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November 25, 2015

Philly@Home: Inside a local Realtor's urban-antique Fishtown loft

You'll fall in love with Jackie Dabrowski's industrial property

Homes Decor
01-112415_Dabrowski_Carroll.jpg Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

High ceilings and exposed brick, along with the original wood floors, ceilings and beams are some of the first things one notices upon entering Dabrowski's Fishtown loft.

Jackie Dabrowski knows a good property when she sees it. The 34-year-old has been inside countless walkups, brownstones and single-family homes ever since she began working as a Realtor with Space & Company. But when she first saw her loft in Fishtown seven years ago, she knew she was home. 

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Dabrowski (who goes by JD) has been buying and selling real estate since 2004 after graduating from Penn State with a degree in marketing. She moved to the former working-class neighborhood because she felt it was a natural fit where she can live and work, and be an active part of the community as a DJ, photographer and avid yoga practitioner. Her neighborhood also got a lot more interesting this year with the opening of the Fillmore Philly on East Allen Street. 

These days, Fishtown is also a hub for artistic and culinary action, with no shortage of row homes and lofts just north of Girard. The space and the neighborhood seduced Dabrowski right away. “I sold my rowhome in Roxborough,” she said, “and fell in love with the idea of a loft in closer proximity to Center City.” 

She lives with her 12-year-old Beagle Joey Bones. 

Jackie Dabrowski and her beloved partner-in-crime, Joey Bones. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Location: A loft, in Fishtown.

Size: 800 square feet. 

My favorite detail: The building is an old elevator warehouse centrally located off of Frankford and Girard Avenues. My space is a true loft. It has 13-foot ceilings, 9-foot windows, original pine floors and exposed beams, brick and ductwork.

My decor: I would say my decor is urban meets antique. It's definitely a mix of new-school with some old-world charm. I have bullhorns over my bed, a large triptych of a photo stretched on canvas of my favorite graffiti in Philly and an antique fruit and vegetable scale from a grocery store hanging in my kitchen.  

A colorful backsplash and a family of giraffes decorate Dabrowski's kitchen. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

The best part about living in a loft: It forces you to be creative. Since it’s basically one big space, you have to get creative in establishing “rooms” that flow with the entire space. I have to thank my mom for this. She is a self-taught designer who pulls all of my crazy ideas together so they flow from room to room. 

Best-kept secrets in Philly real estate: A lot of times it’s actually cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent. The hot neighborhoods are definitely north and south of the city, like Fishtown, Old Kensington, East Passyunk and Newbold – basically anything along one of the subway lines.

My collection: I collect heads-up pennies. If I find a penny heads down I flip it to heads up for someone else to find.

My favorite neighborhood spots: E.G.G., Fishtown Tavern, Amrita Yoga & Wellness, The Parlour and La Colombe.

A canvas-printed photograph of graffiti from East Columbia Avenue in Fishtown, hangs in Dabrowski's loft. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Things I can't live without: My dog, Joey Bones, my comfy bed and my plants.

In my closet: Sneakers. Lots of sneakers and shoes! 

Favorite movies, music and TV shows: "The Goonies," "Back To The Future," "Home Alone," "Friends," "Seinfeld," "The Golden Girls," "Full House." I love House music, really any type of music with a beat that makes your head bob. I also listen to a lot of alternative and hip-hop, and classics from the 60s through the 90s.

My ideal night at home: In all honesty, I’m not home too often. My set up is perfect for a person on the go. In the off chance I am home, an ideal night would be me working on my computer while listening to music and eating amazing leftovers from a restaurant I went to the night before. Joey would be snoring happily in his bed (he is a senior pup) and I would definitely be going to bed early.

The old front door of Murph's Bar in Fishtown is now Dabrowski's bathroom door. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

I wish I had: A jukebox.

Where I like to shop: Antique stores, Jinx and Home Goods.

What’s it like living so close to the Fillmore: It’s been really cool. I have seen a bunch of shows already (Hall & Oates, Brandi Carlile, Disclosure and James Bay). It's cool to meet up with friends for dinner and see a show without leaving your neighborhood.

A Polish worry doll hangs in the kitchen. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Have a space we should see? Tell us about it.