Name: Melissa Miranda and Ulises Serret, their son Alex, and cats Tammy and Siddharta
Location: Harrison Hill — Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 2,400 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years; Owned
Nearly a decade ago, interior designer Melissa Miranda moved into her now-husband’s home in the Harrison Hill area of Dorchester in Boston. Ulises Serret, a builder and developer, originally purchased and renovated the single-family home that has since undergone numerous makeovers to reflect this dynamic duo’s combined aesthetic. So, what do you get when an interior designer and her builder husband take on renovating a grand Victorian carriage house? An open plan layout with spacious rooms, soaring ceilings and plenty of natural light for their happy plants, all of which help the interior feel like a retreat from the bustling city of Boston that is just outside the home's doorstep.
Ulises and Miranda's home gives a nod to modern design, offering a crisp white backdrop that highlights elements inspired by the couple's worldly sensibility. Melissa, a London native, adds her personal touch throughout the space, and the couple have incorporated aspects of their many travels in personal and meaningful ways. Influenced by time spent in Spain, the couple utilize timeless elements of design within their space. The couple chose a Moorish cement tile for their conservatory, while in their living room, an eye-catching gold mirror brought back from an antique shop in Barcelona serves as a physical reminder of their adventures abroad.
Their objects, furniture, and entire rooms are constantly being rearranged and re-contextualized. This, paired with their impressive green thumb, makes the space a dream. The conservatory has quickly become the most lived-in and loved space within the house, and it is easy to see why. Situated in New England, where winters can be grueling and seemingly never-ending, the sunroom offers a breath of fresh air and the feeling of warmth, attributed in part to the radiant floor heating, but also thanks to the dramatic plants Melissa—a horticulture aficionado—has lovingly cultivated throughout the home. The modern atmosphere, flooded with an abundance of natural light, quickly makes the couple forget they are still in the heart of Boston, truly transforming the carriage house into an oasis, an impressive example of Melissa's encouragement to "make your home your retreat."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Eclectic, modern, bohemian, classic, organic, and Scandinavian.
Inspiration: Comes from world travels. I am especially inspired by Middle Eastern, Moorish, and Mediterranean style.
Favorite Element: The natural light, plants, and high ceilings.
Biggest Challenge: Stopping myself from buying more plants.
Proudest DIY: The easy kitchen makeover—we painted the cabinets, added shiplap to the backsplash, and changed the hardware and light fixtures. It transformed the look!
Biggest Indulgence: Radiant heat in the conservatory floor—pure luxury! And having fresh flowers and crisp white bed linens.
Best Advice: Make your home your retreat.
Dream Sources: The markets of Marrakesh and antique shops of Provence.
PAINT & COLORS
- Walls: Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee—I love white!
- Kitchen cabinetry: Benjamin Moore Smoke & Mirrors
- Gold mirror: antique shop in Barcelona
- Mantel: designed by Melissa, built by Ulises
- Globe pendants: West Elm
- Sconces: Visual Comforts
- Counter Chairs: Restoration Hardware
- Floor tile: Agadir from Cement Tile Shop
- Moravian star fixture: custom-made
- Terracotta pots: Spain
- Sconces: Art Deco originals via an antique shop in London
- Peacock chair: yard sale find
- Rosewood table: Etsy
- Floor: Carrara marble hex tile
- Cast iron bath tub: antique
- Brass light fixtures: Visual Comfort
- Medicine cabinets: Kohler
- Brass hardware: custom from Etsy
- Dresser: IKEA Malm
- Kilim pillows: Turkey
- Bed linen: The White Company
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Thanks, Melissa & Ulises!
(Image credits: Emily Billings)