Artist John Guthrie’s Heavenly Haven

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: John Guthrie
Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Size: 1,350 square feet
Years lived in: 13 years — rented

Apartment Therapy first introduced you to the beautiful artwork of John Guthrie in 2008. Since that time, I’ve been so drawn to John’s work that I was more than delighted when mutual friends connected us for an Apartment Therapy House Tour. I thought that if John’s home bears any resemblance to his artwork, we’d all be in for a treat.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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View from Front Door (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A treat indeed, John’s home of 13 years not only includes a generous representation of his own work, but also that of a wide range of artists. His amazing collection of art and pottery give John’s home a gallery feel, yet it still manages to feel immensely welcoming. I wanted to hang out here for hours. I love the progression from the more sophisticated color palette of the living room, to the slightly more saturated dining room color palette, to the exuberant and most saturated kitchen color scheme. The flow of these colors, and their combination with generous touches of wood in the living and dining room, makes the apartment feel like a living organism. (Speaking of living organisms, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much fun it was to be escorted from room to room, as I studied the space for good photos, by Penny the pug.)

I’ve heard people assume that artists, by default, would make talented home designers. I’d say that’s no more or less true than assuming that home designers would make good fine artists. But in John’s case, the assumption is true. John has skillfully and dramatically transferred his fine art skills to creating a rich, novel, and beautifully designed home.

Unfortunately you can’t come to John’s house BUT you do have a couple days left to check out his latest work, live at Boston University’s 808 Gallery! Traces and Places, John’s side by side exhibit with studio mate Isabel Riley, is up until THIS Friday March 26th. Click here for more information.

To visit John’s website, click here.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My style: Eclectic with elements of Modern, folk, and antique. What I try to do with my apartment is showcase my collection of art and objects. I don’t have a TV and I don’t use my apartment for lounging around and watching TV. Its not really an apartment for kids either! I’m set up primarily for entertaining.

Favorite Element: Currently its my Saarinen chairs in the kitchen which I purchased last summer.

Biggest Challenge: Dealing with the bay windows in the dining room. For years I never knew what to do with that area. A few years back I got a new couch that was going to be for the living room. When I got it home it didn’t work there so I put it in the bay of the dining room. It fit perfectly. Now its my favorite hang out spot in the house and great for parties.

What Friends Say: That my place is warm and inviting.

Biggest Embarrassment: The pantry. A bomb should be set off in there.

Proudest DIY: I’m not really handy. But I did do all of the painting.

Biggest Indulgence: Pottery.

Best advice: Always look at furniture when you have the chance — even when you aren’t buying. Then when you are ready to buy you can do it with confidence knowing what prices and quality are out there. Also ask when floor samples are going to be available.

Dream source: Machine Age in Boston

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Living room: Algonquin Train (Benjamin Moore)
    • Dining Room: Toasted Pecan (Benjamin Moore)
    • Kitchen: Splash (Benjamin Moore)
    • Front Hall: Dorset Gold (Benjamin Moore)
    • Back Hall: Sierra Hills (Benjamin Moore)
    • John’s Bedroom: Pebblestone (Martha Stewart)
    • Guest Bedroom: Winter Surf (Martha Stewart)



    • Rug: Yayla (Camridge)
    • Couch: Natuzzi (Italy)
    • Bench in front of couch: Red River Trading Company
    • Side tables: Finn Juhl – Denmark c. 1957 Purchased in Montreal
    • Walnut side table: Hand made by Dave Barber of Portsmouth Maine. Purchased at auction – Haystack Mountain School, ME.
    • Artwork above mantle: Juliann Cydylo
    • Sculpture leaning on wall: Donna Veverka
    • Bust on mantle: Danielle Krcmar
    • Glass sculpture above couch: Graham Reid
    • Wood wall scuplture: Rob Moore
    • Red floor scuplture near door: Isabel Riley
    • Small painting of tree to left of fireplace: Susan Belton
    • Small painting of house to left of fireplace: Leah Giberson
    • Pottery on mantle and table: 1960’s and 1970’s West German and Italian


    • Theater sofa: Design Within Reach
    • Brno chairs: Design Within Reach
    • Coffee table: Unknown manufacturer (Canadian) solid maple c. 1965. Purchased in Montreal.
    • Teak 60’s Side table: Unknown manufacturer (Canadian) Purchased in Montreal.
    • Dining table: Plantation Wood, Crate and Barrel.
    • Pottery on mantle: mostly Kevin Viens of Boston, also some scandinavian pieces.
    • Pottery in china cabinet: 1960’s and 1970’s West German and Italian
    • All dining room paintings: John Guthrie


    • Chairs: Eero Saarinen, 1966, in original blue vinyl. Purchased in Montreal.
    • Table: Saarinen rip-off by IKEA
    • Red Wall Storage Unit: Malibu, purchased in Boston at a store that used to be at 63 Wareham St. Forgot the name of it.
    • Two Cut paper collages above kitchen table: Juliann Cydylo
    • Painting to the right of stove: Naked Guy by Clair Rojas
    • Cactus painting to left of kitchen built-in: Spencer James
    • Diamond painting to the left of sink: John Guthrie
    • Wilson Little League painting to the left of sink: Spencer James
    • Star painting that can be seen in hallway from kitchen: John Guthrie


    • Malibu cabinets purchased all over Boston
    • Rug: IKEA
    • Heads painting above bed: John Guthrie
    • Lilly pad Sculpture on top of storage unit: A.M. Lilly


    • Artwork above dresser to the right of door: Cut paper collage by Juliann Cydylo
    • Embroidered napkin artwork above dresser to the left of door: Juliann Cydylo
    • Oak dresser to the left of drawer: 19th century piece refinished by John’s mother
    • Dresser to right of drawer: yard sale

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, John!

Images: Kyle Freeman

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