Emily & Nate’s Cozy Cocoon

published Feb 23, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Emily & Nate
Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 1½ years – rented

As an avid fan, Emily (a graphic designer) knows her Apartment Therapy stuff. Within minutes of walking through her door, Emily tells me that she’s pretty sure that the layout of her place is exactly the same as another house tour I recently posted. And funny enough, this other tour was also home to a Nate. The tour and home that she was referring to was Ila & Nate’s Corridor of Color.

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

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Living Room (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

And sure enough, after checking out the whole space, I confirmed that yes, Emily and Nate’s home is the exact same layout and structure as Ila and Nate’s home, even though they live a half mile away from each other in different six-family homes. And of course, they both have the same impressively small square footage. I say impressive because once again, I’m delighted by how Emily and Nate make a small-ish space feel roomy. This space definitely feels bigger than 700 square feet.

I’m going to chalk that up to the delightful, eclectic environment that Emily and Nate have created as renters on a budget. This home feels really well loved (for proof, check out this poem about their place, written by Nate). Their incorporation of abundant original art makes a huge difference in the space. (By the way, to see their “Cabinip” mini liquor cabinet in motion, click here.) I also love their mis-matched (e.g. dining room chairs), less than precious aesthetic. Their use of a soothing, neutral wall color in the main living space (living room and dining room) helps unify the two rooms but also provides a grounding stage for their colorful art, furniture, and decorative objects.

Once we established that this space is the exact same as Ila and Nate’s, it was fun to compare and contrast how they set up their spaces. One thing, beyond structure, unites these two couples and their same but different spaces: a knack and love for creating cozy, vibrant homes. The matchmaker in me hopes that Emily and Nate get to see Ila and Nate’s home and vice versa.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Eclectic, fun, artsy, modern, and comfortable.

Inspiration: Design books and blogs, museums, and our artistic and creative friends and family.

Favorite Element: Our custom-designed-and-built mini liquor cabinet – the “Cabinip”.

Biggest Challenge: Not letting things get too crowded and cluttered in our smallish space, and doing it on a tight budget.

What Friends Say: It’s so you!

Biggest Embarrassment: The bathroom: it still has the ugly off-white paint color and the claw-foot tub to shower conversion is pretty shoddy — let’s just say it involves a 2×4.

Proudest DIY: Making a lot of the artwork that is displayed and refurbishing the pachinko machine.

Biggest Indulgence: Original art.

Best advice: If you see local art that you like and you can afford — buy it!

Dream source: MCM antique stores after I’ve won the lottery, and open studio tours.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:

Leaning bookshelves: Crate & Barrel
Letterpress trays: Antique stores (I painted one yellow)
Yellow side table and chair: West Elm
Custom curtains and pillow cases: sewn by Emily’s Mom
Artwork above TV : artist Helen O’Donnel
Artwork above sofa: artist Erica Von Schilgen
Small couch and TV stand: IKEA
Vertical panorama: artist Warren Mather

Dining set (table, two chairs and sideboard) by Broyhill: Yesteryear
Gray Eames chair: from my Grandmother (was her desk chair for many years!)
Antique Japanese Pachinko machine: Craigslist
“Cabinip” mini liquor cabinet: built by Bill Rogers of Machina Design
Hanging fabric fish: made by Nate’s Mom
Curtains: West Elm
Rug: from Nate’s travels in Turkey

Table: IKEA
Paintings: by Emily
Print above kitchen table: artist Nancy Marks
Rug: from Nate’s travels in Turkey

Photograph opposite the bed: “The Heart” by Kevin Van Aelst
Painting above bed: by Emily
Hand-sewn blanket made out of cut-up cashmere sweaters: by Kelley Whitmore (for information contact kelley_whitmore@yahoo.com)
Rug: from my Grandparents’ house
Cross stitch artwork: by Emily
London Tube Poster: London Transport Museum Shop

Cross stitch artwork: by Emily

Dining Room and Living Room: Benjamin Moore Horizon Gray (on 3 walls) and BM Creekside Green (on 1 accent wall)
Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Sweet Pear
Bedroom: Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Emily & Nate!

Images: Kyle Freeman

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