sneak peek: john murphy

the design*sponge team have all been fans of john murphy‘s photographs – housed in his trademark ornate frames hand-finished in punchy colors – for some time now! so it’s such a thrill to get a look into his philly home! just three years ago, john and family moved outside of the city proper to a home that backs up to 9 acres of protected land. so although they are just 6 miles from central philly, the kids can run around and john can lay in his hammock and watch deer and fox in the backyard! {thanks john!} -amy

[Having moved from an ornate 19th century butcher shop we had renovated in the city, we wanted to keep the design in this house really simple. The entrance way is quite big proportionately to the rest of the house. It is adjacent to our dining room so frequently doubles as an impromptu stage where the kids perform after dinner jam sessions to a captive audience. The pew is from an antique shop in Philly. The bins below do a good job containing the kids shoes and boots. The color photograph is by Stuart Netsky.]

The kitchen walls were originally covered in emerald green floral wallpaper. We painted over the dark wood cabinets and updated the hardware. We removed all of the wall cabinets from above the stove in favor of shelves, making everything readily available for mealtime (which with 2 kids under 6 takes place 4 or 5 times a day!) We basically live in the kitchen. The Large print is by Leslie Mutchler, the smaller print on the shelf by Candy Depew. The ginormous clock is from IKEA – a leftover from a loft we lived in.

The pillow shams and throw, like most things around here, seem to rotate a lot. I think these are by EnVogue. The other pillows are handmade. The Danish chair was a Craigslist buy, the lamps by Target, bed and nightstands from Ikea. The angel (below) was salvaged from a church that was being torn down. The print above the bed is by Briana Feola and the other by Keith Shore. The tiny ceramic and feather clock was a gift. I haven’t any idea what time it is, but I love that clock!

CLICK HERE for the rest of John’s sneak peek (including all 10 images) after the jump!


CLICK HERE for the rest of john’s peek (including all of the images on one page) after the jump!

The two chairs in our living room were from the same Craigslist buy as the one in our bedroom. The embroidered pillows were a local find, the cylindrical table from the Brooklyn Flea. The lamp is from West Elm.


I’ve had the small pleather sofa in my son Dylan’s room for years. It’s the perfect size for a kid and easy to keep clean. The corvette painting above the sofa is by Jeff McMahon.

The bed in my daughter Olivia’s room is another flea market find. The pillows are handmade from vintage handkerchiefs. The print of mine above her bed was a gift to her, entitled “You Being Here Changes Everything.” Ain’t that the truth!

The hammock was the greatest Father’s Day gift ever.

Justyna Anna

i love the simplicity of the kitchen and the blue in the baby room. would love to see more pics from the garden, must be lovely…


Thanks everyone!
Amber, the print is an out of focus photograph of one of Monets haystack paintings. It was a gift from the director of InLiquid whereI did curatorial work for many years.


I like the bed frame in the first bedroom (bed linens look comfy too). Do you have any info on this bed?


I love the creative idea for the farm bench with the bins underneath for storage…beautiful and functional.


So homey. And the hammock. I’m jealous. I live in Philly with no back yard. My next place must have space for a hammock.


Thx again guys Sorry Tonia, yes the bed is from Ikea (thanks Vicki :). Anna, the For Like Ever print is a limited edition by Village, but they have since made posters and other FLE merch.


can you tell me the paint color in the bedroom? i am looking for that color for my bathroom…


What color paint is on the walls in the first picture? It looks purple or a purplie gray?


Hi John!

Where did you get that poster that says “FOR LIKE EVER” Reminds me of my teeny bopping jr high school days… i love it! =)



Sorry! I see you already posted the answer to my question above.