Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Size: about 350 square feet
Own or Rent: Rent
We visited Scott at his Back Bay studio, where he's lived for two-and-a-half years which he felt needed a refresh, but wasn't sure just how to do it.
Scott's space feels much larger than its 350 square feet because of the super tall ceilings. Once a grand single family home, the brownstone was converted to a rental building in the 1940s when many questionable design decisions were made, yet his apartment retains some of the building's original charm. A previous tenant installed a loft bed, which adds function and breaks up the space by creating zones.
"I have tons of 'stuff' from old apartments that I don't know how to effectively pare down to create a space that still feels mine," says Scott. "I travel a lot so when I am home, I want a comfortable, calming space that reflects my personality."
With the help of Maxwell, the original Apartment Therapist, Scott learned that with the age of the building, some of the "bones" of his apartment could use some updating, like the dingy off-white walls and the faux brick panels under the windows.
But the main area of focus—and something Scott can easily control as a renter—is the "heart" of the space—the decor. One major piece that Scott takes issue with is the plaid sofa, an item that's been hauled from other apartments and just doesn't fit his style.
Scott's management company had offered to repaint when he moved in, but he never took them up on the offer. Maxwell suggested that he reach out and ask for it now; a fresh paint job would do wonders for the bones of Scott's place. A light gray would make the original molding stand out and feel brighter. He could also ask for the faux brick to be removed or painted over when the walls get done.
As for the sofa, Scott feels that as he approaches he 30s, he's ready to invest in some new furniture. Maxwell suggested Interior Define as a place to find a variety of classic and modern sofa styles that are customizable in size and fabric for Scott's small seating area.
Scott's rug is also on the small side, and in a studio, defining your spaces is extra important. He could keep the current rug and layer an inexpensive neutral rug underneath for the time being, and swap out for a room-sized investment piece when he's ready.
Scott definitely has the "head" or spirit center of his home squared away—this fantastic gallery wall featuring portraits of his ancestors and his own watercolors of his travels. Maxwell suggested extending the art to the opposite wall by the dining area, which is blank except for some shelves that don't get much use.
We left Scott with a copy of Complete + Happy Home so he can continue his refresh. Thanks for letting us into your home, Scott!
Stay tuned for our next design prescription with Alexa & Jim in Philadelphia!