Sneak Peek: Lydia Nichols and Julia Lines Wilson


This is the third apartment Lydia Nichols and Julia Lines Wilson have shared. After two tiny Brooklyn apartments they were nearly overwhelmed by all of the space they had once they moved to the Fairmount Area of Philadelphia two years ago for Lydia’s MFA. They finally had a chance to let all of the artwork and home goods they had collected breathe, reflecting so many memories. Lydia is an illustrator/designer/painter (who just wrapped up her second children’s book, The Summer Zoolympics, and is getting ready for her MFA thesis show on May 3rd) and Julia is a weaver/fiber artist, so the apartment tends to be full of patterns, textiles, and art. Fortunately they both share similar aesthetics, though Julia tends to be a bit more eclectic and Lydia a little more modern. Enjoy today’s peek inside their home! –Anne

Image above: The small little area rug next to the bed is from Stone Mill Wool Works, a small father-son operation in PA. They use mostly New Zealand wool and craft rugs and baskets by hand. We found them at the wonderful Golden Nugget Flea Market in Lambertville, NJ which is also home to one of my favorite vinyl record shops.

Image above: I love the orange Bend Farmhouse chair in the living room—it was a gift to myself after moving to Philly.

Click for more inside Lydia’s home after the jump!

Image above: The enamel top table in the bay window was my great grandparents’ and the bright orange school chairs on either side were a wonderful find on Court Street in Brooklyn not far from my favorite restaurant in Brooklyn, Joya. One of the things I really love about this apartment is the amazing slatted staircase, coupled with the high ceilings downstairs, it makes the apartment feel huge!

Image above: Julia found this amazing industrial sewing machine on Freecycle back when it still existed. The thing must weight 200 lbs—it’s the worst to move.

Image above: We have artwork all over the apartment, but just recently put up a bunch of work from the likes of Andrew Kolb and Esther Aarts. The credenza is a recent—and exciting—acquisition from right here in Philly. In the foreground is a Charley Harper dish from my all-time-favorite kitchenwares store, Fishs Eddy in Manhattan.

Image above: The Argoflex camera was my great grandfather’s and the photo beside it is my great grandmother as a young women, though I don’t think the photo was taken with that camera. They live next to my collection of Chris Ware Acme Novelty Library books and a sweet little set of Maurice Sendack books.

Image above: We love tea. All of those tins are full of different tea (mostly black varieties and yerba mate) which we get at Premium Steap, a truly excellent loose tea shop in Center City Philadelphia. Sadly, the kitchen is too small to display our many and varied tea cups, but we do keep out enamel mugs we bought on a trip last summer to Berlin.

Image above: I love this apartment, but I really do wish for a larger kitchen considering all of the cooking we do. The tea towels hanging from the stove were woven by Julia.

Image above: When not illustrating via pencil and computer, I like to do a little painting. This piece is painted on a section of a set for a play I found in our old studio. It’s too bulky to hang or store, so it lives on the stairs.

Image above: Julia and I share a workspace, as evidenced by the mixture drawing implements and yarn! A computer, lots of paper and pencils, and the occasional brayer and paintbrush are my primarily tools. And a scanner of course!

Image above: Julia’s Schacht Baby Wolf loom; where all of her weaving magic happens.

Image above: I discovered that old aluminum cans make great organizers for my drawing tools. All they needed was a couple of coats of white spray paint.

Image above: I think letter writing is a lost art and wish I had a steady penpal, hence the Smith Corona Electr-O-Pura typewriter on an old (and sadly empty) sewing table. Above that is Julia’s warping board with both a warp she’s readying and some finished cloth.

Image above: Edy is always the star with her long, soft fur and bright, green eyes. Mira tends to hid in the background.

Image above: Julia (left) and me (right) doing our favorite thing: hanging out and drinking tea. We use a beautiful old Finel pot (to her right) to hold our remote controls. Sacrilegious, yes, but so very cheerful too!

  1. Kate Gray says:

    Congrats on this post, love your work. – Fellow MHS Allum ;)

  2. lovely!! my fav thing are the tins!

  3. Love it! Our loft needs some major love and this is giving me lots of inspiration to decorate. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Meg Sylvia says:

    Love those graphic tea tins! Great workspace organization, too.

  5. Nicole says:

    Is that gray couch the Karlstad from Ikea? Just wonderin’ because I’m considering buying it myself :)

  6. BRKLYNBLEU says:

    This is such a warm and colorful home. Love it!

  7. Emily says:

    Their combo of styles is my style exactly! I want to buy a house in a few years and hope it turns out this cute! GREAT Sneak Peak!

  8. Botny says:

    what an adorable abode!! Great work on making your place a cozy home!! :)

  9. Sarah says:

    This house is so cute! I love their bedspread and that bend farmhouse chair. I fell in love with their home and then noticed they also live in Philly, great job fellow Philadelphians!

  10. rose buckens says:

    love your space..perfect balance of work and play! you could mount glass shelves in the kitchen window for your tea cups!!!!!

  11. sierra says:

    Such a fun, colorful and happy space! I need a bit more color injected in to my living space, and this is just he inspiration I needed! I LOVE those shelves in the bathroom, great size and scale, I would love to know where they are from!

  12. The two of you have such great style and it really shows in your home. great use of a small space and always inspiring to see another designers workspace, thankyou for letting us Peek!

  13. @Nicole Yes! Caught red-handed! It’s a Karlstad couch. Comfy, decent looking, but not the greatest construction—at least not if you plan on moving it two or three times. :)

    @Rose We love the idea of the glass shelves! Thank you!

    @Sierra Gulp—another Ikea find. We’ve vowed only to buy glass, wood, or metal things from Ikea, but try to avoid going there altogether when possible. These are the wooden Molger shelves we bought a few years ago. They’re simple, slatted, and tiny enough for the bathroom (so a pretty successful find)!

    Thanks, everyone, for the kind words! We appreciate it!!

  14. Sarah says:

    What is the bracket/shelf system over the desk? I really like it. Please tell me I can find it in a hardware store easily…

    I love your home — wonderful!

  15. Nancy White says:

    Love all that you have done, your work is outstanding and it is always nice to see people that should be noticed, noticed.

    Love your home and work!!

  16. Laura says:

    such a beautiful, colorful charming home, and lovely cats too!

  17. Dana says:

    Your home is awesome! I love the decor and the high ceilings! For the record, I would totally be your pen pal because I also have a typewriter (green Hermes ) that is just yearning to be typed upon…and getting mail is still damn fun!

  18. Barrie says:

    I love your bedding – such a great pattern! Where did you find it?

  19. @Barrie- Thanks! The colors make waking up in the morning so much easier! :) The duvet cover is from an Anthropologie sample sale (I work at the home office)

  20. julie dunkle says:

    Okay Julia….maybe you girls come to San Diego and redo our house when we are out of town….free place to stay for a little design help… LOL – love it all (Uncle John)

  21. Janny says:

    Do you create the graphics on the tins or are they a new product?

  22. Julia's Aunt Nance says:

    All looks so fresh and inviting! Great design features throughout.

  23. Teresa says:

    Love the feel, especially the sewing machine! Awesome find and very warm home.

  24. Geoffrey says:

    Looks so cozy!

  25. Kayleigh says:

    Love the article! Just wanted to point out that free cycle is still in existence.

  26. Janina says:

    That sewing machine looks incredible.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, 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.