James Timberlake and Meg Rodgers’s Eclectic Society Hill Towers Home
Harrison and Veronica spend most of their time in their light-drenched playroom. Meg designed the walnut-stained mahogany built-in shelving for ample storage; pull-down shelves offer additional desk space. A West Elm sofa is practical, the vintage Edward Wormley table and chairs are delightfully retro, and a felt Odegard rug adds a bright dash of color. The coffee table is an antique Chinese daybed; Meg had the legs shortened so it could function in the room.
The master bedroom is a study in subtle glamour. Walls feature a custom Venetian plaster co-developed by Meg and hand-applied by Philadelphia’s Faux-Fax; threads of gold and silver leaf lend the walls a warm luster. An antique Chinese desk is Meg’s bedside table; the quirky set-up maximizes space. The bed and sconces are by Roman Thomas; the nubuck-suede upholstered desk chair is by Mattaliano. A piece of moonstone from China hangs above the desk. “It’s a meditative piece. It looks like a landscape,” says Meg.
Meg’s collection of animal art covers the walls of the den. Many paintings are of pets she’s had over the years (the family currently has four cats); others are providential auction finds. “They’re not the classic English portraits,” she says. “Whenever I buy a new piece, I have to rearrange the entire wall.” Walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Copper Clay. Cane side tables flank a J. Robert Scott sleep sofa, and a dark rosewood trunk from Liao serves as a coffee table. The mid-century lamps are by Carl Auböck, and a Rug & Co. stitched-hide floor covering adds earthy texture. Woven leather chairs are by Jens Risom.
A cozy nook in the den features a chair by Robert Venturi, an architect James worked with for nearly a decade. The globe is by Hans Wegner, and the pau ferro wood built-in bookshelf was custom-designed by Meg.
Rather than break up the home’s expansive view—which encompasses three sides of the tower, with walls of windows overlooking the north, south and east—the couple took design cues from Japanese teahouses and moved the living spaces to the center. They’re joined by a long corridor that runs along the entire east side of the building, from the great room on the south end to the playroom and master bedroom to the north. Sliding shoji-style doors line the hallway and give privacy to the two kids’ rooms and the den. The herringbone floors are dark-stained cork.
A hallway acts as a gallery of sorts for architectural drawings and paintings by James and his partner, Stephen Kieran. On the facing wall hangs MoMA’s Rubber Stamp Portfolio and two paintings by Louis Kahn, one of Philadelphia’s most influential architects. All artwork is hung on a rod display system for flexibility.
The open kitchen is simple and functional. Nakashima stools from Mode Moderne line a walnut-topped island, while a secondary island gets a more industrial look with a thick stainless steel countertop by Downsview Kitchens, through Philadelphia’s Joanne Hudson Associates. “We wanted to have everything hidden,” says Meg. Joanne Hudson installed a floor-to-ceiling wall of inconspicuous Downsview cabinets painted in a custom matte lacquer that softens the space. “We painted it to look like parchment,” Meg says.
Meg custom-designed the built-in wet bar; it was crafted by Philadelphia cabinetmaker Mark Jewett. As for the rich color choice, “That was something my husband wanted very much—places where there was a shot of color,” Meg says. Roman Thomas sconces light the Macassar ebony countertop. To the right of the bar hangs what appears to be a fine art piece: It’s actually three shelves from a Japanese lacquer shop. “We realized that every time the artisans put down the lacquer cans, they’d make these rings. It looks intentional, but it’s repurposed,” Meg says. She found a circa-1950s woodworking project by an RISD student at Old City’s Mode Moderne. It hangs beside a Nakashima dining table, a quiet nod to Meg’s former days as a woodworker.