guest blog

{Mini} Sneak Peek: George of Material Culture

by Grace Bonney

Yesterday we featured Material Culture – an amazing 90,000 square foot store in Philadelphia. George, the owner, also has one awesome house. The outside spaces were filled with flowers, interesting wood structures and huge terra cotta pots (from George’s travels). Inside, his house felt like a museum but the type of museum where they encourage you to touch everything. You could tell that George really lives with and loves the items he sells at his store. We thought you all might like to take a quick peek inside (and outside) his home.

[Salvaged pieces of a 19th century teak cabinet are used as the doors and backsplash of a kitchen counter that incorporates an antique Anatolian copper basin as a sink.]


[A pergola composed of 18th century Moghul teak arches creates an intimate space for outdoor dining. Wrought iron chairs encircle a dining table made from an antique copper tray.]

Suggested For You


  • Awesome! Just awesome! Love George’s eclectic design style. Can’t quite figure out exactly what category to put it in… beside just plain wonderful. Thanks for the blogging.

  • Chestnut Hill is not outside of Philadelphia. It is in Philadelphia just past Mt. Airy (where I live). I know his house well, I pass when I ride my bike to Borders Book Store. And most of my furniture is scavegene or is from Material Culture.

  • I’m so glad to see Material Culture featured! It’s one of Philadelphia’s finest. I’ve made a number of wonderful purchases there over the years, especially in their discount area. And their rugs are simply amazing. It’s one of those fine shopping gems where you can never leave there without finding something wonderful to take home…

  • “pergola composed of 18th century Moghul teak arches…”

    This leaves a bad taste in the mouth. How could 18th century Moghul teak arches be smuggled out of India? I’m certain the current owner did not purchase them illegally. But certainly, those arches will have a dubious history. As an Indian, it pains me to see priceless Indian artefact smuggled out of the country and sold for exorbitant prices. The Indian government and the end purchaser is equally to blame.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.