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Chloe Berk for Curbed

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Couple Brings Country Charm to South Philly Rowhouse

A nurse with a love for flea markets and rummage sales works to transform a dated South Philly rowhouse

Although they love Philly, Allie and Less wouldn't exactly call themselves city folk. After all, Allie grew up in the suburbs of Delaware County in an old farmhouse, and Less is from the midwest. So when their jobs brought them to the city, Allie knew she wanted to bring a little country charm to their 1920s South Philly rowhouse to really make the couple feel at home.

During the first year-and-a-half of the couple's marriage they rented a condo in Bella Vista. They soon decided they wanted a bigger space—and to invest in South Philly. "I dreamed of living in the city and love South Philly because it feels like you’re in a neighborhood in the suburbs, but you’re still so close to Center City," Allie says.

It didn't take long for the two to find their corner rowhouse on a quiet, secluded street just a few blocks from Washington Avenue. After two weeks of searching, Allie says the three-bedroom, two-bath home was the easy choice—despite its orange, brown, and green walls.

"Even the realtor asked us, 'Are you sure?'" Allie recalls with a laugh.

As soon as the couple got the keys to the house, Allie, a nurse, and her mom, an interior designer, got to work immediately repainting the entire home. Two years later, Allie's made mostly cosmetic changes throughout, including adding ship lap to a wall in the dining area. They also added shelves to the window cut-outs.

But it's really the rustic furniture and decorative pieces that Allie has collected over the years that brings the warm and inviting farmhouse vibe to the home. And many of the couple's favorite things about their home are the various pieces of furniture that Allie's found while going to flea markets, antique shops, and rummage sales with her family.

The church pew, for example, was a Craigslist find and now serves as seating at the dining table. The chandelier above the table was bought on eBay—it was Allie's mom's idea to add the chicken wire. The coffee table in the living area was built by her dad and given to Allie and Less, a veteran and financial advisor, as a recent Christmas present.

"I love the whole downstairs because I think I put the most work into it," says Allie. "I really wanted to make it comfortable and inviting for not just others, but for us."

The second level of the three-story house has two bedrooms, one that's been converted into an office space. There's one full bathroom on this level, too, which was given a paint job and features one of three stained-glass windows in the home.

I really wanted to make it comfortable and inviting for not just others, but for us.

The master bedroom is another favorite part of the house. Another door with a stained glass window opens to a small stairwell that leads to the room on the third floor master bedroom and bath, which is currently in the middle of a bathroom renovation.

Allie says while they know they'll need more space years down the road when their family expands—"Our dream is to have a farmhouse in the country"—for now their cozy rowhome in the heart of the cheesesteak capital suits them just fine.


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