A Couple Finds a New Home in an Old School

updated Feb 19, 2019

A Couple Finds a New Home in an Old School

updated Feb 19, 2019
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Austin Young and Jeremy Rodgers
Location: Jamaica Plain — Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 1 Year, renting

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Jeremy Rodgers and Austin Young’s apartment in a converted schoolhouse in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood feels much larger than its 800 square feet. Simultaneously sparse and personal, with soaring ceilings and an open layout, their place achieves the ultimate apartment goal: comfort without the clutter.

Austin and Jeremy both work in the design industry and met in Chicago, where they shared their first apartment together. They made the move to Boston last spring when Jeremy relocated for work, and with several twenty-something moves already under their belts, decided to hire professional movers for the cross-country haul. “It made us feel like real adults,” Austin jokes. “All of our prior moves involved us begging our friends and bribing them with pizza.”

“We tried not to offend the other person’s taste by saying what we didn’t like, but tried to focus on the pieces that complemented each other, which made for a space that was truly ours.”

Their current place is a downsized version of their 1,200 square foot Chicago apartment. For that move, Jeremy and Austin were each coming from fully furnished places, so deciding what to keep and what to ditch was a process. Determining it was easier to keep the aesthetics of whole rooms, they opted for Jeremy’s modern dining set but went with Austin’s more classic and vintage inspired living room decor. “As with all relationships there are compromises,” Jeremy says. “We tried not to offend the other person’s taste by saying what we didn’t like, but tried to focus on the pieces that complemented each other, which made for a space that was truly ours.”

With the most recent move, another reduction in square footage provided a new need to cull their inventory. Austin and Jeremy knew they wanted their new space to be clean and simple but also comfortable and reflective of their personalities. “We wanted a space that could be multi-functional, one that could host small and large gatherings any given weekend, or could be perfect for just two people on a lazy Sunday morning,” Jeremy says.

A calm respite from busy work lives, Jeremy and Austin’s apartment proves home should be filled not with things but with experiences and memories, like memories of a first Boston apartment.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Overall our style is contemporary. We like to blend modern and traditional elements together along with a few retro pieces to create a space with clean, modern silhouettes that is still warm and inviting with interesting stories to tell.

Inspiration: With both of us working in the architecture and design industry, we are immersed in design every day. The extra-large windows and bones of this converted schoolhouse were our biggest source of inspiration in the space. We aimed to fill the walls with interesting art and keep the furniture profiles low to make sure the windows were the focal point.

Favorite Element: The mid-century Allsteel tanker desk and chair in the guest bedroom/study.

Biggest Challenge: Downsizing from our 1,200 square foot apartment in Chicago and getting rid of items like our full dining room set. We love hosting friends and family for formal and informal gatherings and moving into a smaller space with no dedicated dining room was really tough. We’ve made it work in our new space. We’ve learned to embrace the coffee table’s dual function as a dining table and having guests sit on the floor for a more relaxed approach to “fine dining.”

What Friends Say: We get compliments from most of our guests. They love the space and can’t get over the ceiling height.

Biggest Embarrassment: The tub/shower in the bathroom. It’s the worst configuration of space and getting in and out is a pain.

Proudest DIY: The evenness of the frames and floating side tables in the guest bedroom. The laser level was definitely our friend!

Biggest Indulgence: The large black and white Parvez Taj painting in our bedroom.

Best Advice: Don’t be afraid of Craigslist! We’ve gotten great pieces for a lot less than their original cost. Also, don’t be afraid of taking a risk with mixing and matching different styles.

Dream Sources: Everything from Architectural Digest and DesignMilk.com to the warm and intimate speakeasies of Chicago (special shout-out to Billy Sunday in Logan Square!).



Mirror – Stockholm Mirror: IKEA
Hooks and Mailbox – Home Depot


Yellow Armchair – Strandmon Chair: IKEA
Sofa – Broyhill via Craigslist
Rug – nuLOOM Alexa White Rung: Overstock.com
Wood and metal Sidetable – Target
Poof — Target
Black Lamp – Adesso Louise Lamp: Haynedle.com
Various Shelves and Frames – IKEA & Target
Various Pattern Prints and Map – PaperSource, Old Art books, and Society6.com
Throw Pillows – Target
Grey Blanket w/ Orange Strip – Faribault Blanket: CB2
White Ceramic Vases – Pure White Vases: West Elm
Coffee Table – Craigslist
Credenza – Craigslist
Vintage Trunk – Craigslist


Dining Table – Tripod Table: West Elm via Craigslist
Lamp – Mantis Wall Sconce – CB2
Chairs – Eames Style Chair via Craigslist


Floating White Shelves – IKEA
Hanging Dish Rack – IKEA

BEDROOM (Master)

Bed Frame– Malm Queen Frame: IKEA
Bedding – Angslija Duvet: IKEA
Pillow – Long Throw Pillow “Flock” – Designer Bryn Namavari for CB2
Canvas Art – Elephant by Parvez Taj: Gilt.com
Rug — IKEA
Night stand — Target
Grey Armchair – Strandmon Chair: IKEA
Side Table – Target
Lamps – Target
Lamp Shades – IKEA
Dresser – Hemnes 6-Drawer: IKEA
Watch Box – Etsy
Wardrobe – Askvoll Wardrobe: IKEA
Plant Stool – Estate Sale


Metal Desk – Tanker Desk: All-Steel Equipment Inc. via Craigslist
Metal Desk Chair – All-Steel Equipment Inc. via an Estate Sale
Desk Lamp – Pottery Barn
Book Shelves – Ekby Shelf: IKEA
Bedding – Nyponros Duvet IKEA
Grey Bed Blanket – Target
Rug — Target
Accent Pillows – Target
Floating Cubes – Valje – IKEA
Bedside Sconces – IKEA
Frames — IKEA
Bicycle – Schwinn via Craigslist
Wooden Chair — Estate Sale


Rug — Overstock
Clock – Target
Frames: IKEA and Target
Boise Capitol Print – Artist Melanie Folwell for West Elm

Hallway Canvas Art – Chicago by Henry Rivers: Curioos/Gilt.com

Thanks, Austin and Jeremy!

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