© 2020 by Sharon Otto Interiors, Westfield, NJ: 267-415-6851

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Serving the New Jersey cities of Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Short Hills, Chatham, Summit, Cranford, New Providence and surrounding communities.

An 80s Philly Town Home gets a Glow Up

Updated: Mar 6

Living in center city Philadelphia has a lot of perks! Philadelphia is the perfect city for the millennial generation with a strong job market, lots of culture, and a very reasonable cost-of-living. The housing market in Philadelphia is still accessible to many home buyers, and residents are taking advantage and buying into the community. These new home owners want to build value by transforming and modernizing their homes. This led to Sharon Otto Interiors having the opportunity to renovate the ground floor of a town home built in 1981.


So what was good about design in the 80s? Good question...please feel free to comment below with your thoughts. :-) However, there was ONE thing that we really wanted to keep in this property - the open, wood staircase. It was the one piece that was worth maintaining as a nod back to its origin. Our clients are a couple who are first-time renovators. We wanted to create a space that married together their styles, desire for pops of color, and maintain a youthful vibe.


The challenge: create a more open space, improve the overall lighting experience, utilize the space below the stairs to create a dry bar perfect for entertaining, improve an asymmetrical fireplace without moving it, make the closet a better experience, and update the powder room


Let's see how we did:

The After (use the arrows to move through the slide show):

Photo Credits: MGS Photography

Want to see more? Check out the portfolio with all photos

Partners: Chester County Craftworks

The Before (use the arrows to move through the slide show):

Now, just go back and look at those After pictures one.more.time. Love it! What are the major changes you notice most?


There were four changes that I think lent to some of the biggest impacts in the room:

1. We pulled out a working sink and pushed the wall back to make it flush, providing another 2-3 feet of open space.

2. We increased the glass panel on the front door and got rid of the surrounding white trim to allow additional light which would, in turn, contrast against the black door.

3. We opened up the closet and made it functional and pretty.

4. We added multiple forms of lighting - dimming recessed, pendants/chandeliers, and a floor lamp.


What's your favorite part of this home transformation? As much as I love that dry bar (and I do love that dry bar) there is just something about the entrance that sings to my heart.


I am happy to report that the homeowners are loving their space and enjoying it quite regularly. So much so, that the main living floor isn't really the main living floor anymore! I'm thrilled that we could give this 80's town home a new, modern look that this couple can both enjoy.