House Tour: Caitlin's Beacon Hill Jewel Box

Name: Caitlin
Location: Beacon Hill in Boston, MA
Size: 330 sq/ft Studio
Years lived in: 1 year

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Beacon Hill is a 19th Century neighborhood barely one-half mile square with over 10,000 residents and an entire University inside of it. Living amongst cobblestone sidewalks barely wide enough for one person and streets built for horse-drawn carriages in one of its many tiny apartments is a true test for living small. Caitlin's affectionally named "compartment" is a wonderful glimpse inside this unique Boston neighborhood...

Caitlin says she was enchanted by the architectural elements when she first saw this small space and tried to keep the furnishings and decor in line with its historical roots, but also relaxed and youthful. Her goal was to make her home aesthetically pleasing, but also comfortable — no stiff sofas here. We love how the space clearly came together organically and, in Caitlin's words, without a lot of planning or monetary investment. She recently moved to a new space where she says her current style is a bit more grown-up and less feminine but we think her charming Beacon Hill abode is very refined, without all the historical stuffiness. Lovely job, Caitlin!

AT Survey:

My style: Shabby elegance, decayed glamour, whimsical tradition

Inspiration: Everything, really! I never miss an issue of Domino magazine. I've been very inspired by AT over the years, as well as Design*Sponge and decor8. I have a giant inspiration folder on my computer where I save various images that appeal to me.

Favorite Element: I love the huge windows and the high ceilings. The wrought-iron fire escape outside could ALMOST be a balcony. The fireplace was also a little-girl fantasy come true. Plus, my thumbs-up statue that I got for $15 at TJ Maxx

Biggest Challenge: I wish my bed wasn't sitting in the middle of the room, but it was more or less unavoidable so I just embraced it. If I were to do it again I would probably pile the pillows against the wall for a daybed look.

Additionally, being a short individual, it was very hard to reach anything in the kitchen cabinets. My friend solved this problem by buying me a Robot Claw Grabber.

What Friends Say: "Where's the next room?"

Biggest Embarrassment: My unironic love of Christmas tree lights. That, and the fact that I never got around to setting my wireless router up, resulting in wires lying on the floor.

Proudest DIY: I painted and reupholstered the gold-colored chairs. I also made the curtains hanging behind the bed.

Biggest Indulgence: White, high-thread count sheets (they were from eBay, though!)

Best advice: "You can always change it." Sometimes people get hung up on getting things perfect on the first try so they play it safe.

Dream source: For this apartment, I love the Anthropologie aesthetic, just everything is so expensive! I would also like a personal, free, on-call carpenter to make me all the built-ins of my dreams.

Resources: eBay, IKEA, flea markets and yardsales, Cambridge Antiques Market. Actually, an embarrassing amount of this furniture was found on the curb!

Accessories: TJ Maxx has the most amazing selection of mysteriously inexpensive, truly bizarre statuary.

Artwork: Mostly by me, inspired by far more talented artists. This was mostly due to budgetary constraints. Framing various items with cheap Target frames (dishtowel, wrapping paper) was another source.

Pictures by Caitlin.