Joe & Ayanna's Midcentury Meets Comicon

House Tour

Name: Joe, a Video Game Producer and Ayanna, a Psychology Professor
Location: Central Square — Cambridge, Massachusetts
Years lived in: 7 months — rented

Ayanna and Joe moved into their rented Cambridge apartment around 7 months ago, and in that time they have managed to transform their apartment into a place that showcases their shared styles and interests. Before meeting one another they had independently collected movie art and, now that they are living together, their combined movie poster collection is one of the most striking features in the space.


According to Joe, "My girlfriend and I are both film buffs... I like French New Wave and New Hollywood. We both like horror movies and science fiction. We've been called stealth nerds, but I don't know how stealthy we are about it." Along with the posters, the apartment is filled with a mix of primarily Danish Modern pieces with bits of Art Deco and 60's lounge for an eclectic look that doesn't lean too heavily on one era.

The space itself features large windows, a well-designed kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a bookshelf close to the ceiling that runs the length of the apartment, from the living room into the guest bedroom.

The guest bedroom houses another shared collection — comic books and graphic novels fill a bookcase along one wall and can be found in scattered stacks around the room. It is also home to Joe's toys. According to him, "I've picked up a few weird toys from my childhood, like ROM Spaceknight and the Super Joes. My place used to look like the 30 Year Old Virgin, but I scaled back. I like to keep the place pretty spartan now."

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern Eclectic

Inspiration: Joe: I'm a sucker for Danish modern, but try to sneak in bits of art deco and 60s lounge as I can. Hopefully that comes off more eclectic than confused.

Favorite Element: Joe: My favorite feature of the place is how there's shelving worked into every room along at least one side up near the ceiling. It's nice to be able to always look up and see your favorite books wherever your are in the apartment.

Ayanna: The kitchen. I love cooking in there. The appliances are high end and it is perfectly designed.

Biggest Challenge: Our dog just tore up the upholstery on the orange couch... so now we're not only looking for the same or similar orange vintage pattern but a place that will reupholster it without charging a lot of money.

What Friends Say: We've been called stealth nerds, but I don't know how stealthy we are about it.

Biggest Indulgence: I ran across that Le Samourai poster in Santa Monica a few years ago and really couldn't afford it, but I knew I'd regret it if I didn't pick it up. It's kind of the perfect poster for a film that's kind of perfect.

Best Advice: Estate sales off Craigslist. Sometimes they mean a long drive and/or slim pickings, but other times you score. (Again, that's how I found that weird dining table and chairs.)

Dream Sources: Ha. Any resources to speak of would be a dream, frankly.

Resources of Note:

LIVING ROOM

    • Orange Sofa: a vintage furniture shop on Valencia St in The Mission, SF
    • Eames lounger: It's a fake I got off of Craigslist. It's not nearly as comfortable as a real one, but it was only $200.
    • Credenza:That's another find off of craigslist in Boston. You can find a lot by searching "Danish modern."

DINING ROOM

    • Table and Chairs: I got these from an estate sale in northern Mass run by the owner of a shop called, no joke, Beyond Gorgeousity.
    • Bar: The old wet bar is from a junk/furniture shop in Berkeley near Gilman Street.

Accessories

    • Lamps: Some are from Valencia St shops and others are finds from Ebay or Craigslist.
    • "Tidy" sign: Snagged off a hotel room door in Malmaison in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Movie Posters

    • "The Evil Dead" by Olly Moss: Mondo Tees
    • "Susperia" by Alan Forbes: Mondo Tees
    • "House of the Dead" by the Silent Giants: Mondo Tees
    • The rest are vintage collected over the years: Horror, French New Wave, New Hollywood, and specific genere Foreign Films dominate the collection

Thanks, Joe & Ayanna!

Images: Kim Lucian

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE Check out past house tours here
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.

23 Comments