Jess & Andy's Life in the Woods

Jess & Andy's Life in the Woods

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Samara Vise
Oct 7, 2015
(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Name: Jessica and Andy Lubets
Location: Acton, Massachusetts
Size: 3,000 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years; Owned

Jess and Andy Lubets have lived all across the country, but it wasn’t until four years ago that they finally found home in a quiet Boston suburb on the outskirts of Walden Woods. Specifically, they found a 1969 Deck House, a two-story post-and-beam structure situated on a quiet street amongst a grove of white pine. Here, the Lubets, along with their two kids and golden retriever, have decided to put down roots, and in doing so, have given new life to an old house.

(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Jess and Andy’s home is a prefab model designed and manufactured by The Deck House Company, a local business founded in 1959 by William Berkes and Robert Brownell. (Today the company is still headquartered in Acton, operating under the name Acorn Deck House Company.) The house is 95% original, and Jess and Andy have filled it with period-sensitive furnishings, many of them sourced by Andy and fixed up by Jess. A great flow exists in the home, reinforced by floor-to-ceiling doorways connecting the living, dining, and cooking spaces. An impressive brick fireplace anchors the living quarters and spans both stories of the home, while upstairs, vaulted cedar ceilings with solid mahogany beams lend the home an airy, warm feeling.

Windows line the walls of the house, establishing a visual connection with the outdoors but also creating temperature challenges during seasonal extremes. Jess and Andy have not done any major renovations, but they did add central air to help with summer heat and also replaced a crumbling linoleum floor in the kitchen and front hall. The mahogany kitchen cabinets and faux-woodgrain Formica countertops are all original, and in the living room the wall-to-wall green shag carpet was pulled up to reveal the original maple floors, hidden for decades and in perfect condition.

Downstairs holds the kids’ bedrooms and an open workspace where Jess works on her upholstery. Jess picked up her workhorse, a Pfaff Industrial sewing machine found on Craigslist, after taking an upholstery class in Arlington two years ago. Textiles are in Jess’s blood. Her mother was a fiber artist and weaver, and even sold a few designs to Knoll. Both Andy and Jess have day jobs, but their passion for collecting and restoring Mid-century pieces needed an outlet so they created Modern Hub, where they offer refinished pieces and upholstery services.

It’s late Sunday afternoon, and the upholstery work is done for the day. Jess and the kids head out for a quick bike ride as Andy fires up the grill for dinner. Light dapples through the white pine as the smoke wafts up from the deck, fading into the summer night.

(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid-century modern

Inspiration: We are inspired by the usual MCM suspects (Eames, et al) but also I have a lot of artists/craftspeople in my family, from my uncle and grandfather who are master woodworkers to artist cousins to especially my parents. My mother was a fiber artist/weaver whose crowning achievement was selling a couple designs to Knoll, and my father has always been an antique collector with an eye to unique pieces in American history; design and form are in my blood. And Andy works in apparel so he always has his ear to the ground on new trends as well as historical references.

Favorite Element: The view from our bed is a wall of windows looking out to the tops of trees – pretty nice way to wake up any time of the year.

Biggest Challenge: Storage

What Friends Say: From our friend Laura, “You guys have done an amazing job furnishing your home with period pieces and decorating with newer artwork and your own personal touches. “ Most of our friends have a similar style but use it in different ways. We are all each other’s fans and decorating consultants!

Biggest Embarrassment: Our house is half glass which is still mostly single pane. In New England.

Proudest DIY: Pulled up 40+-year-old shag carpet on the entire 1st floor of house – beautiful hardwood underneath! Also Andy’s shoe shelves in our bedroom that I built for him — he is the sneaker head in the family.

Biggest Indulgence: New Mini Split AC system

Best Advice: Decorate with art you love, support local artists.

Dream Sources: We weren't sure how to answer this! We like DWR, ABC Carpet & Home — Muji is fun! But mostly we like random sources. Finding an estate sale or garage sale full of Danish furniture is Andy’s dream source, but also finding those special upholstered pieces that no one wants, that we can strip down and bring back to life.

Resources

(Image credit: Samara Vise)

LIVING ROOM

  • Sofa: Mitchell Gold
  • Lounge chair: Herman Miller
  • Rocking chair: Eames
  • Credenza: Danish
  • Bertoia Diamond Chair: vintage
  • Throw: Woolrich
  • Table lamps: vintage
  • Carpet: Lowe's
  • Pen drawing: Scott Lenhardt
  • Wood block: Chaz Hampton
  • Abstract painting: Tom Lawson
  • Prints: Kozyndan
  • Mobile: Flensted
(Image credit: Samara Vise)

DINING ROOM

  • Table: Big Sur by Crate & Barrel
  • Dining chairs: IKEA, recovered by Jess
  • Abstract art: Tom Lawson
  • China hutch: vintage
  • Chandelier: original
  • Sideboard: vintage Danish
  • Rolling bar: IKEA
(Image credit: Samara Vise)

KITCHEN

  • Table: IKEA Docksta
  • Chairs: Eames molded chairs in Aqua Sky
  • Wall hanging: Parcheesi board
  • (Image credit: Samara Vise)

    MASTER BEDROOM

  • Bed: Room & Board
  • Dresser: Broyhill Men’s Dresser
  • Shoe shelves: custom-built by Jess
  • Chair: vintage, reupholstered in Paul Smith
  • Side table: Peter Hvidt
  • Rugs: IKEA
  • (Image credit: Samara Vise)

    GUEST BEDROOM

  • Duvet bedcover: IKEA
  • Rug: Crate & Barrel
  • Side table: antique
  • Print: National Parks poster re-print
  • Guitar: Gibson
  • (Image credit: Samara Vise)

    KIDS' ROOMS

  • Beds: IKEA
  • Duvets: IKEA
  • Storage: IKEA
  • Curtains: homemade, using IKEA fabrics

  • (Image credit: Samara Vise)

    BATHROOM

  • Paint color: Benjamin Moore Water Drops
  • Bath towels: IKEA
  • Bathmat: IKEA
  • (Image credit: Samara Vise)

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    Thanks, Jess & Andy!

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