I’ve been awaiting this peek for quite a while. Ever since we saw a little of the spectacular transformations that Tara Mangini & Percy Bright accomplished on this 1915 Philadelphia row house (See Before & After: Percy’s Home Transformation Part 1 and Part 2), I was anxious to see the entire home. The couple has exquisite taste. Together they run , primarily selling vintage housewares and furniture. At Brimfield, Grace, Kate and I stumbled upon the couple’s booth, and Grace took home a beautiful vintage bench purchased from the pair. It can be difficult to make vintage finds feel cohesive, but Tara and Percy have created a home that feels serene and lived in. Thanks, Tara & Percy! And a big thank you to Tara for the lovely photos! — Amy Azzarito
Image above: All original doors and trim. Handmade reclaimed bleacher bench. Wood from an old gymnasium in North Philadelphia. Legs from Home Depot. Great old US map from Philly Flea Market. Gloves and boots and ooh, and I think those are some bills piling up, too.
Image above: We found a picture of an old Parisian paneled room that we fell in love with and decided to try to create one of our own. Percy is the mastermind and muscle behind this incredible feat. He pulled about 400 linear feet of dirty, nail-filled huge base cap molding from an abandoned school in North Philly. (PS — You don’t realize how much wood that is until it’s sitting in your kitchen for two weeks.) He then spent weeks paneling the living room. The math, sweat and patience that went into this room make it even more beautiful. We pulled out a hideous fake fireplace and mantel and trimmed it with some of the reclaimed wood. Now we have a great focal point that showcases some of the beautiful wood that made this project possible and about 200 vintage books, as well! This room currently serves as our by-appointment-only shop, though we hope to someday get a grand dining room table in here and host some killer dinner parties.
See more of Tara & Percy’s Philadelphia home after the jump!
Image above: Chalkboard paint from Home Depot. Brilliant because we can switch up the pattern on a whim. Perfect cure for indecision and boredom! After resisting for quite some time, we finally installed a mirror over the sink. The frame is made from some of the leftover trim from the front room. And we must admit, it’s nice to be able to watch yourself brush your teeth.
Image above: Rusty bed frame from a church fair that we got for $15. Cleaned up quite nicely! The wall behind is another thing we love. Made from all the lath that was pulled out during renovations. It’s the start of our lath obsession that you’ll see scattered through the house.
Image above: Kitchen into the front room! Theater seats from Craigslist. Perfect example of us finding something that we loved and then finding a way to fit it into the house. Hand-stenciled wall, which was another test of patience.
Image above: Homemade pendant light. Great, deep farmhouse-style sink.
Image above: Water damage led to the revealing of lots of exposed brick throughout the house. Which we love! We essentially tore out the original kitchen and started from scratch. So everything from the stove to the fridge is custom built into the design. The butcher block countertops are probably one of our favorite design decisions in there.
Image above: Ah. The bedroom. We get such beautiful light in here, which we really wanted to highlight. Percy plastered the walls, which creates this great weathered-looking, uneven surface that the light really dances around on. We do a lot of our shooting for Etsy in here because the light is so great. Almost everything is vintage or reclaimed. Door headboard. Old map. Vintage linens. School locker. The portrait of that girl between the windows is maybe one of my (Tara’s) most favorite vintage finds in the house.
Image above: More plasterwork and vintage finds. Dresser is a hand-me-down from Percy’s grandmother that seems like it was made just for us. Typewriter for love letter writing. Vintage books found up in CT.
Image above: Boots!
Image above: Percy’s favorite vintage find! Private door custom built into the room. Over-toilet storage made from an old blueberry crate.
Image above: It’s dangerous having a bed so close to where you’re trying to do work, but it’s a nice escape. Drying lines above the bed for when we do printing projects. Featured on them in the picture are my Something Small To Say cards. Available on !
Image above: One of the spaces in the house where we really had to consider function as well as aesthetic. Wrap-around desks from salvaged butcher block. Shelving from black pipe and reclaimed planks. Tons of light. Great space to create. Love seeing how our individual work spaces look evolved. My side (Tara’s) is filled with pastel colors and piles of ribbons and an old typewriter. Percy’s side is filled with brick and reclaimed wood and bold colors. Feels just right.
Image above: Starting to dabble in letterpress! This huge wall felt like it needed something on it, but we really didn’t want to just hang a row of pictures or posters. We came up with the idea to blow up one of my Something Small To Say cards and loved it. We projected the type up on the wall and painted away! The paint color up here was mixed by us! Paint chips can be so deceiving! After a few instances of spending hours poring over them and picking the right color only to paint it and see that it was TOTALLY different, we started buying huge gallons of white paint and mi it with bold versions of the color we wanted to get it just right.
Image above: The backyard used to be a mess of a bamboo forest. Now it’s a great place to sip afternoon wine or play Scrabble surrounded by friends and twinkle lights.
Image above: And our beautiful rooftop view of Philadelphia!