Philadelphia Home Fall/Winter 2009: Art House

Illustrators Gina Triplett and Matt Curtius make their home—and their art—in a Bella Vista townhouse that’s crafty-chic


The story of the house where Matt Curtius and Gina Triplett live is a whole lot like the story of lots of houses where lots of people like Matt and Gina live. Gina and Matt grew up in suburbs—he, near Philadelphia; she, not. They met in school—at MICA, in Baltimore. After they finished school, they moved to Brooklyn, got married, adopted a Boston terrier, moved to Philadelphia, and bought a house—but not necessarily in that order.

The house they bought is a lovely old townhouse on a friendly Bella Vista side street. Except, the townhouse wasn’t always so lovely. At first, it was kind of dark and shabby. So Gina and Matt, Matt and Gina, set to work. They tore out linoleum and drop ceilings and paneling and cabinets. They peeled back layers. Then, they added their own layers: pale paints and open shelves and hardwood floors and soft, modern furniture, and, not long after that, a nursery for their daughter, Juniper.

In  many ways, Matt and Gina were a lot like many young families who came to Philadelphia to create their own little home with three stories, a dog and a baby. But then again, they were different, too.

That’s because the house of Matt and Gina, Gina and Matt, has something most other houses don’t have. It has a pair of art studios, where the happy couple make some of the best illustrations for some of the biggest, most important companies in the world. Apple and Converse, Urban Outfitters and the New York Times, Chronicle Books and Warner Brothers, Whole Foods and Macy’s and Starbucks and important galleries, all ask the couple to paint, sometimes together, sometimes separately, their beautiful artwork, which, all in all, feels like something out of a fairy tale, but for grown-ups, and for today, not for the olden days.

Today, Gina and Matt and Juniper, Matt and Gina and Juniper—and don’t forget Wesley, the Boston terrier—live and work and play in a house they’ve filled with art and color and life and fun—and that’s just how they like it.