Of course, if the store sign says Rowhouse, I am going to go in. See how the “H” looks like a little house? Irresistible! Inside, we found a wonderful collection of vintage and antique home items at accessible prices, tended to by proprietor Linda Westphal who was kind enough to let my daughter entertain herself on an old typewriter. Usually I let out wistful sighs when lurking about antique stores but Rowhouse has some fantastic things within reach.
You do have to like old, although there were a few mid-century items, but nothing overly modern. Now that that’s out of the way, on to exploring. We noticed the case first, since we now have a violinist in the house but Linda took the violin out of the window so we could get a better look. No longer playable, we were still pretty excited to learn the violin had been made in 1832, the same year as our house.
My husband Frank said, “If you had a store, it would be just like this,” as he walked around noticing lovely things like a perforated room divider for $50. Indeed, the store occupies a turn-of-the-century building, if not older, and you go from room to room instead of an open plan. The experience is not unlike visiting an old relative’s house who has the coolest things.
Computer keyboards just aren’t as satisfying to use. Tap, tap, tap, ding!
On the left side of the photo above, there is a desk with a hump-back desk clock. To the left of the clock is a letter organizer, made in France in the early 1800’s. It’s a fantastic piece and very small space friendly. Below is a slightly closer look. I’m sorry I didn’t get a close-up photo.
Below, is the second room, as visitors progress to the back of the store. Rowhouse occupies a corner property so there are windows on the side. The eclectic mix works very well in the architectural setting. Another nice thing about a store setting like this, is that if you live in an older row house, you can get a realistic idea of how something will look in your house, thanks to the similar proportions. Helps to prevent those, “it looked so much smaller in the store” moments.
The third room of the store looked very much like it had been a kitchen during a previous life. Looking behind the shelves, we could make out tile soap holders. Another of our favorites are the floor mats pictures below. They feature nautical and botanical themes. If you have a row house where people come directly into your living room from the outdoors, these mats are fantastic for keeping dirt off your rugs. Frank really liked one that had sailboats on it but we have to wait until they come in stock. The mats are also lovely as wall hangings.
Besides having lovely things to go in the kitchen, there was a beautiful baker’s rack in the front window, with beautiful dark wood surfaces on a vintage industrial style base.
And then, there was this octopus taking a bath on a vintage dictionary page, who came home with us.
For more information about Rowhouse, please visit them in Manayunk, Philadelphia at 4320 Main Street, or call 215.482.4320.