Philadelphia is a city filled with history, culture, and people with an unbreakable spirit. For years, however, the grid system that holds our many row homes and condominiums has been less than savory. All of that is changing in recent history and we sat down with Philly native and host of DIY Network’s Philly Street Flipping, Rachel Street, to get her take on the real estate boom here in the city of brotherly love.

A Temple grad (#TempleMade) Rachel is the President of Hestia Construction, and the team leader of The Street Group, a construction company focused on renovating homes in the Philadelphia area. Rachel’s love of design, combined with the real estate expertise of The Street Group, and the quality craftsmanship of Hestia Construction is a proven trifecta –  transforming  dilapidated Philadelphia houses into stylish inviting homes with the modern city dweller in mind. Rachel and her team are currently filming new episodes for DIY Network’s Philly Street Flipping.

Rachel believes, that when it comes to renovating homes that have been vacant and dilapidated for many years it is important to maintain some of the natural history in these buildings. “Philadelphians have wanted higher end renovations for a long time, my company is focused on responding to the newer construction that tends to look the same, we like to mix the old with the new.”

Mixing the old with the new will be a topic of conversation for Rachel at this years Home and Garden show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo center in Oaks, running March 16th-18th. She will be talking on Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 1 PM giving tips on how to combine the old and new and add character to your space.

Rachel shared a few of her tips with us on how to make a row home feel a little larger. “Row homes have a tendency to be narrow and long so if you are able to tear down walls especially on the first floor to give it a more open concept that will help.” Says Rachel. She also suggests trying to lift the ceiling as much as possible if doing a full renovation, “making the ceilings as high as they can be will open up the room.”

Adding as much natural light to the rooms as possible is also an effective way of making a room feel bigger. Put in full length windows, sliding doors, or even a window that leads to an alley if it means getting a little more light in the room. As far as smaller adjustments, painting the walls with white or light colors and finding furniture that is appropriate for the room, in some cases maybe smaller furniture, will help make the space feel bigger.

“[The Philadelphia Home and Garden Show] is a great place to get ideas and see different products out on the market that you might not know about otherwise.” Rachel says.  So if you are looking to invest, purchase your first home in the Philadelphia area, or even spruce up your rental, head to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA this weekend to hear Rachel speak and to see all that the show has to offer!

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