Matthew A. White and his wife, Keri, were both ready for a move to the Northeast after earning a law degree and an undergraduate degree, respectively, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where they met.

“So we considered several cities and decided on Philadelphia, although neither of us even knew the city,” said Mr. White, now a litigation partner at Ballard Spahr.

In 1994, they purchased a home in the city’s Society Hill neighborhood. The house was built in 1830 and expanded in 1860, featuring the original pine floors and six fireplaces, four of which are crafted from Pennsylvania blue marble.

In maintaining and decorating the home, Mr. White and his wife, a free-lance writer, have sought to achieve a balance between respecting its history and making it a comfortable living space for themselves and their two teenage children.

For example, the living room is fuss-free while still containing some period pieces. A cabinet with glass doors contains Mr. White’s collection of Niloak pottery from his native Arkansas.

“While it’s extensive, it’s not yet obsessive,” he said.

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Matthew A. White

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Philadelphia