat: French Country Meets Philly Contemporary in Point Breeze

Photo: Conrad Benner

Photo: Conrad Benner

Name(s): Antoinette Marie Johnson (CEO/Founder at At Media), Tyler Westnedge (Director at At Media)
Neighborhood: Point Breeze

Photo: Conrad Benner

Photo: Conrad Benner

How long have you lived in your house?
Antoinette: “We purchased our home in 2009, from a builder who was frustrated at the market and about to list the home for rent. We used that to our advantage and bought it at much lower than market value.”

Photo: Conrad Benner

Photo: Conrad Benner

Photo: Conrad Benner

Photo: Conrad Benner

Photo: Conrad Benner

Photo: Conrad Benner

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Top 25 Cyber Monday Deals: Home & Design

shop horne cyber monday

Mash Studios’ PCH Entertainment Shelf for sale at Shop Horne.

Let’s have a little fun, shall we?  Or, um, spend money we shouldn’t?

· Dwell Studio: 20% off everything. Code: CYBERCHIC20.

· 40% off everything. Code: CYBER49

· Loom Decor: 30% off everything until midnight

· West Elm: Discounts between 10% and 25% depending on purchase prices. Code: EVENMORE

· Thomas Paul: 20% off everything.

· Design Within Reach: Discounts on overstocked, discontinued and clearance items.

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Thanksgiving Dining Rooms Where Decor Trumps Turkey

People like to focus on gourmet kitchens when it comes to Thanksgiving. But what if you’re a guest who is somehow pardoned from slaving over the homemade gravy and the basting? Then you get to admire a lovely dining room, that’s what.

Here we’ve gathered six different dining rooms for the variety of special snowflake families in the universe.

5901 Overbrook Ave./7 bedrooms/$539,900
For the family who likes needs tradition. Here, eat below this beautiful chandelier. Try not to scrape your fork on your china, dear. And sit up straight. Swallow your repression right along with your fresh cranberry sauce.trad

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