Name: Grant Devine
Location: Fort Point — Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 350 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented
On the way up from the trendy lobby in Grant's building—a recently converted shoe factory in the rapidly developing Fort Point neighborhood—he tells me that a year ago it would have been unimaginable to invite a photographer into his home. He explains that in his first year here, he did little more than move in the essentials. That was until his sister visited and promptly instructed him to grow up and turn the tiny studio into a real home of which he could be proud.
She put Grant, who had never really thought about his style or of settling into the place, in touch with her friend (and mine) Lizzy Malin, who has started using her love of interior design and knack for small-space living to help friends fix up their places. Working with Lizzy helped Grant identify the parts of his personality that he wanted reflected in his home.
Grant is an avid athlete and a dedicated traveler—to Chile in particular—with roots in the Boston area. Grant spent much of his childhood by the ocean, where he learned to surf. The board in his bedroom is one of the most prominent pieces in the apartment, while the other, less visually arresting pieces of athletic equipment are corralled in wicker baskets under the floating shelf in the kitchen for easy access on the way out the door.
After business school, Grant moved to Chile to start a clean energy company. There are maps of the country throughout, and the triptych below his surfboard is from Patagonia. While Grant has since moved back to Boston to be closer to his family and work with his dad, he goes back to Chile at least once a year and keeps in touch with his friends and former coworkers there. It seems like he misses it, but when I ask about his favorite element in the recently redecorated apartment, Grant points immediately to the orange and yellow tissue paper star on the large factory windows (that make the studio feel significantly larger than its footprint). His godson made the star for him when they rang in the New Year together in Portland, Maine, this year. There are benefits to being home.
As anyone who has tackled a major home improvement project knows, it can feel overwhelming at times. Throughout, Grant reminded himself to take it one task at a time and returned to the places he was most excited to support, particularly Longleaf Lumber in Cambridge. He was drawn to include their products in his home because of the unique stories that come along with them; Grant's end tables on either side of the couch are old timbers salvaged from the Charlestown Navy Yard. These pieces reflect Grant's deep connection to the city.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Simple yet sleek. I’m at a point in my life where I want my home to feel pulled together, but I’m still transient. I like additions that add texture and depth while representing who I am as a person but are not terribly expensive.
Inspiration: Until I starting working with my friend Lizzy Malin, an aspiring interior designer, I really didn’t have an idea of my style; it was very much bachelor functional. She helped me pull the disparate elements of my personal tastes and my desire for an organized environment into a cohesive and expressible style. We collaborated to piece together elements that separate each part of the studio, but unify the look. Apartment Therapy, Dot & Bo and even IKEA were the primary inspirations on how to maximize the space.
Favorite Element: Window star made by my godson.
Biggest Challenge: Spending the time pulling it all together. I started this project almost 18 months ago and had a giant to-do list of things to buy or build. I had to keep reminding myself to just tackle one thing at a time.
What Friends Say: I definitely didn’t do this by myself.
Biggest Embarrassment: The picture of me featured here.
Proudest DIY: Hairpin leg table that I made with a piece of salvaged white oak from Longleaf Lumber in Cambridge, MA.
Biggest Indulgence: Trillium Beer (so good though). After that, probably the side table stumps that came from Longleaf Lumber. They were expensive, but they came from old timbers salvaged from the Charlestown Navy Yard and I thought the story was worth it.
Dream Sources: Mike Tyson’s mansion, Portland (Maine) Architectural Salvage.
PAINT & COLORS
- Walls: Pre-painted by building management
- Mounted cabinets: IKEA Besta
- Baskets: Target
- Silver floating shelves: IKEA
- Hanging pendant lights: IKEA
- Sofa: Portfolio Trace Couch via Overstock.com
- Side chair: Baxton Studio Velda Chair via Amazon
- Leaning shelf: Crate & Barrel
- Mirror: Rustic Industrial Mirror via Overstock.com
- Side tables: Longleaf Lumber, originally salvaged from Charlestown Navy Yard
- Coffee table: DIY with wood from Longleaf Lumber and legs from Hairpinlegs.com
- Map of Chile: artPause on Etsy
- Shelving: Home Depot
- Desk: IKEA Besta
- Surfboard: Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Co. in NH
- Triptych photography of Patagonia: Nicole Smith
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