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DIY Network’s Rachel Street talks new show ‘Philly Revival’

Each episode will follow a Philly home renovation from start to finish

Rachel Street’s show “Philly Revival” will air on the DIY Network.
Courtesy of Olga V Kulakova/Shutterstock.com

Rachel Street is ready for her closeup. The designer, real estate agent, general contractor, and former opera singer is set to star in a new DIY Network television show called “Philly Revival.”

DIY Network made the announcement this week, revealing that Street’s show got picked up for a six-episode season. It will follow on the heels of her pilot episode that aired last year under the name “Philly Street Flippin’.”

Curbed Philly caught up with Street before filming—the air dates haven’t been announced yet—and ahead of her talks at the Philly Home + Garden Show this weekend, where she’ll offer advice on how to blend modern and original features in homes.

Here, we talk shop with Street and find out what viewers can expect from her six-episode arc that will follow the renovations of multiple homes throughout Philadelphia.

Congrats on the show! How long have you known that it got picked up?

Thank you! I’ve known for a little bit, and it’s been really hard to be quiet about it. When they finally announced it yesterday, it was so nice to be able to tell everybody finally and not have to celebrate all by myself.

The TV show underwent a name change. Why is that?

I really like the new name because it fits more with what I’m doing with my projects. I don’t take on a million projects—I take on a few projects and try to make them really nice. I look for properties that have interesting architectural details and bring those details back to life. So I think “Philly Revival” was a better name for what I’m doing because I’m very interested in the history of the home and not just putting it on the market for a profit.

“I look for properties that have interesting architectural details and bring those details back to life.”
Courtesy of Rachel Street

The show says you will focus on renovating homes that are at least a century old. Has that always been your main focus?

Growing up, my parents were involved in the historical society and they bought a home from the late 1700s and restored it themselves. So I’ve always been interested in the history of properties—new construction has never been my thing. It can be hard to find older homes with those original details. I look hard for them, but sometimes even if they are older homes, a lot of the stuff has been ripped out. We try to find different pieces to bring into the space to add character back into the home and create designs that are little more unique, giving them some depth and history.

What was it like filming the first episode and what did you learn from it?

I’ve been doing construction for awhile, but being on camera is a different animal. It can be nerve-racking to see yourself on camera. But the filming is fun, and we have an amazing crew and they do a really good job helping me feel comfortable and making this show happen.

What can we expect to see in each show?

Each show will feature one project from start to finish, so you’ll get to see six episodes and six renovations. I’m trying to choose interesting homes and show a variety of different styles and ideas so that we can show a little diversity in Philadelphia. There are a lot of different types of architecture here. Even though there are a ton of rowhomes, there are a lot of different things to do in each space to make it unique.

There are so many renovation shows out there these days. What makes ‘Philly Revival’ stand out from the rest?

I think this is one of the few renovation shows out there that’s based in an urban area. Philly really is kind of an untapped market for home shows—we have a ton of renovations going here and we’re one of the most undervalued major cities on the east coast. There’s this tremendous growth going on, which is fun to document.

Philadelphia itself is a unique place to film, as well, because it has a really different vibe. We have a lot of world-class art museums, music, history, and buildings, but we’re also still sort of an underdog city and we’re still a little bit gritty. So I think it be interesting for people to see some renovations in an area that isn’t featured that often on TV.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Street will speak at the Philly Home + Garden Show on Saturday, February 17 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, February 18 at 1 p.m.