House Tour | Chaney Widmer’s Philadelphia Row Home
In 2015, Chaney and her husband, Charlie, went house hunting in Philadelphia. They weren’t looking for a home that needed a lot of work, but when Chaney spotted this 1930’s row house, that’s exactly what they got. The house didn’t show well - it had aging wall-to-wall carpet, and was in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint - but she saw its potential immediately.
Chaney is the founder of Mix & Match Design Company, an online residential interior design business, so she is very used to seeing beyond the not-so-pretty and imagining what a space could be with a little work. Though her husband was hesitant about taking on a “project house,” she convinced him that they could bring back the house’s original charm while modernizing it.
After purchasing the home, they dove into a 30-day renovation “blitz.” The whole house got new hardwood floors and a fresh coat of subtle gray paint. They also removed part of a wall between the kitchen and dining room to unite the whole first floor. Those changes gave the home a much brighter and more open feel – very important in a 1200 square foot row house!
When it came time to renovate the kitchen, they chose a clean, modern look with a mix of high and low end items. She chose IKEA cabinets for their simplicity and budget-friendliness (and soft-close doors!), but paired them with Caesarstone quartz countertops in London Grey. She invested in this particular quartz because of its low maintenance, high durability, and subtle marble look she loved.
For flooring, she chose an inexpensive slate-look porcelain tile laid in a herringbone pattern to give it more of a pop. Beneath the floors is a happy surprise - heat! Since the kitchen sits over the garage and the floor tends to get icy cold in the winter, this small splurge was well worth the investment.
On the decorating side, Chaney took the slow and steady approach - swapping out one piece at a time to create a home that reflects her family’s personality and lifestyle. They love throwing small gatherings and larger parties for friends and family, so creating a home that’s made for hosting is important to them.
Chaney loves a good mix of old and new, and some of her favorite “old” pieces are ones she has inherited from her grandparents, like the jelly cupboard in the living room. Her style has an minimalist, modern feel, but it’s also cozy thanks to some of the vintage pieces and textile choices.
She also loves to hunt for the perfect piece for a room and is happy to spend time searching in secondhand stores or on online classifieds. Their dining table, the Dylan from CB2, was actually a Craigslist find from a couple who downsized and couldn’t fit it in their new apartment!
One of her favorite projects in her home was the wall she hand-painted in their small bathroom. Though she liked the idea of wallpaper to give it a pop of bold color, she decided to try her hand at painting a triple-hash pattern. It turned out beautifully!
Chaney runs her business out of her home, so they turned one of the second floor bedrooms into an office. It’s one of her favorite rooms in the house because of the natural light that flows in and its clean, modern look.
The potential Chaney saw when she first toured the home has been realized. Nearly three years later, they have a fresh and cozy home they absolutely love. And we can see why!