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When Trevor and Issa Dixon were moving to the suburbs from their Northern Liberties home, they had a particular type of residence in mind.
"We're mid-century junkies," Issa said. "We really liked that style."
Trevor, a photographer, and Issa, who owns her own essential oils company, wanted to be close to the city for an easy commute to their Philly studios. The couple also wanted to move to the suburbs for their young son who was about to start school.
While the Dixons kept their options open, Issa kept coming back to one home in Penn Valley that she had her eye on for two years.
"This house was the most ideal," Issa said. "I grew up in rural West Virginia, and I wanted to move out of the city to get back to my roots."
Sitting on about three acres on Fairview Road, the 3,300-square-foot mid-century modern home was not in great condition. But Issa said she and her husband fell in love with the design.
They purchased the home from the original owner – architect Arthur L. Miller – who built the home in 1958.
Miller quarried stone on the land to use on the exterior, and used oak trees from the property for the floors inside.
"I had never seen anything like that stone and the way that it is laid," Issa said. "It's just immaculate."
The Dixons spent the next seven years updating the home while keeping with Miller's original design.
The couple redid the kitchen, and knocked down a wall so that it opened into the living room. They added stone columns into this area to keep up with the theme.
They turned Miller's old workshop space on the first floor into a formal dining room and sitting room with travertine tile floors.
In the basement, which was unfinished when they moved in, they created an in-law suite, and installed new flooring, tiled stone, and a new bathroom.
The Dixons replaced the floor-to-ceiling windows in the back with newer, more efficient windows.
The backyard, which Issa said was full of rotting, dead trees and a large empty space, was her favorite part of the property.
"I reclaimed all the soil, and we built a deck system in the back of the house," Issa said.
They created a backyard oasis, adding a sitting area with a fire pit and radiant heated floors, a Koi pond, and a cedar soaking tub.
Now after seven years, Issa and her husband are selling the three-bedroom, three-bath home for $925,000. They are moving about an hour-and-a-half west of Philly to be closer to family.
"It's my dream house, and I feel like you only have one."