508 W. Allens Lane | Philadelphia | 19119
Architect: Metcalfe Architecture and Design

Built 2011; 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath, 3,622 square feet

Metcalfe Architecture & Design (MA&D) completed the transformation of a classic 1920’s stone colonial house into an open, colorful and highly personalized Modern house for Amy and Michael Cohen.

Located in Philadelphia’s historic and leafy Mt. Airy neighborhood, the house is surrounded by many other stone colonials. The architect transformed the traditional layout of small rambling rooms into an open floor plan. In keeping with 21st century lifestyles, he shifted the original focus from the front of the house to the back; making the most of its new backyard and terrace. This transformation created a comfortable transition between the kitchen, living spaces, and outdoors for easy entertaining—important design elements for these socially active Philadelphia natives.

The house’s bright color palette, natural materials, and artistic finishes reflect the Cohen’s bold personal style. MA&D collaborated with Val Nehez Interior Design, McCoubrey Overholser General Contractors, James Van Etten Furniture by Design, and several other artists.

Highlights of the renovation include a new “jewel-box” like back entry; remodeled kitchen with custom cabinets, maple counters, radiant-heated herringbone slate floors, back-painted glass walls, and unique shelving for Amy’s collection of antique globes (she is a geography teacher!) and artifacts from their travels. The wall separating kitchen and dining room became a unique 3D art installation by artist Paul Schultz—“Celebrate the Uncelebrated,” made of colorful recycled plastic bread tags suspended between clear acrylic sheets. A striking glass chandelier designed by MA&D and executed by artist Nikolaj Christensen hangs in the entrance foyer.

The expanded kitchen and living space open onto the bluestone and in-laid brick patio, with a mahogany pergola overhead. The second floor renovations include a redesigned custom master bath with marble shower and counters, and heated herringbone slate floors.


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