Before & After: This Stunning Home Was Once An Abandoned Church
Tony Lucente and Chandrima Chatterjee came across an this abandoned 19th-century church by pure chance. Tony had finished a "crazy adventure motorcycle ride" through the Himalayas and took a day to unwind in Delhi. Whilst there he started looking at property in Philadelphia, USA.
"With nothing better to do, I started looking at the Philly real estate listings and found the church," he says. "I called them immediately and was very interested. My wife stopped over the next day and the rest is history."
Before: View From the Balcony
"The church sat abandoned for about 40 years, had a huge hole in the roof where rain water poured in, and was set for demolition by the city of Philadelphia when it was bought by a builder for conversion to residential space," says Lucente. They enlisted architect Laurits Schless of LHS Residential to bring their vision to life.
The couple only own one portion of the church — the former Sunday School. Still, it checked all their boxes, spanning 3,000 square feet over three stories, with four bedrooms, two and a half baths, and a three-car garage.
The structure had been completely gutted, but a few features remain: The stone façade, the stained glass Sunday School window above the original front door, and two two-story window frames.
After: Living Room
They began the renovation by looking at other church conversions online. "Lots of them were done in a very modern and minimalist way. My wife and I wanted modern, but I feared that if not done right it might end up looking a little cold or sterile."
Chatterjee found the arches that divide the living room and kitchen. Although they aren't original to the space, they perfectly tie together the home's modern feel with its ancient origins. "When we found the arches, we had the idea of going with what we're calling a modern version of a '30s or '40s Moroccan look," Lucente says.
The home's colorful tiling comes from Mosaic House in New York City. "We fell in love with all the bright vibrant colors," Lucente says. "We were torn between the more geometric patterns and the more floral patterns, but we were immediately sold on the yellow backsplash tile." You'll spot unique tiling throughout the space — the fireplace surround's tiles were shipped from Fez.