Top Trends in Home Design


Luxury living room with french windows, fireplace and glass top coffee table


If you’re trying to design a home or are curious about the hottest trends, there are some developments in housing construction and decoration that are apart of today’s styles!

According to the National Association of Home Builders, homes are actually getting smaller. Homes today are 10% smaller since 2010! They say that the decrease size in homes is due to financials, including lower heating and air costs.

Here are some trends within the home from this year:

1. Living Rooms have transformed greatly over the years. Instead of actually having a living room, a lot of houses have one large room combining kitchens and family rooms to bring everything together.

2. Energy efficient appliances and windows are more popular than ever before. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of energy including long-term savings as well as positive effects on the environment.

3. Kitchen Basics these days include recessed lighting, double sinks and plenty of room to sit and eat with others. Large walk-in pantries and office spaces are also more popular along with large central islands. The feel of present day kitchens is intended to be warm and welcoming, as the kitchen is more of a place to come together than in the past.

4. Texture is more popular, especially in woods and stones that resemble raw materials. Homeowners more typically leave these materials in their natural form to show its original beauty.

5. Technology is evolving in the bathroom when it comes to touch screens that assist consumers in controlling their devices including water flow and temperature. A common example of this is the touch faucets, where you can tap the top of it to turn it on and off if your hands are full or dirty.



Please Touch Museum

Philadelphia, USA - April 13, 2013. Please Touch Museum at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Pak, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Please Touch Museum is the most loved museum by children where kids learn by playing. The Memorla Hall in Fairmount Park is a national historic landmark built in 1876 for the Centennial Exhibition.


The Please Touch Museum is a museum containing two floors of exhibit zones designed to encourage learning through play. The unique exhibits are very open-ended to ensure all types of learning and making each family visit personalized for your own experience! Parts of the exhibits include activities like “City Capers” with construction props, “Roadside Attractions” that allows kids to explore what’s on the road, and much more!

The museum is located at 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA 19131 with hours Monday-Saturday 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.

Admission is $17 for children and adults and free for children under the age of 1.

Don’t let your child miss out on this amazing learning experience!


Philadelphia Zoo Animal Inspired Sculpture Exhibit
















The Philadelphia Zoo has made a new addition to their family this year: The Second Nature Exhibit

This exhibit is different from the rest. It doesn’t include any playful animals you see throughout the rest of the zoo, but larger-than-life sculptures of them made from recycled, reused and re-purposed materials.

These sculptures are made out of any materials you can think of including spark plugs, cardboard and even chewing gum! (There is an alligator that is made of 200 pounds of chewing gum!)

The exhibit is made up of 12 works from a dozen renowned artists  from around the world like Rome, Rotterdam, Montreal, Queensland and, of course, Philadelphia.

Second Nature is full of endangered species of animals and tells a story about the connection between endangered species and human behavior It tries to get visitors thinking about the small things we can do in our daily lives to help endangered animals and think about our habitats.

Be sure to check out this extremely unique exhibit, open until October 31st!




Why South Philly is The Best Neighborhood in Philadelphia
















There are plenty of reasons to love South Philadelphia and from personal experience of living there, Brandon Baker, a member of PhillyVoice staff, wrote an article of why this is the best neighborhood in the city of Philadelphia. He gives good advice on local places to visit for everyday tasks, such as grabbing a cup of coffee before starting your day.

He raves about Ultimo’s $2.65 cup of coffee that will definitely satisfy any caffeine lover and claims that other places coffee is just too weak to get just one cup.

Easy Passayunk Avenue offers a great deal of diversity from antique stores, boutiques like Metro Men’s, top-rated restaurants such as Stateside,the craft beer utopia that is The Bottle Shop, and much more!

The Italian Market is another great place to visit in South Philly according to this article. With delicious places like Santucci’s, Veracruzana, Anthony’s Italian Coffee House, DiBruno Bros, Isgro’s, you can’t go wrong! The locations on where to get any sort of delectable food and drink are endless in this area.

Another good thing about South Philly that is not so obvious is Christmas time! Brandon writes about the holiday season in Philadelphia as going  “beyond the ‘Merry Christmas’ banners strung on and just off East Passyunk Avenue and the green-and-red bulbs that illuminate streetscapes. It’s less about the lights and more about the love.” Streets are filled with Christmas decorations and holiday spirit to lift up anyone’s mood.

For the full article on all the places to go to in the South Philly neighborhood, click here!


What To Expect When The Pope Comes To Philadelphia

















It is almost time for the papal visit, coming up this weekend of September 25th. The event will kick off September 22 at the Philadelphia Convention Center, with hundreds of thousands expected to attend at least one event, including the massive outdoor Papal Mass on Sunday on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Events that are definitely on the schedule are the Festival of Families on Saturday, Sept. 26 and a Papal Mass on Sunday, Sept. 27. Philadelphia is the first American city to host the conference! The 2012 conference saw nearly 7,000 attendees at the World Meeting of Families conference, 350,000 were at the Festival of Families and an estimated one million attendees were at the Papal Mass. Since the Pontiff’s official announcement that he would be coming to Philly in November 2014, the city has been making preparations to accommodate for the event.

These major highway closures will begin at 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25: I-76 east from I-476 to I-95, I-76 west from I-95 to U.S. Route 1, I-676 in both directions from I-76 to I-95.

For background information about the World Meeting of Families as well as more on this specific papal visit to Philadelphia, click here.


Final Phase of Section 1 Now Opening




Final Phase of Section 1 Now Opening

Philadelphia, PA – Siena Place is now entering the final phase of section I, and it’s still a great time to buy one of their popular Bella or Elena floor plans. Siena Place is a luxurious, townhome community in Packer Park, one of Philadelphia’s most desirable neighborhoods. Under Philadelphia’s 10-year tax abatement program, homeowners will save thousands on annual real estate taxes. Please consult salesperson for details. This sweeping community of brand new brick townhomes offers city living with the amenities and conveniences you’d find in a suburban neighborhood, such as driveways and plenty of green space. All residences feature attached or detached garages, spacious owner’s suites, outdoor balconies and decks, and large eat-in kitchens. This new home community is in a convenient location to get to center city and offers six beautifully designed homes. Home prices start in the lower $400,000s and offer lots of luxurious living space. For more information about Siena Place, contact John Kriza, community sales manager, at (215) 339-5390.

The stunning Bella model starts from the mid $400s and offers 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and an attached one-car garage all in 2,896 square feet. The first floor features an open floor plan combining the dining room and living room areas, which is perfect for entertaining and daily living. The kitchen includes 42” high wall cabinets, spacious granite countertops for preparing food, and an attached breakfast area. Ascend to the second level, and you’ll find three bedrooms, one full “Jack and Jill” bathroom, and a convenient laundry room. The spacious owner’s suite is on the third level, which features a wet bar, 2 walk-in closets, a 12’ x 16’ deck, and a luxurious owner’s bath with double vanity sinks.

The fabulous Felicia model starts from the low $400s and is 2,716 square feet and offers 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, 1 half bath, and an attached 1-car garage. The first floor features an open floor plan, and a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops and 42” high wall cabinets, as well as an attached breakfast area, which is perfect for entertaining and daily living. Ascend to the second level to the owner’s suite that includes a spacious sitting area and is attached to a 19′ x 15′ deck.
Siena Place is both energy efficient and low maintenance. All homes are Energy Star Certified and have energy efficient appliances, saving you money and assuring maximum comfort. You’ll also be able to spend more time enjoying your new home as snow removal (in common areas) and trash removal are included, making Siena Place a unique community in this part of the city.

Siena Place is ideally located with respect to great Philadelphia sports & cultural facilities, restaurants, shopping, places of interest along with attractions, museums, history, and more. The Packer Park area is a historical part of the city that is experiencing growth as new communities, restaurants and retail areas move into one of Philadelphia’s most desirable and established neighborhoods.

For further information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact John Kriza at (215) 339-5390, or e-mail Siena Place is open Monday through Saturday from 11-5 and Sunday from 12-5.


Choosing A Color Scheme For Your Home


upholstery tapestry color selection for interior


Colors have a huge impact on the look and feel of your home, so picking color schemes can be tricky. Here are some tips on choosing colors within your home and what to look for when buying one to get you started:


What’s in and what’s out

Colors come in and out of style over time. In recent years, a traditional style with lots of golds, purples and copper colors meshed together has given way to a cleaner style with more contrast. An example of this is cream or gray tones matched with red brick.

You don’t want to use any colors that are too bright, too overwhelming or ones that jump out at you.


How to Choose

Color is very personal. Using colors that are fairly neutral is a good idea so that when you move in you don’t feel as though you don’t like a certain color.

A neutral palette would consist of nature-inspired colors or monochromatic. Beige is a good color to go off of and then find out what you really like.

First-timer buyers should be cautious about color choices, because they may not have extra money to replace their existing furniture right away.

Home buyers should conservative with color choices for counter tops, cabinets and wood flooring stains, because those components can be expensive to change later whereas carpeting, window coverings and paint are typically less expensive redo.



Schuylkill River Trail Named The Nation’s Best Urban Trail

Schuylkill River trail













USA Today has named the Schuylkill River Trail the nation’s best urban trail! Out of twenty trails that were nominated in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Urban Trail, the Schuylkill River Trail was chosen as number one.

The trail covers almost 130 miles over five counties and is known for its reputation as a local service as well as a tourist attraction with outstanding views of downtown Philadelphia.

Local lawmakers and environmental officials celebrated the award on the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk.

Representatives from each of the five counties that the trail runs through participated in a flag unfurling and Pennsylvania State Rep. David Maloney rode his bike from Berks County to arrive at the event.


Walnut to Walnut Cruise to Explore Philadelphia


Center City in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.












Come aboard Patriot Harbor Lines to experience Philadelphia by boat! Cruising from 24th St and Walnut on the Schuylkill River to Columbus Blvd and Walnut (Penn’s Landing) on the Delaware River, this relaxing 1.5-1.75 hour cruise is running on various dates until the end of October for $30.00.

During this route you will travel from the Schuylkill River to Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River and the highlights of this scenic trip across town include:

  • The Schuylkill Banks and Center City
  • Bartram’s Garden, Gray’s Ferry and the mud flats of the tidal Schuylkill River
  • Thirteen historically significant bridges
  • The Industrial Areas of South Philadelphia
  • The Navy Yard District and the ships that call it home including the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy
  • The waterfronts of Philadelphia’s New Jersey neighbors including Woodbury, Westville, Gloucester City and Camden
  • The S.S. United States, the Battleship New Jersey and Philadelphia’s working waterfont
  • Penn’s Landing and its historic ships the Moshulu, Olympia and Gazela

The crew will be relaxing with you along the way, playing some music and willing to answer any questions customers may have. Guests are welcomed to have an ice-cold adult beverage along the way as well.

The trip does not end at the start location but don’t worry, a quick SEPTA ride from 2nd and Market Street can take you back down to 30th and Market Street.

For dates and times to schedule your Philadelphia experience by boat, click here.


Why Philadelphia is One of America’s Best Food Cities

Philadelphia, USA - May 20, 2012. People shopping for food at Reading Terminal Market. Reading Terminal Market is located at 12th and Arch Streets in downtown Philadelphia. It is the oldest operating farmers' market in the United States. People can find every type of food/cuisine from largely family-run stands in the market.












Today, Philadelphia is a great place to be in all different aspects according to multiple sources. At the beginning of the year, The New York Times ranked Philadelphia #3 on its list of the 52 best places to visit in 2015. Condé Nast Traveler rated Philadelphia the #2 best shopping city in the world. Travel + Leisure joined in on the Philadelphia praise, by proclaiming Philadelphia to be America’s Next Great Food City.

The Post’s food critic is traveling all over America visiting cities he feels fit under the category of “the best places to eat right now.” He will then rank each of the cities and create a list of the best food cities.

Now, The Washington Post raves about the many reasons why Philadelphia is one of the best food cities in America.

During his quest, the author states “It will be five months before I determine where Philadelphia will land on the list, but this much is certain: The City of Brotherly Love knows how to cook, eat and drink.” as well as describing the food scene in Philadelphia to be a place “where substance trumps flashiness.”

With such a wide variety of quality food and atmospheres, Philadelphia is on the rise to becoming one of America’s 10 best food cities of this day.


For the full piece that The Washington Post wrote, click here.