sneak peek: margaux & walter kent

Margaux and Walter make things. Mostly, they devote their making hours to Peg and Awl, creating objects for the home, body and garden, all from reclaimed materials. The couple lives in Fishtown, Philadelphia, in an historic area close to the river. It’s a pretty full house; in addition to Margaux and Walter, there are their two boys, Søren (4) and Silas (2), their kitty, Bjorn, and three chickens. Recently, their home got even larger when sculptor Darla Jackson and her little Olivia (3) moved in. Most of the objects in the home have been collected from abandoned houses or flea markets, traded with friends or made by the couple. The house was pretty raw, so when the couple moved in six years ago, they just dug in and got to work, and piece by piece, it has become their own. Thanks, Margaux & Walter, and a big thanks to Kim Krans of the Family Band and The Wild Unknown for the lovely photos. — Amy Azzarito

Image above: This is the boys’ room. Søren wanted color in his room. We had been looking at a Taschen circus book and found the beautiful Harlequin pattern on the end sheets and decided to recreate it on one wall. He chose the basic colors. We went with seven colors — an eggshell warm white for the entire wall (which would show as lines between the diamonds) and the six colors (red, orange, glossy warm white, and three shades of blue) for the diamonds. Here were the steps:

1. Choose colors.
2. Paint wall with background color (which will remain as stripes between the diamonds).
3. Cut out paper diamonds. Hold them up. Determine diamond size.
4. Tricky step: requires lots of patience. Use diamond, long straight edges and measuring to keep pattern consistent. It often wants to slope this way or that.
5. Use painter’s tape to mark every line.
6. Paint one color at a time in its appropriate place throughout the entire wall. Then move on to the next until all of the diamonds have been painted!
7. Best part: Remove the tape. Magic.

Image above: The house belonged to a bootlegger, and there is a hole from where a tap was once hidden in the step. The barrel can still be seen from the basement.

Image above: My favorite thing(s) to do at home is (are) write in my journal, think, make stuff, read alone, read with Søren and Silas, work on projects with Walter, cook, eat, grow, build, live.

See more of Margaux and Walter’s home after the jump . . .

Image above: Søren in the hall drawing on our chalkboards.

Image above: We found the dining room table at an antique shoppe in Ambler, PA. The bottom was from the 1800s, and the top was redone in the ’50s. These are some examples of my photographs (The Illness Apprentice II and The Illness Apprentice III). Basically my process is this: An idea finds me. I shoot it digitally until I get it right. I turn it into a Polaroid. I lift the emulsion and transplant it on a piece of textured watercolor paper — this is stained or drawn on, depending on the final image. This little piece is then scanned and enlarged as a giclee print. I also made a book through Blurb titled Illness Apprentice (

Image above: Antique optometrist’s cabinet (a house-warming gift from my mom) that houses bits and pieces from all that we do and some other old treasures and the place where I sort all of my photographs.

Image above: Living room with a painting of Walter’s and a photograph of mine (from Iceland, where we got married!) (I am currently working on a new body of work for a limited edition book project. For now, it is called Somewhere Something. Aires, Libra and Somewhere Something are the beginning — here is one). Pillows by Coral and Tusk and Enhabiten and a doll by Caroline Gaedechens.

Image above: A corner of the boys’ room. The tent was made by one of my very favorite humans, Katie Marlowe, who has a children’s book blog and a letter-writing shop. Inside the tent are a bunch of handmade blocks, gifts to the boys made by their Grandpa Kent.

Image above: A close-up of the shelves above my workspace and the hand-sewn insides of journals and necklaces, as well as photographs of my mom and pop and Søren’s drawings.

Image above: A window inside Walter’s workshop

Image above: Our yard and the front view of the workshop. Walter built it primarily out of reclaimed wood, windows, etc.

  1. Pete Lewis says:

    In love with this house! It’s beautiful.

  2. Mary says:

    Loving the chalkboards!

  3. Carmen says:

    I love the painted wall in the boy’s room.

  4. liane says:

    i love these people! they got a great space.

  5. Johanna says:

    Ha, Soren looks exactly like my son!! I actually had to take a closer look to find out if someone took a picture of him.

  6. julia says:

    beautiful home. I especially like the painted stairs.

  7. Claudia says:

    I used to live in Ambler! Such a sweet sneak peak :)

  8. Lovely home! Inspired!

  9. Sarah says:

    Love the art, painted stairs, workshop! Nice home, thanks for sharing.

  10. hillary says:

    So beautiful! I love it!

  11. jana says:

    this is such a great sneak peek. love their shop, and love their aesthetic. thanks so much for having them on!

  12. Fiona says:

    Beautiful and romantic; I love the presence of raw, natural materials in a home, especially when these are juxtaposed with personal art.

  13. Valentina says:

    I absolutely love so many things about this home. Love the Walter painting and the shed. Love the beams in ceiling and the diamond walls!

  14. Michele says:

    Fantastic! I’m a former Fishtowner. Love their style and gorgeous home with a yard and workshop. Heaven! Thanks for letting us take a peek.

  15. We love it. Style and heart. Well done.

  16. Congrats Margaux & Walter! Your home is lovely. I’ve always loved seeing what you’re making, so it’s wonderful to see inside your home too…

  17. The Kents are always so inspiring. When I saw the first photo teaser, I thought it must be a different pair of Kents! I didn’t expect so much color in their home. But learning that it’s the children’s room makes more sense. Thanks for the little tour, Kents and D*S, love every nook and cranny!

  18. I particularly like seeing “meet with joel & angela” on the chalkboard ;) !! beautiful home, beautiful people.

  19. Kendrah says:

    That staircase is just beautiful! Love seeing so much Philly represented on this site.


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