Chet & Annie
Welcome to the Stachitas Family Art Museum! Although they admit that they didn’t really have their own style, Chet and Annie do credit their kids with the now “eclectic kid friendly” look of their first home. A home that has been there since the beginning - the newly wed stage - and later welcoming their three children.
Turn up the Rolling Stones and dive into the story of how Chet and Annie made this house their home!
Chet, Annie, James, Ginny + Graham
301 Wadsworth Avenue | East Mount Airy
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
We started having kids before we really developed our own style so by default it developed into "eclectic kid friendly." Lately we've been drawn to clean and simple designs. We love displaying the numerous pieces of artwork done by Annie's family members and our own young aspiring artists. It feels good being surrounded by artwork created by and handed down by our loved ones.
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room, what would it be?
Can't You Hear Me Knocking by the Rolling Stones.
How would you describe your neighborhood?
Mt. Airy feels like a giant melting pot. We love raising our kids here because we are surrounded by all different types of people and families. It feels like a place where everyone is accepted and welcome. When we moved into this house we were immediately made to feel so welcome by all our neighbors and as the years passed we now consider them extended family. We spend holidays together and are always checking in on one another. Moreover, the neighborhood has everything you could want - shopping, restaurants, year-round entertainment - all within walking distance or a short car ride.
If you could use your house as the setting for a remake of a movie, which movie would it be?
If you asked our oldest son, who is six, he would tell you Spiderman Into the Siperverse. We have at least four different Spiderman costumes and all three kids can often be seen running down the sidewalks or through our neighbor's yard dressed as Spiderman and shooting pretend webs. Our neighbors get a huge kick out of our "friendly neighborhood Spidermen" and we love relaxing on our patio watching their imaginations take over.
What was your non-negotiable when it came to finding your dream home?
We were newlyweds when we bought our home. We knew that we wanted a place where our family could grow, with high ceilings and lots of natural light, a beautiful outdoor space to entertain, and walkability. This house checked all the boxes but most importantly, we both got that magic little feeling when we walked in that this house felt like home.
What's your favorite room? Why?
The nursery because it was the first room in the house that we "finished" and it gets the best natural light and breezes since it has windows on two walls. It has been such a tranquil place to sit with all our kids and read a book or rock them to sleep.
What is one thing you need in your home to make it yours?
Our piano. Chet plays beautifully and is always filling the house with whatever tune is on his mind. He passed this love of music on to our kids, whose "playing" can probably be heard by our neighbors as they pass by on the sidewalk. Annie loves listening to all of them play while in the kitchen making dinner.
What makes you (or your family) laugh?
We love reading "The Book with No Pictures" by B.J. Novak, it is super silly and fun to read as a family. And of course, farts.
If you could throw a theme party in your house, what would be the theme?
Rock and roll - come dressed as your favorite music icon!
A day spent running around the neighborhood: what's your first stop and last stop?
We routinely start our days with a walk or short drive to High Point Cafe at the Allens Lane train station to fuel up with coffee and a scone and usually some train watching and conversation with neighbors. We typically end up on one of the numerous playgrounds around us or on a family hike or bike ride through one of the nearby Wissahickon trails.
How has your home changed from move-in day?
It has become a lot more full! We were child-less newlyweds when we moved in and now have three kids, ages six and under with a fourth on the way. We made a lot of small but impactful physical updates as well, including renovating both upstairs bathrooms, refinishing the floors in the living room and nursery, and landscaping our outdoor spaces. It has been important to us to respect the history of the house and the charm of the architecture that the house offers. We wanted any changes to feel and look natural.
What's your favorite memory of your home?
Hosting our first friends' holiday dinner. We made some of the best friends we'll ever have living in this house. A few years ago, we started the tradition of having a few families over around the holidays for a full turkey dinner. By the end of the evening we filled our big sunken living room with all the kids watching a movie while the grown-ups sat around the table with drinks and dessert. We're always happiest when the house is full with people we love and this house has been the perfect gathering place.
What was the catalyst to you purchasing a new home?
We are expecting our fourth baby and decided that we need an extra bedroom.
What's your favorite piece of Philly culture?
We love Philly's sports teams and the passion that Philadelphians have for them. It's been a lot of fun to introduce the kids to the Phillies baseball over the summer by playing impromptu baseball games on our back patio. Neighbors passing by often join in the fun when we hit "foul balls" onto the sidewalk.
Represented by Kristin McFeely