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Creative Living with Chad McClure

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If you're afraid of heights, like Chad McClure, then one of the high rises in Uptown is the last place you'd want to take up residence. But McClure, who works in accounting and bartends on the side for fun, wanted to live within walking distance of the hustle and bustle of Center City.

His solution? In January 2010, he moved into Fourth Ward Square, located off Graham Street. "My condo is on the third floor, which isn't too bad," he says. "This way I can be Uptown without having to deal with those heights. I used to live on the 8th floor of Courtside, with these floor-to-ceiling windows. I had to keep the shades down, I was so terrified."

When you walk into McClure's 792-square-foot place, an immediate left takes you into the living room, where your eye is instantly drawn to a man's torso. Actually, that would be a 4-foot-wide and 6-foot-tall painting of a man's torso that stands alongside the wall. McClure, who lives with his 11-year-old miniature schnauzer Sergeant Schultz, says this is a favorite piece, inspired by Michelangelo sketches. He commissioned local artist Kelly Keith, whom he met bartending, to do it.

"When we first met, we really clicked," he says. "She did that for me as a friend, but her usual style of work is very different, very wild and colorful. I'm having her do another one for my bedroom. The second one, she told me, she has creative control over."

Overall, McClure's home leans contemporary and is accented with a number of cultural items from Asia. "I really like bold, simple, classic pieces, pieces that no one else has," he says. "I also like to travel, so my place is influenced by worldly cultures."

For example, sitting peacefully next to the fireplace is a small statue of Buddha, from China. A wooden trunk in the front hall was imported from Malaysia. A large mirror in the living room is from the Philippines. And the most recent addition to his collection is an 8-foot-long buffet that serves as a TV stand in his bedroom.

"I found the buffet through a friend of mine, Rodney Hines, who owns The Furniture Connector. It's from a monastery in Mongolia and is more than 200 years old," he says. "I really wanted it, even though I wasn't sure if it'd even fit into my house. It was close, too, by centimeters, of getting through the door. The delivery men had to do some acrobatics to get that thing in." C

If you'd like your home to be considered for our weekly Creative Living column, e-mail kimberly.lawson@creativeloafing.com.

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