Taking a Closer Look Inside Amy’s 1920’s Home Featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Amy’s recently finished a labor of love:  a renovation of her her house, which is featured in the November 4th publication of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Click here to read the article. While some aspects might be expected, like creating a more open floor plan, every single detail was strategic, not only to ensure the design fit her family’s needs, but that the new construction fit right in with 1920’s classic stone home.

Amy and Adam Cuker’s Elkins Park home seamlessly melds modern-day convenience and sustainability with its stately circa 1929 origins. Enthralled with the home’s bold architecture and yard, the neighborhood’s diversity, and the Cheltenham Township school system, the couple bought the roughly 3,500-square-foot stone house in 2010. But the house needed updating to fit the family’s lifestyle. First on the list: a bathroom on the first floor.  (Stay tuned for a an upcoming blogpost featuring the ins and outs of that family friendly power room design )

That led to phase two: a large, organized mudroom and a complete kitchen renovation, with upgraded appliances, sleek cabinetry, and a maintenance-free quartz countertop. The home’s original kitchen was small and closed off. By removing walls and a butler’s pantry, they created an open space, with a  dining table made of reclaimed spalted maple. (“You actually go and meet your slab,” Amy said.)


Read more about the Cuker family and their home online at Philly.com or pick up your printed copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer today!

Now, let’s take a closer look (below) at some of the thoughtful details:

kitchen dining room overview

Custom cabinetry scribed perfectly to ebb and flow against the original stone façade on the back of the house.

Custom Cabinetry scribed into the stone


The purple back mudroom door matches the front door, while the practical brick floor matches that of the front landing.

Down2Earth Interior Design | Mudroom Cover

The dining room has custom built-in and a live wood edge table made from reclaimed spalted maple.

Live edge dining room table


Hardware on the dining room drawers are foxes, from Anthropologie.   A neighborhood fox is known to frequent Amy’s yard, so it is yet another contextual choice.   Cabinet doors that store wine have the ability to lock.

Anthropologie drawer pulls and door knobs

Dining room storage was custom built to mimic the style and proportions of the woodwork elsewhere in the house, but was designed with paned glass doors and LED lighting to highlight wine glasses and accessories.

custom cabinet with LED


Sharing with us an inside view of this project, Amy explains:

We live in a large stone house in Elkins Park.   Lots of charm, but the rooms were pretty closed off to one another, so we couldn’t enjoy the open plan living that modern families tend to value.   In 2016 we did a major renovation where we opened up the walls between the kitchen, butler’s pantry and dining room to create an open living space that respected the character of the home.   We did a mudroom addition as well, and every detail of that mudroom is customized to our family – down to the fact that I measured the height of my boots to determine how tall their cubby needed to be!   

Here is the before and after space plan to see all the changes:

Space plan before

Space plan of the original kitchen and dining room areas.

space plan after

Space plan of new areas of the kitchen, dining room and addition of the mudroom.


Do you have an old home with modern conveniences?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

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