The Space

By J. Cooper Robb
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Aug. 31, 2005

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Joseph Hoffman
Occupation: Senior financial analyst.
Neighborhood: Queen Village.
Style: 2,000-square-foot row home.

Americans buy homes for a variety of reasons: It's a good investment; you don't shell out money for rent; you get more space. But perhaps the biggest reason is the reassurance that comes with owning the place you live in. That sense of comfort is striking when you enter the home Joseph Hoffman shares with his partner Justin. Although the house is in one of the city's liveliest neighborhoods, their place on Bainbridge Street gives off an air of contentment, warmth and ease.

How long have you been here?
"Three years."

Where did you live before?
"I lived at Ninth and Catharine."

When you were looking to buy a place, did you want to stay in the neighborhood?
"I actually wanted to stay in Bella Vista, but this is pretty close."

Is it more expensive here than in Bella Vista?
"I was lucky. This was high, but I bought it right before the market went really crazy."

How big is the house?
"It's 2,000 square feet, three floors. We have two bedrooms, two dens and an office."

Why did you choose this house?
"Basically, I wanted more space. I lived in a loft over at Ninth and Catharine. Here I have the living room, dining room and kitchen. With the extra bedroom and bathroom, we can have guests over."

What have you done to the place since moving in?
"We put in new carpet on the second floor and new hardwood floors on the third. It was very '70s-looking when we moved in, so we've sort of modernized it with new colors, and we put in new countertops and stainless-steel appliances, and redid the cabinets in the kitchen."

I love the way you painted your living room and downstairs bathroom.
"It started out brown, and it was a little too dark. We just kept adding orange until we got it the way we wanted it."

Where did you get your furniture?
"It's from all over. We're not into buying like a living room set or anything. We like to buy furniture one piece at a time."

Where are your art pieces from?
"Most of them Justin made. He also made a lot of our furniture."

You have a little outdoor area.
"Yeah. It's nice. We also have deck off the third floor. We had a rooftop deck over on Catharine, and that's the one thing I really miss. The neighbors are cool here, but you don't have the same privacy you get with a rooftop deck."

Do you use the third-floor deck much?
"No, I don't really. I'm not sure why, but I just don't utilize it the way I did the roof deck."

What's your favorite thing about the house?
"It's just really very comfortable. I can hang out and chill. My old place was small so it always felt kind of cluttered. It didn't feel like a home. But this feels like home."

Got a great space? Email J. Cooper Robb (jrobb@philadelphiaweekly.com) with your name, neighborhood and contact info.

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