Six years ago, artist, Anne and her husband, Aaron, a financial analyst, bought a house with charming details and an abundance of space in the heart of South Philly with the goal of transforming it into an ideal home for entertaining family and friends.
During their house hunt, they quickly concluded that they didn’t want cookie cutter and new, but instead a home with rich history and a soul. 1410 Jackson ticked every box. The sunny vestibule with classic decorative tile which opens to a spacious living room with original hardwood floors with walnut inlay, soaring ceilings and a whitewashed decorative fireplace made the initial first impression. Envisioning dinner parties and game nights in the formal dining room and cooking in the delightfully retro eat-in kitchen with painted cabinets, a large porcelain sink, a built-in pantry and back staircase sealed the deal.
Anne and business partner, Kate own a paper and textile shop where they hand make screen printed greeting cards, stationery, party goods, textiles and custom wedding papers (anneandkate.com) and she is a practicing artist and teacher. The home serves as a perfect gallery for her colorful prints and paintings as well as the work of friends and colleagues. There isn’t a room that doesn’t display original work and their collection is an extension of their space.
Aaron, a craftsman in his own right, carefully restored the front bedroom’s Eastlake built-in armoire over three years. His labor of love brought back the beauty of the wood and intricate carved details and is one of the things he will miss the most.
Arguably, one of the most outstanding elements of the home is the sun-drenched third floor which features two connecting rooms, currently used as a den and studio/guest room, complete with a custom walnut Murphy bed with built-in shelving, designed and built by a carpenter friend. A door from the den leads to the crowning jewel of the home, the private deck with custom lighting and a built-in bench. “The transformative additions we made: in particular, the amazing roof deck which added a fantastic outdoor dimension for entertaining friends or for a secluded respite from most of the city, is one of our favorite things”, says Aaron.
Then there’s the neighborhood. When you think quintessential South Philadelphia, often what comes to mind are lovely tree-lined streets, the soft music of church bells in the distance, the smell of sweet pastry in the air and neighbors on stoops chatting away. Jackson Street is in the heart of a neighborhood rich in tradition with a plethora of new businesses popping up, marrying the very best of old and new. The neighborhood’s strong Old World roots coupled with a contemporary and trendy feel is not replicated anywhere else in the city. “There are such great restaurants within a 10 minute walk. L’Angolo BYO for the best pasta and sauces in the city; South Philly Tap Room for a great burger and craft beer list; Ultimo for one of the city’s best cups of coffee; Le Virtu; Cantina los Caballitos; Melrose Diner; Chhaya Café; Bing Bing Dim Sum; Chaat and Chai; La Rosa pizza (best slices!); Los Gallos; Plenty Café; the list goes on and on. Despite all the restaurant talk, we cook a lot, and Ultimo has been the spot for our weekly farm share pick-up for the last four years. It couldn’t be more convenient to support local organic farms, primarily in Lancaster County. And the new South Philly Food Co-Op will be a great and similar addition”, says Aaron.
The Schaefer-Headleys are now starting a new chapter, in Valatie, NY, in a gorgeous 1830 farmhouse with a wraparound porch and a barn that will be a dream space for Anne’s studio.
Something tells me their friends may be making the trip up to the Hudson Valley this NYE for some dancing on their new front porch.