row house garage

Distinguished Row House Garage Doors

Parking is often a challenge for urban row house dwellers. If you have a newer home, or adjacent property, you might be able to enjoy the luxury of a garage or off-street parking. And, if you are lucky enough to have a garage, chances are, it will have a door, or a parking space gate. Below are some of the nicer garage / gate doors we’ve seen during our journeys.

Even if you can’t afford a fancy garage door, keeping the garage door you do have in good condition will have a positive effect on the general curb appeal of your row house. Don’t forget, a garage door that closes tight means you will be less likely to receive visitors like raccoons, mice or squirrels.

Row House Garage Door

Row House Garage Door

The stained wood and ironwork on this garage door is quite lovely. The front door of this row house has a coordinating design.

This is a beautiful, old world styled, garage door. The paneled style and small square windows resemble colonial doors, which are common in this area. The owners have placed a welcoming bench and flowerpot to add curb appeal.

 

Row House Garage Door

 

Things for Your Row House from Rowhouse

Of course, if the store sign says Rowhouse, I am going to go in. See how the “H” looks like a little house? Irresistible! Inside, we found a wonderful collection of vintage and antique home items at accessible prices, tended to by proprietor Linda Westphal who was kind enough to let my daughter entertain herself on an old typewriter. Usually I let out wistful sighs when lurking about antique stores but Rowhouse has some fantastic things within reach.

Rowhouse Vintage in Manayunk, Philadelphia

You do have to like old, although there were a few mid-century items, but nothing overly modern. Now that that’s out of the way, on to exploring. We noticed the case first, since we now have a violinist in the house but Linda took the violin out of the window so we could get a better look. No longer playable, we were still pretty excited to learn the violin had been made in 1832, the same year as our house.

Rowhouse Vintage

My husband Frank said, “If you had a store, it would be just like this,” as he walked around noticing lovely things like a perforated room divider for $50. Indeed, the store occupies a turn-of-the-century building, if not older, and you go from room to room instead of an open plan. The experience is not unlike visiting an old relative’s house who has the coolest things.

Rowhouse in Manayunk, Philadelphia, vintage typewriter.

Computer keyboards just aren’t as satisfying to use. Tap, tap, tap, ding!

Rowhouse Vintage in Manayunk, Philadelphia.

On the left side of the photo above, there is a desk with a hump-back desk clock. To the left of the clock is a letter organizer, made in France in the early 1800’s. It’s a fantastic piece and very small space friendly. Below is a slightly closer look. I’m sorry I didn’t get a close-up photo.

Rowhouse Vintage, Manayunk, Philadelphia

Rowhouse Vintage, Manayunk, Philadelphia

Below, is the second room, as visitors progress to the back of the store. Rowhouse occupies a corner property so there are windows on the side. The eclectic mix works very well in the architectural setting. Another nice thing about a store setting like this, is that if you live in an older row house, you can get a realistic idea of how something will look in your house, thanks to the similar proportions. Helps to prevent those, “it looked so much smaller in the store” moments.

Rowhouse Vintage, Manayunk, Philadelphia

The third room of the store looked very much like it had been a kitchen during a previous life. Looking behind the shelves, we could make out tile soap holders. Another of our favorites are the floor mats pictures below. They feature nautical and botanical themes. If you have a row house where people come directly into your living room from the outdoors, these mats are fantastic for keeping dirt off your rugs. Frank really liked one that had sailboats on it but we have to wait until they come in stock. The mats are also lovely as wall hangings.

Rowhouse Vintage, Manayunk, Philadelphia

Besides having lovely things to go in the kitchen, there was a beautiful baker’s rack in the front window, with beautiful dark wood surfaces on a vintage industrial style base.

Rowhouse Vintage, Manayunk, Philadelphia

And then, there was this octopus taking a bath on a vintage dictionary page, who came home with us.

Rowhouse Vintage, Manayunk, Philadelphia - Octopus in a bathtub

For more information about Rowhouse, please visit them in Manayunk, Philadelphia at 4320 Main Street, or call 215.482.4320.

RowHouse Magazine Resources: Renovation & Restoration

Georgian row house in Philadelphia.Row houses come in every age. If you have an older row home and you wish to preserve the authenticity, the following resources may prove useful.

Please note that listing a product or company here is not an endorsement of the product and/or its quality. Listings here are meant to be useful and informative but not promotional. Companies listed here have not paid compensation to be listed.

 

Why We Like IKEA

There are people who love IKEA, people who hate it, and people who tolerate it because it serves a purpose. I happen to be in the first group because IKEA appeals to my northern Germanic sensibility about order and it stays right about where I need furniture to fit into my budget. Because you have to assemble IKEA yourself, it definitely fits into the DIY category.

Our row house stairs are not furniture friendly.

Our row house stairs are not furniture friendly.

IKEA is fairly ubiquitous these days but I discovered the store around 1997 when it wasn’t quite the phenomenon it is today. For a person whose hobby is the study of decorative arts, the idea of being barely out of college and able to afford new furniture was amazing. I started with a few pieces of IVAR and today nearly my entire house is furnished with IKEA. Since I am not a modern person, I’ve appreciated the more traditional IKEA collections. IKEA is sort of like the tofu of the design world. You can work it into any theme. But I never appreciated fully it until I moved into my Philadelphia trinity/Federal row house with it’s spiral stair case.

I am always jealous of people who have an eclectic collection of furniture that creates a cozy look. I also love antiques and solid wood furniture with dovetail joins. I always dreamed of filling my house with a livable combination of furniture that looked or was, in fact, old. However, when we found that we couldn’t get our furniture up the stairs, it was the flat-pack to the rescue. Just last night, I spied a fabulous little piece hanging out on the curb that I thought for sure would make it up the stairs. After an hour of shoving, back to the curb it returned. It would seem that I am destined to own furniture that can be built inside the room. That means either commissioning pieces or IKEA.

IKEA is a DIY dream. The instructions are fairly easy to follow. You can hire help just in case you get stuck. Many of the pieces are unfinished can be painted. Recently there has been a movement of IKEA hackers who do amazing things by using the IKEA raw materials and making completely customized furniture out of it (http://ikeahacker.blogspot.com/). We’ve done a bit of customization ourselves. Our LACK table has legs from another model and we cut the side of our IVAR to accommodate a ledge in our kitchen. In total we have BEKVAM, IVAR, KURS, INGO, LACK, LESVIK, MINNEN, MIKAEL, POANG, and probably more I can’t recall right now.

Just about our entire house is filled with IKEA.

Just about our entire house is filled with IKEA.

So far it’s been a good relationship. I still get a sense of accomplishment when I put a piece together. Putting IKEA together is a family event now that my daughter’s old enough to help. I’ve made the meatballs at home. I use the comforter covers. I have IKEA dishes, towels, and flatware which I use everyday without fail. It’s never let me down. As my daughter grows, I know IKEA will help us evolve her room into something she will love and putting it together herself will hopefully give her a sense of accomplishment too.

RowHouse Magazine Resources: Green Living

A colorful container garden in Philly.

A colorful container garden in Philly.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL)

Goal Zero is an innovator of portable solar power systems that power a variety of USB, AC and DC devices anywhere and at anytime.

PhillyCarShare

Smart Energy Solutions

Zipcar

Please note that listing a product or company here is not an endorsement of the product and/or its quality. Listings here are meant to be useful and informative but not promotional. Companies listed here have not paid compensation to be listed.

If you would like to be considered for this list, please contact Suzanne. Thank you!

Acorn Street, Boston, MA. Source: Amanda Beattie

RowHouse Magazine Resources: Publications

Acorn Street, Boston, MA. Source: Amanda Beattie

Acorn Street, Boston, MA. Source: Amanda Beattie

Bricks and Brownstones: The New York Town House

Old House Journal

The American Townhouse

The Modern Townhouse: The Latest in Urban and Suburban Designs

The Old House Web

This Old House

Please note that listing a product or company here is not an endorsement of the product and/or its quality. Listings here are meant to be useful and informative but not promotional. Companies listed here have not paid compensation to be listed.

If you would like to be added to this list, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

Keep your stuff! Organizing your things.

RowHouse Magazine Resources: Home Organization

Keep your stuff! Organizing your things.Hold Everything

Organize Everything

Rubbermaid

The Clear Box Company

The Container Store

Tupperware

Please note that listing a product or company here is not an endorsement of the product and/or its quality. Listings here are meant to be useful and informative but not promotional. Companies listed here have not paid compensation to be listed.

If you would like to be considered for this list, please contact Suzanne. Thank you!

RowHouse Magazine Resources

Row house in Philadelphia.Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of really interesting things you could put into your row house. From furniture to kitchen sinks to electronic bunnies you can hook up to your iPhone; there are a lot of options. I started creating lists of interesting websites that I thought might be useful. Below are links to the individual pages:

These are evolving lists that get updated periodically. If you’d like to make a suggestion, please let us know!

Things for your row house bedroom.

RowHouse Magazine Resources: Bedding

Things for your row house bedroom.

Things for your row house bedroom.

Dwell Bedding

L.L. Bean

Lands End

The Company Store

Pier One Imports

Restoration Hardware

IKEA

Please note that listing a product or company here is not an endorsement of the product and/or its quality. Listings here are meant to be useful and informative but not promotional. Companies listed here have not paid compensation to be listed.

If you would like to be considered for this list, please contact Suzanne. Thank you!

There is no reason why your cold mist humidifier has to be boring. Target is selling an assortment of super cute Crane humidifiers.

Beyond Cute Humidifiers

There is no reason why your cold mist humidifier has to be boring. Target is selling an assortment of super cute Crane humidifiers.

There is no reason why your cold mist humidifier has to be boring. Target is selling an assortment of super cute Crane humidifiers.

Update: A few years back, we wrote the article below about really cute humidifiers. At the time, we purchased one of these, the cow to be specific. Well, several years later, our cow humidifier is still going strong. Sometimes we take the lid off and turn it up and use it as a fog machine. Sometimes we leave it on all day by accident. Despite the abuse, it works well and you can still pick one up at Target.

It’s important to keep your row home hydrated during the winter months. Especially in older homes, the dry air can cause bloody noses and horribly dry skin.

There is no reason why your cold mist humidifier has to be boring. Target is selling an assortment of super cute Crane humidifiers, some of which are pictured here. They each hold about a gallon of water which will keep a small room, 10 feet square, well hydrated all night. We’ve tried the cow model which runs silently.