This is from our Boston finalists, Wes & Kayla. Comment away!
Name: Rita & Morgan
Occupation: Graphic Designers
Location: Brookline, MA
Size: 3 Bed, 1.5 Bath House, 2000 sq/ft (does not include 3rd floor apartment)
Years Lived: 24
Our dear friends, Rita and Morgan, allowed us to photograph their beautiful home in Brookline, a steep 10 minute walk up the hill from Washington Square, for our first house tour here on AT. Living in small apartments and moving every year or two can sometimes be discouraging - everything seems temporary. Because of this, we draw a lot of inspiration from our friends and family who own their homes...
This is a tour of a life-long home, a space designed over 24 years and overflowing with history and personality. Every nook and cranny is designed, painted, and filled with decades of travel souvenirs and family art (mostly paintings and ceramics). We know this is larger than many homes shown on AT but the scale and creativity of space has inspired us and we hope it does the same for you readers.
What was your first renovation to the house?
At first the kitchen had two rooms between it and the yard - a bathroom and a laundry room. We took the entire space apart, removing walls and hundreds of pounds of 1895 plaster (this was the most difficult part ). We did most of the carpentry and all the sheet rock and trim work ourselves.
How did you go about re-designing the new kitchen?
We set up a table in the middle of the room, fitting the table legs into pvc pipe to make the counter height we thought we wanted. Then we took a piece of homasote and made a top, placing it over the table, as big as we thought the space could handle, cutting it back until the size and height that functioned properly in the space (and the female cook in the family could work comfortably).
What is your favorite thing about the house?
The light and the spaciousness of the first floor.
What is your decorating advice?
Take a renovation slowly and seriously. When painting a room look through magazines and, without thinking, tear our pages representing color that you like - then see where you end up and determine the colors through them. Also, paint a good size piece of cardboard the color you have selected and leave it in the room for a few days - waiting for cloudy, sunny, evening and morning - so that you can test how you feel in every living situation. Realize that dark walls require an adjustment to the quantity of light you will have to introduce to the space - always have lighting on dimmers.
- Kayla & Wes
(Thanks, Kayla & Wes!)