Designing a home to be built from the ground up is one of the most satisfying experiences a person could have. Because these were my first, I designed them for myself. At the time, I wasn’t confident we could sell them at a high enough price to cover the construction and land acquisition, so I figured, I might end up moving in. I put 10 years of looking at Philadelphia row houses into the design, and every objection that a buyer can come up with was addressed.
We called these homes, “The Tailored Row” because we tailored them to live in and because we were inspired by things that are well made for a specific individual and a specific person, like a suit jacket, but actually it was tailored for the end user to live comfortably in modern design.
My builder, United Makers was in on the concepts from the get go and we hired Interface Studio Architects to finalize the design. We worked well together and enjoyed the process. I highly recommend both companies for your upcoming projects. For example, 1244 E. Fletcher St was one of our "Tailored Row" homes and by the time we were done, it was an amazing property. You can view the pictures below.
Everyone loves an open floor plan but not everyone wants their kitchen, living room, dining room and home office constantly existing in the same space. I know from experience, a great way to make yourself fat is by living and working in your kitchen. Our floorplan allows the end user to extend their life into the 2-story second floor flex space lit by the distinctive & dramatic 2-story light well which also illuminated the master suite. This light well was especially dramatic when you started walking up the stairs from the first floor to the second floor. Look up and you can see all the way to the pilot house which is where you walk out on to the roof deck. The pilot house had enormous windows on all four sides and pendant lamps hanging down from it to light each floor. We even thought to put 20 year lightbulbs in the pendants. From the 2nd and 3rd floor stairs you could dangle over the light well and call down to your friends below. The effect was that of living in an art museum perhaps.
Continuing on the theme of living outside your open floor plan, this home has 2 chances to customize a separate space conducive to creative thinking, crafting, reading, or home work. Use the 3rd fl flex space, off the terrace as a formal dressing room, a place to enjoy your personal time, or as a nursery directly off the master suite. In my 10 years of house hunting, I heard complaints too often from young families about the master suite being separated from their nursery by a set of stairs. Not here.
Additional amenities to this house were the roof deck that encompassed the entire foot print of the home. It allowed for about 600 square feet of firework viewing and sun bathing pleasure. Although the fishtown location is extremely walkable and accessible by public transport, we know Fishtonians love their bikes so we created a BIKE GARAGE as a way to address the conundrum of where to store bikes in an open floor plan.
Ultimately this design was built at least 10 times across Fishtown and is lived in an loved by a variety of fabulous people I was honored to meet and work with. It’s a timeless and classic design and I hope to see more of it in the near future.