Fitler Square House

A nearly 200-year old brick row house was converted by k YODER design with a cohesive aesthetic to accommodate for 21st century living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • area / size 2,500 sqft
  • Type House,
  • The c. 1832 brick row house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in turn served as a corner store, restaurant, and residence over its nearly 200-year history. A comprehensive 2,500-square-foot renovation edited out incongruous details from renovations past and created a clean, modern one-bedroom, two-bath home with integrated spaces and a cohesive aesthetic.

    The design project began with a thoughtful, holistic approach to creating a modern home. The renovation opened the interior for improved connectivity between rooms. On the main level, the solution removed a masonry wall that once separated the original house from a later addition, an unused fireplace and an awkward set of enclosed basement stairs in order to open and integrate living, dining, and kitchen. Restoring interior walls back to their original structure also uncovered and captured wasted space, allowing for a new kitchen system with professional-grade appliances.

    A highlight of a previous renovation, the first floor’s grand metal staircase was extended to unify all floors of the house. The original metal craftsperson was engaged to create the new flight for a seamless integration of old and new. The stairs now extend to reach the basement’s new fitness and office spaces where a full bath was added.

    On the second floor, a new translucent bedroom door and glass partition window transfer light from the skylit stair into the redesigned master suite. Reimagining a walk-in closet as a walk-through dressing closet makes the space feel visually larger while adding functionality within a narrow footprint. The new master bath contains a concealed laundry, a generous spa shower, soaking tub, and dual vanity.

    The trussed third floor with exposed rafters features a new wet bar and concealed HVAC equipment behind a custom media console. The adjacent roof deck was completely restructured and re-decked with new pavers and railing.

    To ensure a unified modern aesthetic, the architectural team specified all of the furnishings and lighting. A mix of classic modern reproductions combine with vintage pieces by Eames, Turner, Saarinen, and Platner. Additional efforts – such as cladding fireplaces on all three floors in matching limestone and installing the same hardwood flooring throughout the house – reinforce visual consistency.

    Design: k YODER design
    Photography: Jeffrey Totaro