Maureen & Lui's Pondside Lily Pad

House Tour

Name: Maureen & Lui
Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Size: 780 square feet
Years lived in: 6 — owned

You might recognize Maureen and Lui's condo from Apartment Therapy's most recent Small Cool Contest. It was a hit with the readers so we decided to do a full blown House Tour. And we're glad we did because every nook and cranny holds a lovely visual surprise.

It's really fun to spend time in a space where the owner's love for design and rearranging and creating vignettes is so palpable. Maureen, a graphic designer, clearly has a true talent for interior design as well. I'm prone to doing House Tours that are heavy on bright light and saturated colors. This nautical, organic inspired home — with its rich, moody colors — was a refreshing departure. Spending time photographing Maureen and Lui's condo felt like the perfect seasonal transition — its cozy environment made me pine for chilly fall days. A true gauge of success — a home that makes you want to stay there, inside.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Sailor by day; Shaker by night; 60s-car mechanic who can appreciate a nice mid-century chair when they see one, regardless of how absurdly-priced it is.

Inspiration: The sea, sails, colonial blacksmiths and printmakers, and the spirit of Henry David Thoreau.

Favorite Element: The indispensable artwork and handmade objects that my friends have made me throughout the years.

Biggest Challenge: Our precarious lighting situation. We have amazing eastern and southern exposure, but when that sun goes down and the lights are on, our home is like Seinfeld's "two-faced" girlfriend, who looks as expected in one light, but completely dubious in another.

What Friends Say: We really love having people over and making a huge Saturday morning breakfast. I'm just concerned that all the medical posters in the office might be making guests feel like they were simply getting a check-up, but then finding themselves awakening in a 1950s doctor's office, long after the secretary has locked the doors and left.

Biggest Embarrassment: The amount of shoes I have in the closet — albeit organized by type and season. I just loathe that effeminate side of myself.

Proudest DIY: The cross-section of a tree that my father-in-law hauled all the way up from Connecticut for me, which I turned into an ad-hoc end-table. As cliché as it has become in the world of catalog shopping, I'm glad that I made mine from pure creative provenance, way before you could buy "tree stump" stools from West Elm.

Biggest Indulgence: Equipped with a hint of koniophobia (fear of dust, dead-skin, etc), there are certain things I can't avoid buying new, like sheets and rugs. Our 'beveled-siding' rug in the living room was our biggest 'off the rack' purchase, and seems to remind one of our close friends of that pattern left on the sand, far out at low tide.

Best Advice: Less mass-produced is Maur human, Less budget is Maur creativity

Dream Sources: Whaling history museums, abandoned paper mills, and Guy Debord's apartment circa 1967

Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

    • Living room: Behr, Butternut Wood
    • Office: Behr, Spartan Stone
    • Bedroom: Behr, Coconut Husk
    • Foyer: Behr, Beluga
    • Bathroom: Behr, Mountain Elk
    • Kitchen: Mocha Accent

FOYER

    • Bench: curbside find
    • Console: Craigslist
    • Paint: Behr, Beluga

LIVING ROOM

    • Couch: Rowe via Craigslist
    • Rug: CB2
    • Side table: up-cycled antique sewing table via curbside
    • End table: DIY using tree from Shelton, Connecticut
    • Leaning bookshelf: up-cycled apple picking ladders via yard sale
    • Paint: Behr, Butternut Wood

KITCHEN

    • Utility Cabinet: free via Craigslist

    BEDROOM

      • Bed / dresser: IKEA
      • Headboard: DIY
      • Side table: up-cycled luggage / plant-stand
      • Mirror: free curbside find
      • Paint: Behr, Coconut Husk

    OFFICE

      • Rug: Target
      • Dresser: antique via Craigslist
      • Paint: Behr, Spartan Stone

    Thanks, Maureen and Lui!

    Images: Kyle Freeman

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