Storytelling Through Drawing in a Philadelphia Row Home

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“We are pretty much always working on projects together,” says Kimberly Hall of husband Justin Hardison. “We’ve done photography and video collaborations, music, and graphic design. I’ve roped him into my work as a fashion and accessory designer, and he’s used my skills in many of his music projects.” Their latest venture is a print and pattern studio called Nottene (a Norwegian word that means nuts) where their work “comes from a practice of storytelling through drawing.” With space on the top floor of their 2,000-square-foot Philadelphia, PA home, they can sometimes include young daughters Wilhelmina and Berta-June, “who are also way into making stuff” in the creative process — a critical part of getting their business going and growing.

Kimberly tries out a lot of the ideas she has for Nottene in their own home. Redecorating is one of her favorite things, and she loves having a space where she can do it freely. She has been slowly painting every wall in the house, and will be putting up more wallpaper now that she’s producing a line of it. She hand-painted pale pink stripes in the family room, faux bois under the kitchen cabinets, a fake fireplace in the girls’ room, tiles in the bathroom, and hand-drawn molding in the living room. While she dives into the decorating, Justin takes care of the repairs and upkeep required of a 1900s brick row home, though they ask for their dads’ help with maintenance projects as often as possible.

After living in lots of places over the years and making tons of great artist friends spread far and wide, Kimberly also enjoys displaying their work in the house as reminders of them and their times together. The warm, welcoming community has filled the family in on the backstory of their own property, making it feel like home. “The neighbors on our block, the families we meet through public school, as well as the amazing artist’s community here have made our lives very rich in this city.” —Annie

Photography by Justin Hardison and Andrea Cipriani Mecchi

  1. FCarvalho says:

    More than a lovely home, so much personality and uniqueness in every corner.

  2. tess says:

    super charming, esp the handpainted tiles that wrap around the tub like a quilt

  3. Margot says:

    Beautiful home, love the girls’ bedroom but I was disappointed that I couldn’t really see the painted pink and white stripes in the family room. I am looking to do something similar and when I read the text I was excited to see it but it must have been a very subtle paint job or else done on a wall that was not shown.

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Margo,
      The stripes are pretty subtle, a light peachy pink on white. I used a sawtooth tool to scrape back the pink to reveal the white. The stripes are a bit wobbly and totally not straight. They are on all the walls, and you can just see it in the lower left corner of image number 12. Good luck with your own stripes!

      1. Margot says:

        Yes, on closer inspection I could see in the corner the fine, soft stripes. Very pretty. Thank you.

  4. Kim Black says:

    Simply beautiful and unique in every way. Kimberly you and your family found your place and it’s amazing!

  5. Jared says:

    A very lovely home. Lots of character and that tv room looks like the perfect place for a movie night.

    1. Veslemøy says:

      Hi:)Sorry but nottene is not a Norwegian word , it is almost right but at the same time not right at all. In Norwegian there is a letter that is a o with a line crossing it. It is Nøttene with a ø not a o. The home and art work is Lovely. Best Veslemøy.

      1. Kim says:

        Thanks Veslemøy!! We should change how we describe our name….we were inspired by the Norwegian word for nuts is perhaps better…. :)

  6. Emerald says:

    Hi there! Beautiful room!Where is the record stand from?

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Emerald, it’s one of those Ikea book shelves that are the perfect size for records….we just added some tall feet!

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