Occupation: Real estate broker.
Style: 1,272-square-foot house.
For almost eight years Judith Robinson has lived in and worked on her nearly 100-year-old North Philadelphia home. Robinson shares her home, located near Temple University's main campus on the west side of Broad Street, with her daughter and granddaughter. She was a fashion designer before she became a real estate broker, and her art background shows in her home's decor and color scheme. The hallway is peach, the dining room is a warm green and the kitchen is a rich yet pale purple. Upstairs, Robinson's master bedroom is lavender. Her daughter's room is a bold blue, and her 3-year-old granddaughter's playroom is coral pink. The lifelong North Philadelphia resident describes the dining area as a Jamaican cafe. It features African artwork and masks, along with a mixture of old and new elements.
How did you find this space?
"I knew the former owners. They were looking for something in more move-in condition and didn't want a fixer-upper, so I said I'd take it and see what I could do. I'm in real estate, so I'm always looking for properties, and I didn't have to look long."
Describe the space.
"It's always a work in progress, and every room has something done over. When you come in you feel the openness the high ceilings give. The decor is eclectic. I always wanted a chaise lounge, and I got one a couple months ago. Now I'm asked, 'Why don't you have a sofa like everyone else?' The living room is really a space for everybody. I have an area for a small office, and there's room for my granddaughter to play--I didn't want to have a space that was too nice for my granddaughter to play on things. I love the old wood. It adds so much character to the place."
Describe the work you've done.
"The kitchen and bathroom were old so they were done first. The bathroom didn't have a shower--just a claw-foot bathtub. I couldn't move in without those rooms done. We stripped the staircase and the fireplace. The fireplace had so many layers of paint on it we thought it was wood, but all this time it was slate. I might paint it gold to bring out the beauty in the design."
What's the neighborhood like?
"It's so convenient to everything. Transportation is excellent, with buses all around. I have a car, so it's only five minutes to Fairmount Park. A lot of people have been in this neighborhood for three or four generations--I'm new to them. The tree-lined streets are beautiful in the spring with our pink dogwoods. Temple is nearby, and students are moving in. A new Jamaican restaurant moved in on Susquehanna. Businesses are moving to the west side of Broad Street. This area went down to its lowest level, and now we're coming up."