A 570-Square-Foot Cambridge Condo’s Entryway Floor Got a Charming DIY Paint Job

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Name: Augusta Mayer and boyfriend
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Type of home: Condo
Size: 570 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I purchased this condo in June 2021, and started off living there by myself. The building is from circa 1930 and my unit had really not been updated since likely the ’70s. I have worked in residential interior design for the last five years, so I wanted to use this as a combination of DIY experience as well as a chance to flex my design muscles in general. My personal style is a melting pot of traditional French and modern, as well as a few other styles in between. Figuring out how to blend these quite contrasting aesthetics was a bit challenging, but I was very up for it. I have an incredible exposed brick wall in the kitchen, which gets a lot of oohs and ahhs when I have guests over. I also have southeast-facing windows so I get a ton of natural light, and who doesn’t love that?

I have an entry hall, which I think is relatively rare in smaller apartments these days. I wanted there to be a bit of a wow factor when entering so I painted the floor with a harlequin diamond pattern and absolutely love it (imperfect paint job and all). My boyfriend moved in this September, but since he conveniently had zero furniture to contribute, the space has remained basically the same. However, we did add the neon sign I got him for his birthday over the sofa, so that’s something.

I think my space reflects my personality quite well. I am outgoing, cheerful, and entertaining (as seen in my entry and living room) yet I have a softer, more sophisticated and calm side as well (as seen in my kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom). I have a ton of European posters that I was gifted from my parents. My great grandfather was a poster artist in Paris in the 19th century so these are all pieces he collected that have been handed down in my family. These all have wonderful color and design, and I just love the feeling they bring to the space.

I have a built-in in the living room which has been so fun to style, and re-style, with items I either panic purchased at HomeGoods when I moved in, things I have collected over the years that have sentimental value, gifts, and whatever else I came across that looks good (such as a leftover Veuve Clicquot box because who doesn’t love a little Veuve in their life?) Two of my favorite colors (besides black and white because I’ve been told those don’t technically count) are sage/olive green and Hermes orange. You’ll see these consistently throughout my space, like in my Kitchen – as my cabinets are painted a sage green and my bathroom walls, which are in the same vein.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Parisian with modern & classical touches.

What is your favorite room and why? This is a tough question, as each space evokes a different sensation. But if I had to choose one, I would say the living room. This room has a lot of energy, purposefully so. I wanted it to feel engaging and lively, but also comfortable. The built-in is just such a great way to bring interest to the space. This room also has three huge windows to let in a ton of light. I have a little corner where I have my morning coffee and do my journaling, and I love that it’s my “spot.”

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? These picture lights, in black, for the built-in — great purchase! Love that even if they’re not on, it just adds another layer to the space.

The living room before her boyfriend moved in.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t try and squeeze yourself into a box. Am I modern, am I farmhouse chic, etc. Stop thinking about how other people will perceive the space and just think about what YOU want and what makes YOU happy. Be patient. Easier said than done, I know, but it’s true. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and high credit card bills if you just wait. Sure, there is plenty you can plan for ahead of time, but don’t start frantically ordering things because you feel the need to complete the space. Failing is normal, and expected. Sometimes what you envision doesn’t come to fruition, no matter how many ways you try, and that’s okay. It’s all part of the process and you will prevail eventually. You just need to learn how to pivot — as my mother says, learn to keep your knees bent, you never know when you’ll have to jump!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity. 
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