Name: Andy Crepeau & Andrew Arbaugh (plus Oliver & Scout)
Location: Somerville, MA
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 4 — rented
Just blocks from some of greater Boston's best vintage furniture locales, Andy & Andrew's home is curated with an endless array of cool and quirky finds. Since Andy is half of the duo behind Ampersand Vintage Modern, a resale business for mid-century and industrial furniture and wares, some items come and go, while others have found a more permanent place.
You enter Andy & Andrew's apartment through the dining room. Already a perk by Boston rental standards, its original wide-plank flooring, high ceilings, and mid-morning sun make the decidedly spacious central room feel warm and welcoming. Which is perfect for the pair, as they love to entertain — they even had their wedding in the backyard.
A mix of charming original detail and "what were they thinking?" mid-century renovations, the space inspired creativity from the couple, especially when it came to what is called "the half-room." A small, wood-paneled room with three doorways and no window, they used the awkward space to their advantage, and it's now a mixture of clothes storage and collections.
Despite the challenges inside, taming the outside proved a more time-consuming yet rewarding task. Andy & Andrew have a patio and backyard that now has tons of room to entertain and raised beds for Andrew to garden.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Vintage Modern.
Inspiration: Our friends. We're fortunate enough to have a group of design savvy friends who have great style and care about their homes.
Favorite Element: The wide-plank, hardwood floors drew us to the apartment in the first place.
Biggest Challenge: The "half-room" between the dining room and kitchen. It's not quite big enough to be a room - but too big to be a hallway. We ended up using it as a sort of walk-thru closet. It shouldn't make sense... but somehow it does...
What Friends Say: We hope they'd say that they feel welcome, comfortable and that they brought a bottle of wine.
Biggest Embarrassment: The drop ceiling in the bedroom. It's unfortunate. The rest of the apartment has beautiful, tall ceilings. It's a shame that someone felt the need to alter the ceiling in the one room where you end up staring at it the most.
Proudest DIY: The back yard. When we first moved in, we could tell there was potential, but it was pretty hard to see. After several months of clearing, raking and planting we were left with a beautiful garden that we're able to enjoy every summer.
Biggest Indulgence: Custom picture framing. I think that a lot of people neglect their walls when decorating a room. Framing artwork well can make a huge impact in a space. And it doesn't always cost a fortune. DIY frame shops, like the Framers' Workshop in Brookline, MA can save you a bundle. At the very least, buy a ready-made frame, and have a mat custom cut to fit your piece and the frame.
Best Advice: Surround yourself with the things you love.
Dream Sources: Reside in Cambridge and Machine Age in South Boston. An unlimited budget at Brimfield would also be nice.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
• Benjamin Moore: Lido Green (bedroom)
• Mid-Century Slat Coffee and End Tables: Antiques & Interiors, Providence, RI
• Danish Modern Arm Chairs: Vintage
• Vintage Ekornes "Stressless" Chair and Ottoman: Gift from Friend
• Bomb Lamp: Joel Green
• Old Toboggan: Andy's Mom
• Vintage Fan Collection: Auction
• Antique Celestial Globe: SOWA Vintage Market
• Handmade wooden ring box (on mantel): Katherine Elliott
• Framed Screen Prints on either side of the French Doors: Andrew Moon Bain
• Somerville Rooftops Print (over tv): James Weinberg
• Wood Table: IKEA
• Vintage Eames Shell Chairs: Auction
• Danish Modern Chifferobe: Auction
• House Lamp: Katherine Elliott Design
• Ib Kofod Larsen Chair: Metamorphosis, Cambridge
• Drum Lamp Shade: Anthropolgie
• Industrial Work Bench: Acme Antiques, Providence, RI
• Vintage School Map: Eddie's Furniture, Somerville, MA
• Thonet Cane-Backed Chairs: Ampersand Vintage Modern
• Charley Harper Prints: Auction
• "Love Asheville" Prints: Graphics Four, Asheville, NC
• Abstract Graphite Drawing: Joseph James
• Danish Modern Secretary/Bookcase: Auction
• Formica and Chrome Kitchen Table: Westminster Antiques, Providence, RI
• Red "Real Good Chair" by Blu Dot: Vessel, Boston
• Cathrineholm Enamelware: Various
• Vintage Locker Baskets: Ampersand Vintage Modern
• Green Dots and Blueberries Print: RISD Student Sale
• Miller High Life Artwork: Dan Semeraro
• Bird Plates: Jason Miller Design
• Chrome Shelving: IKEA
• Russel Wright for Conant-Ball Dresser: A2Z Modern
• Alvar Aalto Upholstered Chair: Ampersand Vintage Modern
• Birch Panels: Mobilia, Asheville, NC
• "Midcentury" Bedside Tables: West Elm
• Reading Lamps: West Elm
• White Duvet Cover: IKEA
• Shams: West Elm
• Curtains: IKEA
• Eames Shell Armchair: RI Antiques Mall, Pawtucket, RI
• Eames Collection Vitra Poster: A2Z Modern
• Painted Squares Artwork: Matt Slobogan
• Abstract Print (over night stand): Andrew Underwood
• Shower Curtain: Marimekko
• Monogrammed "A" Hand Towel: West Elm
• Vintage School Coat Rack: Eddie's Furniture
• Russel Wright for Conant-Ball Dresser: A2Z Modern, Cape Cod
Thanks, Andy & Andrew!
Images: Tara Bellucci, backyard: Andy Crepeau, wedding photo: Eric Reed
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Re-edited from a post originally published. 6/8/14 - AB