Habitat: A Bright Green Menagerie in South Philly

Zookeeper Samantha Nestor and environmental engineer Andrew Haneiko bring flora and fauna inside.

It should come as no surprise that the South Philadelphia home of a Philadelphia Zoo primate keeper and an environmental engineer would be replete in flora and fauna (living and taxidermied). And yet – and yet! – the rowhouse unfolds in room after room of delights.

Samantha Nestor (the primate keeper) and Andrew Haneiko (the environmental engineer) bought the home in 2005 and have been renovating ever since. We are as gaga for the animal-centric details in this house and the ways in which they sneak up on you as we are for the talented Laura Kicey‘s photos.

Sure, this looks like a standard chartreuse living room.

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But, surprise! It is also a reptile house for rescues, home to the couple’s iguana, king snake and lizard.

Some details are tucked away, but others are … framed a little more clearly.

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The dining room is covered with silhouettes wild and domesticated.




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Of course one should always match beetle drawer pulls with the appropriate stand mixer.
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A stuffed lemur watches over the flatscreen adjacent to the screenprinted curtains handmade to match the jellyfish wall (by Sara Villari of Occasionette).
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The couple's son's room is heavy on typography but still manages to squeeze some animal details in (who knew you could even find an elephant humidifier?)
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More medicine cabinets than even the most ambitious busybody could examine.
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How many reptiles do you count? We count three (dinosaurs are reptiles, right?)
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A break in animal-related interiors to display the finest example of lighting fixture upgrade we have seen in many moons.
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And finally, the coup de grâce. Does this reindeer look familiar? It should.
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Not pictured: lovely winterized decks; ant-covered wall treatments; and a very fine garden.

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  • Thomas Taggart

    Meh. Sykes, awesome. Hope to see in person again soon.