Monday, August 4, 2014
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On the Market: Old City rowhome for $699K

This Old City rowhome, located at 140-42 Vine Street, is on the market for $699,000.
This Old City rowhome, located at 140-42 Vine Street, is on the market for $699,000. Lindsay Ladd
This Old City rowhome, located at 140-42 Vine Street, is on the market for $699,000. Gallery: On the Market: Old City rowhome for $699K

On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.

For the past 24 years, Cynthia Kehl’s Old City townhouse has been much more than a home to her.

It’s been an ongoing work of art, as well as a place for her long-standing hairstyling business.

Kehl, a Philadelphia native who has been a hairdresser for 40 years, took an unconventional approach to designing her home. Instead of heading to furniture stores or hiring an interior designer, she looked in some places where many wouldn’t even think about finding décor.

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  • “I am a dumpster diver,” Kehl said. “Mostly everything that I used to decorate my home either came out of the trash, a Dumpster, a flea market, a garage sale, or a sidewalk sale. I’m very good at fixing things and making them look like expensive antiques when they’re not.”

    Whether it’s the deer antlers, old cabinetry, or paintings that were going to be thrown out, Kehl says each object in her home has a story.

    Kehl, who has no interior designing background, says nothing in particular inspired her to design like this; it just came to her.

    “If you have a vision of how you would like to live, you just create it,” she said. “Your home is the stage for your life, and you have to imagine your life on that stage.”

    This was the first home Kehl ever purchased, which is why she really took the opportunity to make it her own. Although she had never lived on the east side of Broad Street, she saw an ad for the home back in the early 1990s, and decided to check it out. That’s when she realized “it had everything.”

    “It had parking, a garden, a deck, it was right next to I-95 and the Ben Franklin Bridge,” she said. “You can walk out of your front door and walk everywhere you need to go. It’s a little treasure.”

    The 1,584-square-foot home, located at 140-42 Vine Street, also offered a space for her to put in her own hair salon. She had been renting out her business in other spaces, but figured she could save money by combining her home and work in one space.

    Kehl’s creative additions aren’t the only unique aspects of the property. Built in the early 1800s, the home still has some original features, including the pine floors and doors.

    Her kitchen tiles are scagliola, and are from the local company Wells Vissar Inc., who also provided the tiles for one of New York City’s most popular restaurants, Tavern on the Green.

    Although designing has been a continuous process since she moved in, Kehl hasn't completed any upgrades.

    “I didn’t have to do anything except move in and decorate and have fun,” she said.

    The home has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It also has two outdoor spaces: a side yard and a deck off the kitchen, plus a parking spot.

    After nearly two-and-half decades of living in the home and spending countless hours decorating, Kehl is downsizing and making way for another homeowner to make it their own creative space. She has put the home on the market for $699,000.

    Click here to view the listing >

    Lauren Mennen Philly.com