Behind a charming exterior...

palimpsestJuly 13, 2014

Chijim's question about twins with split personality facades had me looking at twins, and I came across this one.

This is in Girard Estates, an early, planned, rental community that originally had a single heating plant for the entire neighborhood. Now privately owned, people had to put in their own furnaces when they bought.

The houses were twins or rows in various styles including "Spanish", "Colonial", "Craftsman" and "Tudor".

This is *not* an unusual decorating style in this general neighborhood, and much of it, like the bronze railing, which is not original, was expensive to execute. I kind of admire the --commitment to it.

This exterior is "Colonial":

And the interior is "Baroque", or "Rococo", not in a historical sense, but of a sensibility.






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williamsem

Oh my...I'd have to run back outside to make sure this was indeed the door I entered.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:42PM
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sochi

Wow. Hard to believe it is the same house!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:44PM
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jakabedy

I always wondered where Lisa Douglas lived before she married Oliver.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:35AM
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peony4

I've become so decor desensitized due to the shelters, blogs, Houzz, etc. that I think the world needs more of this. Who cares, really? Go for what you like.

I may very well on my deathbed mutter, "I wish I had gone for the periwinkle carpet..."

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:52AM
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oldbat2be

Yesterday for DD's birthday, I made Monte Cristo's and then we had a very rich cake for dessert (triple layer chocolate with raspberry buttercream frosting, with a dollop of sweetened fresh whipped cream). Seeing these pictures, makes me feel like I felt when I finished eating-way too much rich stuff.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:11AM
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deee_gw

In the 80's I dated a guy in western Pennsylvania whose parents were second generation immigrants. They had one room in their house done in this style and it was the Mom's pride and joy. I wonder if she ever redecorated.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:25AM
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edeevee

You say Baroque, I say Bordello.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:33AM
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joaniepoanie

I've never heard the term "twins" before. I have always known this style to be a duplex--two houses, one roof.

Floorplan reminds me of my relatives' row houses in northeast Philly.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:55AM
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nosoccermom

Wow!!! That carpet and the mirrors in the kitchen.

Is this place for sale?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:14AM
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tibbrix

Yikes!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:30AM
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bpathome

Although...the blue and yellow comforter set in the bedroom? My mother has it in her light-and-airy, blue-white-and-yellow guest room, and it looks much than in this bordello. Ccontext and restraint are everything. In some of the rooms, it looks like there's a nice foundation, but someone went overboard.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:39AM
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nosoccermom

bpath, I actually thought that that bedroom was quite nice, except for the dresser in front of the window.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:49AM
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palimpsest

Yes, its for sale. These houses are actually very desirable in that part of town.

You can tell by the exterior the great pride in ownership, and other than the carpet being so worn out, and the obvious signs of this being an estate, the 50-year old décor was carefully maintained.

I would imagine that there was a gold bedspread that matched the draperies that wore out and was replaced by that floral set.

This house isn't done in my taste, but I admire it nonetheless. I think we've gone a bit overboard into the realm of "restraint". At least this house isn't dull. I would like to see what happened if all the wall to wall carpet was removed. This house might look great with parquet floors.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:08AM
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Fun2BHere

This is the 1960's calling and I would like my coppertone oven back.

You always find the most interesting listings, Palimpsest. I love that you post the pictures, but I do wish that you would add the price or a link to the original listing. I'm in a weird real estate market so I like to see the housing prices elsewhere.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:21AM
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palimpsest

The house is $349,000. I tend not to list the price, because to a lot of people I don't know that it makes much sense without context.

It's a reasonable price for a house in that area. It's a relatively inexpensive house in the overall context of "nice neighborhood in Philadelphia", although this is not a centrally located, high walkability neighborhood either.

Something comparable in my neighborhood would be 50% more perhaps, but there wouldn't be something truly comparable in my neighborhood anyway, the housing stock is completely different with nothing from this era at all, only much older houses and some much newer. But in innumerable locations of the US it would be ridiculous to pay anything close to $349K for a house of this sort, so I tend to neglect that sort info. But I will try to remember to do so.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:38AM
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dedtired

Pal, I learn more and more about my city through you. Nooks and crannies I have never seen, or have seen but didn't know the story. Thanks.

I think the decor is typical South Philly, all glitz and glam. Think of Real Housewives of NJ without the money (which, from what I have been reading, they didn't have either!).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:05PM
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blfenton

OH my.

Like Fun2BHere, I like to see prices as well. I am in a stupidly expensive real estate market and like to see prices that don't have as their basis a 1 followed by 6 zeros.. Although then I get depressed.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Fun2BHere

Thanks, Palimpsest, for the price. I recognize that prices only make sense in context, but I like to put them into my frame of reference and then think about whether I would be willing to move to wherever to be able to buy a house at that price.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:26PM
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voila

Bless her heart. She did it her way. I admire strong women who carry their ideas to fruition.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:23PM
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gsciencechick

The exterior is totally charming.

I agree that whoever decorated it went with it for sure. I also admire the individuality.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:57PM
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carsonheim

I do love that stair railing!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:23AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

It would make great sense if the owner's origins were pre WWII France or Italy; the 1900-1939 european interior style, in that milieu, this fits right in, with only a few differences which I ascribe to the "bones" of the house. (and that kitchen; no European precedent for that )
Casey

This post was edited by sombreuil_mongrel on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 9:20

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:18AM
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outsideplaying_gw

Wow! That kitchen just hurt my eyes! But the exterior is a beauty.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:31AM
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arcy_gw

Are we to assume both sides are done inside the same? In my world a duplex is not necessarily the same as its "twin" as each owner does their own thing. The outside certainly screams TAKE ME and the price is AWESOME--if you didn't have to gut the place. Blue will never be in my decorating palate. The room sizes do not match the grandeur of the decorating. This falls under "To Each His Own". Pass.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:53AM
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chijim

It wouldn't surprise me if I found out that back in the day the furniture was encased in plastic, plastic on the lampshades, over tablecloth and plastic runners used over the carpets.

With that staircase and railing, I could see it lending itself to a Hollywood Regency decor.

This post was edited by chijim on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 11:56

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:54AM
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teacats

Whoa! :)

I do recognize most of these items -- VERY popular in my town in the 60s and 70s ....

... and yes .... I do remember folks who encased items (or entombed) them in plastic ..... does anyone remember how a person would stick to the plastic in the summer months??? :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:58AM
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chijim

"... and yes .... I do remember folks who encased items (or entombed) them in plastic ..... does anyone remember how a person would stick to the plastic in the summer months??? :)"

Add in how nice it looked if the people were smokers and the plastic yellowed. :-0

I can remember as a kid riding in car whose owner covered their car seats in plastic...that car was a torture chamber on wheels in the summer!!!!!

This post was edited by chijim on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 15:35

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:23PM
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Gooster

That was probably quite a showcase in its day. Thanks for sharing.

I do agree a lot of our impressions are clouded by the shag (purple-tastic). Without it, the impact would be far less. And, much of the decor (aside from that railing), is relatively non permanent. The original Colonial finishes seem to be there.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:23PM
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anele_gw

While it's not my taste, I appreciate it. Not only did thought go into it, but the owners had a good sense of style, scale, etc. Things "make sense."

I agree with Pal-- if the flooring were changed it would make all the difference.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:13PM
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tracie.erin

I like it; it's very cohesive. The decorator had a vision and she adhered to it.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:51PM
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jterrilynn

I have had to go back and look at this a few times. I was trying to find something I liked. In the end I had to pretend the carpets werenâÂÂt filthy looking because that was throwing me off. I think if I lightened the pictures or did the pictures in black and white AND lightened them I could better appreciate the thought that went into the interior originally. I still wouldnâÂÂt personally like it but would appreciate it if I didnâÂÂt think the carpets had cat pee.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:29PM
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lazy_gardens

" The room sizes do not match the grandeur of the decorating"

Exactly ... it's a fairly modest row house or semi-detached and they have it tarted up like Liberace's 5,000 square foot mansion.

The scale of the furnishings is too large, and with all that plush carpet, mirrored gilt and color and swags ... there is no place to rest the eyes. There might be some astounding stuff in there, but it's ALL clamoring for attention.

That was a common decor in parts of Chicago when my ex-DH was in high school ... early Mafia Princess.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:59PM
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palimpsest

I tried cleaning the carpet: I never noticed the kitchen counter and backsplash were pink until I got rid of the red carpet and white fridge.



    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:24PM
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lucky123

The décor is Dracula's Bordello. The Vampires Lair.

I looked for a coffin but perhaps it is in the basement. The backsplash in the kitchen is the same shade of pink as the satin lining in the vampire's box bed.

The purple carpet is the shade of the lining of the opera cape.

It is quite obvious that decor is a Vampire's color scheme dream.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:53PM
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