Julie’s South End Jewel

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Liz Hanson)

Name: Julie Judson
Location: South End; Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 779 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Owned

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Julie’s enthusiasm is contagious and her hospitality undeniable, so it’s no wonder this Texas transplant has been wildly successful engaging Boston-area millennials in supporting her passion: the arts. When you step into her apartment, you feel immediately at home. The place is both stunning and inviting, full of vivid colors and beautiful objects in cozy, approachable spaces. Sinking into the couch, grabbing a book off the shelf, and enjoying a glass of wine with the hostess feels like the most natural thing you could do.

(Image credit: Liz Hanson)

Julie’s love of art and dance is apparent everywhere you turn. She’s sought out pieces with deep meaning for her—including a print by her favorite living artist, FAILE, done in collaboration with the New York City Ballet, and a photograph of a favorite spot in Italy taken by fellow Texan Gray Malin—and invested in having them in her home. She’s also assembled the space in a way that is both functional for her and her roommate on a day-to-day basis, while also allowing them to host their extensive group of friends for gatherings with ease.

But perhaps what is most impressive is how invested Julie is in her home at such an early age. Her pride in the space, her very own place far away from her hometown, is obvious. From the constant small upgrades she’s made (including adding the built-in closet, redoing the bathroom, and painting the front door and the fireplace in a bold red hue) to the ever-present flowers blooming throughout to the way she talks about it when you ask, it’s clear how important having the apartment be a true reflection of herself is to Julie. Yet another reason why anyone invited inside is lucky to visit.

(Image credit: Liz Hanson)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Approachable, warm, colorful and cozy. It’s important to me that where I live be comfortable, and not full of things and furniture you’re afraid to touch or spill wine on or use.

Inspiration: So many things! I call myself a cultural omnivore but think my love of music, theater, art, and dance influences my taste most. Art invokes such emotion, movement, and character, and I find that visits to art museums and galleries always energize me. My travels in Italy and Israel have also been particularly influential to my selection of art. Lately I’ve also been really inspired by Southwestern/folk culture, textiles, colors, and just the general spirit of that part of the country. Persian rugs, turquoise, still-life, and flowers are elements you’ll find throughout my home.

Favorite Element: The aspects of the apartment that give it its character, including the high ceilings and exposed brick, are definitely up there. Mostly though, I love the spacious living and dining area; it’s a wonderful gathering place to entertain friends and family.

Biggest Challenge: I grew up in the South where homes are more spread out. Living in a small space with two people can be challenging, but I’m learning! I’m finding there are a lot of great resources for how to be clever with small space (including Apartment Therapy!) and that has been helpful.

What Friends Say: The first thing people usually comment on is how much they love the exposed brick. Shortly after that, they remark on the color-coded bookshelves, and ask me if I’ve read all of the books. I reveal how dorky I really am when I admit that I actually have read them all.

Biggest Embarrassment: I’m really ready to do some work in my bedroom. I want to repaint the walls, get a new rug, re-organize my closet, and possibly get a new set of linens for my bed. Plus, I’m in the market for a new dresser.

Proudest DIY: I have to admit I’m not much of a DIY-er, but with the help of a friend who is more savvy than I am, I created the canvas Tender is the Night print above my bed after seeing a much more expensive piece of art in a similar vein online. As is pretty clear to everyone, I’m a book lover, and I also think it’s a funny double entendre. And it’s a great pop of color in the space.

Biggest Indulgence: The Surgere Supre Bestias limited edition print in my living room. It’s a gorgeous, complex print by my favorite living artist, FAILE, done in collaboration with the New York City Ballet. I won it in a lottery a couple years back, and particularly having grown up as a dancer it’s just super cool to have it hanging on the wall in my home. I had a friend who is a Latin teacher translate “Surgere Supre Bestias” for me—it means “To rise above beasts.”

Best Advice: If you keep coming back to it or thinking about it, it’s worth bringing into your home. Also, don’t worry about other people’s approval. For a long time I used to send links of items I liked to my family to get their opinion, and they almost never shared my excitement over them. But then they would see how I incorporated pieces into the space and the alchemy of the room, and they would fall in love with it, too. In short: do you. It’ll work.

Dream Sources: Jonathan Adler, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University (my alma mater), Assouline and Taschen, Williams-Sonoma, Kelly Wearstler


(Image credit: Liz Hanson)


  • Living room: BEHR Tinsmith
  • Bathroom: Benjamin Moore Seattle Gray
  • Front door and fireplace (above): Sherwin-Williams Candy Apple Red
  • Trim: Semigloss White

    • Black entry table: Overstock.com
    • The Rest of the Story painting: Minted
    • Woman print: Instagram photo by Julie, printed by CanvasPop
    • Tel Aviv apartment painting: unknown source, Israel
    (Image credit: Liz Hanson)


  • Couch: West Elm
  • Chairs: West Elm
  • Kilim rug: West Elm
  • Coffee table: Jordan’s Furniture
  • Bookshelves: IKEA HEMNES
  • Surgere Supre Bestias print: FAILE Art
  • Blue Nude Matisse print: One Kings Lane
  • Watercolor paintings: soveryhappyart on Etsy
  • Pillows: One Kings Lane, Crate & Barrel
  • Lamps: Crate & Barrel
  • (Image credit: Liz Hanson)


    • Black expandable table: IKEA
    • White chairs: IKEA
    • Buffet table: IKEA Dresser, converted into a buffet
    • Women at a Table painting: Marcia Banks, a painter in Dallas, TX
    • Tray: Wolfum via Of a Kind
    • Bar cart: Overstock.com
    • Cactus in planter: Niche Boston
    (Image credit: Liz Hanson)


    • Vanity: IKEA
    • Linens: Restoration Hardware
    • Pillows: One Kings Lane, Steven Alan for West Elm
    • Bed frame: IKEA
    • Positano photograph: Gray Malin Photography
    • Nude painting: Z Gallery


    • Mirrored cabinet with lights: IKEA
    • Sink vanity: IKEA
    • Grey cabinet: IKEA
    • Shower curtain: West Elm
    • Shower mat: West Elm
    • Bathroom accessories: West Elm
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    Julie’s neighborhood is full of historic Boston charm. (Image credit: Liz Hanson)

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    Thanks, Julie!