This Boston Loft Is Bright, Bohemian, and Extremely Beautiful

published Sep 6, 2019

This Boston Loft Is Bright, Bohemian, and Extremely Beautiful

published Sep 6, 2019
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Name: Jessica and Alex Maniatis
Location: Boston (Dorchester), Massachusetts
Size: 1,385 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, own

Jessica and Alex Maniatis, along with pups Oscar and Winnie, have called this Dorchester loft home since 2015.  After a long search for the right space what ultimately sold the creative couple was the abundance of natural light. “It’s like living in a greenhouse and I love it,” Jessica says. 

Credit: Samara Vise

“My favorite pieces have been found at yard sales, thrifting, or while traveling,” Jessica muses, and with its mixture of new and collected finds, the Maniatis home brims with the creativity of its owners. A graphic designer and brand consultant, Jessica has crafted a home office equally utilitarian and dreamy—not an easy feat for a workspace. Alex, who works in the music industry, has hosted many a touring friend in the guest loft and has also integrated technology into the home. Many of the lights can change color via smartphone, and a projector suspended from the ceiling quickly converts a blank wall into a home theater. “We love that there’s the option to fill the room with sun and act as a quiet space during the day,” Jessica says. “Pretty much every night is movie night!” 

Credit: Samara Vise

The loft has already nurtured multiple generations of monstera and also the couple’s design evolution. What started out as a minimal, raw space is now full of warm wood, bright textiles, and artful compositions of personal and collected objects. The result is both an homage to the loft’s former industrial self and, unmistakably, a home.  

Credit: Samara Vise

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I used to say minimal modern but I’ve been slowly working in more color, texture, and found vintage pieces over the past few years. It’s become more of a mix of modern and bohemian. Plants and textiles soften the sharp lines and industrial style of our condo. Alex still prefers a more minimal approach but goes with the flow as I add things in. When we were looking to buy, he was pretty insistent on finding an open loft like this while I was open to anything—especially an old Victorian—but I’m happy we landed on this unit as it’s been a great canvas for us to explore our style on.

Credit: Samara Vise

Inspiration: Travel, our friends. I’m forever flagging inspiring rooms, furnishings, ideas, stores. My Instagram bookmarks folder is out of control 😉

Favorite Element: The amount of sunlight is what truly sold us on the unit. As soon as we walked in and saw the height of the walls and tall windows, it was a no-brainer that this was for us. It’s like living in a greenhouse and I love it. Second to that, our polished concrete floors are great as you can spill ANYTHING and it’s a non-issue. This has been hugely helpful with two dogs (and while puppy training!).

Credit: Samara Vise

Biggest Challenge: The asymmetry of the space was tricky at first. We’re on the end of the building and the main exterior wall is on an angle, giving our dining room, living room, and bedroom odd angles to work with. But the biggest day-to-day challenge is the small kitchen. We love to cook but there really isn’t enough room for both of us to be in the kitchen together. Alex is the better chef so he tackles most meals solo. We long for more counter and storage space.

Credit: Samara Vise

What Friends Say: That our bedroom is HUGE! It is. We wish the developers had put some of that square footage to the kitchen or bathrooms!

Biggest Embarrassment: We’re right next to the subway and you can sometimes feel it go by. Some guests are surprised by it at first, or just assume it’s a truck going by, but we’re so used to it that we don’t even notice it anymore. As a twist of fate, they’re building a greenway over the subway, which will start behind our house! We’re really excited to welcome bike paths and community gardens to what’s now a mile-long cement slab.

Credit: Samara Vise

Proudest DIY: I used to say the shelving and desk in the loft, as I measured, cut, and installed them myself to fit them into the existing steel beams. But now I’d say the tops of the kitchen cabinets! When we moved in, there was crown molding around the tops but they never capped off. As the loft is right above it, looking down you could see the raw wood—and anything we stored up there fell behind the molding. We got a few quotes to handle the project but never hired anyone. One day, I finally took a crowbar and ripped it all off! My mom helped me finish the job. We measured and cut plywood, stained it, and capped them ourselves. It cost us $75 and made SUCH a huge difference. Now you can look down from the loft and it matches the cabinets—but more importantly, we have a nice place to showcase our Le Creuset collection (and more plants).

Credit: Samara Vise

Biggest Indulgence: Probably our projector. We didn’t want a large TV taking up space in the living room as often a TV’s presence makes you feel pressured to have it “on”… We love that there’s the option to fill the room with sun and act as a quiet space during the day. But at night, we wanted to make sure we had a clear picture, opting for a 4K model by Optoma.

Best Advice: Take time filling your space. When we first moved in, we had no bedroom furniture and felt all this pressure to “finish” things. It’s never finished. I’m switching stuff up around the house all the time, always adding and removing elements. In the beginning, I started to get paranoid our place was going to look like a catalog. I had to find patience and learn that it takes time to find what you love and there’s no point in getting a piece you don’t, simply to fill a space or need. My favorite pieces have been found at yard sales, thrifting, or while traveling.


Credit: Samara Vise


  • Sectional — Interior Define
  • Coffee Table — West Elm
  • Round Rattan Chair — HomeGoods
  • Folding Rattan Chair — Yard Sale
  • Long and Short Benches — DIY
  • Lamp — Vintage (my grandfather’s)
  • Accent Table — IKEA
  • Woven Bench — Target
  • Rug — West Elm
  • Bar — West Elm
  • Shelves — West Elm
  • Throws and weaving (on chair) — Vintage
  • Print — Carmen Seijas 
  • Mudcloth pillows — Hauswitch
Credit: Samara Vise


Credit: Samara Vise


  • Magnet Knife Holder — IKEA
  • White shelves — IKEA
  • Wire Basket — Target
  • Saddle Rug — RR TRaders
  • Mobile — Chuck Kubba
Credit: Samara Vise


  • Bed frame — CB2
  • Mattress — YogaBed
  • Nightstands — CB2
  • Dresser 1 and dresser 2 — West Elm
  • Oversized Chair — West Elm
  • Leather Butterfly Chair — Wayfair
  • Shag Rug — Vintage
  • Accent Table — IKEA
  • Baskets — HomeGoods
  • Swing Sconces — Wayfair
  • Rug (hanging) — Vintage
  • Throws (bed + chair) — Vintage
  • Pillows — H&M and HomeGoods 
  • Mirrors — Antique
  • Hand prints (above dresser) — Native Bear 
  • Jewelry box — Antique (family heirloom)
Credit: Samara Vise


  • Sink, Vanity, Mirrors — IKEA
  • Shelves — Container Store 
  • Paint — Hematite by Behr
Credit: Samara Vise


  • Floating shelves — West Elm
  • Print — Laura Berger – (no longer available)
Credit: Samara Vise


Storage bed frame — IKEA

Throw — The Citizenry

Shelves — DIY with IKEA brackets 

Nightstand — Target (no longer available)

Credit: Samara Vise


  • Chest — Antique (family heirloom)
  • Mirror — Antique (family heirloom)
  • Peacock chair — Vintage
  • Throw — Vintage
  • Aztec rug — Vintage
  • Magazine holder — Vintage
  • Shelf (above desk) — DIY
  • Desk tops and legs — IKEA
  • Flat file — IKEA
  • Chair — Amazon
  • Painting — Meaghan Boyd
  • Shelves — IKEA – (no longer available)
  • Curtains — West Elm – (no longer available)
Credit: Samara Vise


  • Chairs and Table — Target
  • Outdoor Rug — Target – (no longer available)
  • Outdoor pillows — Target

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