Property’s Morning Obsession: Chestnut Street’s New Cella Luxuria

It was October — just after his Hollandia showroom closed in Old City — when Stefan Sklaroff heard that someone was looking for him. That someone was the owner of 1214 Chestnut Street. He’d bought a bed from Sklaroff at Hollandia and remembered the showroom. Now he wanted to open a 10,000 square-foot furniture showroom in Center City.

All photos by Laura Kicey
Five months later, Sklaroff and his wife, Christina Leynes, have opened Cella Luxuria in the former Unica retail spot on Chestnut Street. Sklaroff calls it a twist on the traditional mom-and-pop shop. The massive, two-floor showroom is filled with pieces Skarloff and Leynes hand-picked from a variety of vendors, with an emphasis on sustainability.

“Iconic design is a sustainable idea,” Sklaroff said.

The shop features rugs made from men’s suiting and neckties and furniture pieces made using reclaimed wood and cast iron. A desk from local woodworking shop, GlueLine inc., features elements sourced from South Philadelphia that were then crafted in North Philadelphia.

Growing up in Philadelphia and attending Penn, Sklaroff is familiar with the challenges of opening up on the 1200 block of Chestnut Street. “It’s the heart of Center City,” he said. “It should be better.” He said he considers Cella Luxuria a reclaimed theme in a reclaimed space.

Neighborhood businesses support the progress. Sklaroff said he’s thankful that local restaurants and others have welcomed him so warmly. “They knew we needed the support of the community,” he said. “We’re bullish on Chestnut Street.” — Shannon Rooney

Each morning we start the day with Property’s Morning Obsession—anything from staging to woodwork to the fragment of a building. Want to submit your morning obsession? Send us an email.