Julia & Stone’s Naturally Modern Multi-Level in Massachusetts

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Name: Stone Dow, Julia Goldstein, and their cat, Kiki
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Size: 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 months; Rented

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Stone and Julia happened upon their 1960s duplex via Craigslist — it’s an unbelievable find that would make anyone want to start looking around in the off-season of the Boston rental market. Julia’s long wish list of expectations was wildly exceeded; she even managed to check off a functioning fireplace (to cope with Boston’s bitter winters). Together, Stone and Julia have created a space that is both carefully collected and lived-in, decorated with a mix of wood and whimsy, immersed in iconic pieces that feel authentic and original to the apartment itself.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Having grown up on Cape Cod surrounded by hand-built wooden sailboats and taught the deep appreciation for craft and tradition, the allure of the heavily wood paneled nest that has been well maintained for decades feels right at home.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Given their creative backgrounds—Julia, a 10 year veteran footwear designer for Converse, and Stone, a documentary film producer— it is no surprise that the couple has pulled together their new space in a matter of months. It can be very easy to rush into designing a space; however, Julia and Stone enjoy the hunt and are naturals at scouring Craigslist, estate sales, and of course, using their inventiveness to tackle DIY’s. The couple always remembers to ask for stories that go along with the treasures they have found, creating a cohesive home that is both collected and connected.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our style is lived-in, sentimental, and naturally modern.

Inspiration: Growing up on Cape Cod gave us a deep appreciation for craft and tradition… from the hand-built wooden sailboats we grew up on, to the allure of the early outer-Cape modernists…and we seem to latch onto that same sort of earnest and ‘unprettied’ style when we’re out and about, collecting pieces of wood and whimsy from California, Maine, Finland…

Favorite Element: The windows! Each room’s layout orients to the windows so we can oggle the new Zen garden in our life (complete with Japanese maples, bamboo, and lanterns), from the little all seeing perch in Julia’s studio to the long lounger in the music room. Also, we bliss out over the inherent beauty of the wood walls, iron stairs, crisp angles, thoughtful storage and layout. And did we mention the Zen garden?!

Biggest Challenge: Lighting! There wasn’t any. En route to pick up keys, we made an emergency pit-stop to buy a lamp from a neighboring Craigslister so we could actually see the place.

What Friends Say: Visitors say that it looks like we’ve lived here forever and often liken it to a boat interior or tree house.

Biggest Embarrassment: Kiki lays claim to the two sunny seats in the living room. She’s a long haired cat…

Proudest DIY: Low profile media credenza, wall mounted bedside tables, custom curtains throughout the apartment—particularly in the kitchen, dining room, and Julia’s studio.

Biggest Indulgence: Set of Heath ceramics (that we bought well before we found this gem)—a good reminder to dream big and maybe it’s okay to put the cart before the horse because now we’re here and our Heath set gets to sit pretty in a pass-through cupboard.

Best Advice: Always remember to ask about the stories that might go along with the treasures you collect… (and hunt for apartments in the off-season—when the competition is minimal for a place like this).

Dream Sources: Family and friends.. It wouldn’t be home without all the love, family heirlooms and artwork of our talented friends. We really are the luckiest of ducks.


(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Burrow blanket: Burrow Handmade Goods
  • Thistle Pillow: Allison Bamcat – Bamcat Handmade
  • Plycraft lounger and ottoman: Thrifted christmas gift for Stone. Both were made in Massachusetts in 1984.
  • Delft tiled coffee table: Made by Julia’s grandfather after a trip to Holland.
  • Pillow: Fab, Anni Albers collection
  • Corner lamp: Craigslist purchase on the way to pick up apartment keys.
  • Media credenza: DIY. Patchworked from several custom pieces and stained to all match.
  • Tetraxis six axis star: John Kostick via Abodeon
  • Driftwood: Found: Folly Cove Gloucester, World’s End Hingham, etc.
  • Ceramics: Some Heath, some made by Julia.
  • Bird and stone sculpture: Curtis Jere
  • 70s gold framed artist proofs: Yard sale, Cape Cod
(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Eames dining set: Dear craigslist seller, Thanks for retiring your 50-year-old family table, and for the cleaning tips – Carmel Terrace.
  • Bar cart: Sowa vintage market
  • Robert Bero artist proof: thrifted
  • Wassily chair
  • Dansk candle holders: Rose Bowl Flea
  • Dansk ice bucket: Flea Market
(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Photographs: Carrie Solomon from a trip to the Faviken in Sweden
  • Plant holder: Thrifted from a trip to Maine
  • Coffee Maker: Technivorm Moca Master
  • Antique butterscotch stoneware: Inherited
  • Teak bowl and spoons: Cape Cod yard sale
  • Curtains: DIY using Marimekko, from the factory store in Helsinki
  • Japanese mouse mask: Brought back from Tokyo travels
  • Heath ceramics Coupe
  • Beer: Brewed at home by Stone
(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Sectional couch/guest bed: Ikea Kivik
  • Cape cod print: Consuelo Joerns via the Edward Gorey museum
  • Light fixtures: Old plug in bases with Ikea frames
  • Black Mountain College exhibition poster: ICA Boston
  • Alexander Calder lithograph, Boston Society of Architects: Craigslist
  • Vintage rolling stool: Inherited from family
(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Woven piece: Liz Higgins, Painted Wolf studios
  • RED, and WET PAINT: Kenji Nakayama
  • Round reclaimed wood assemblage: Damion Silver
  • Vintage glass orb with chain: eBay
  • Bertoia diamond chair: Craigslist
  • Knoll Pollock chair: Craigslist
  • L-desk: Ikea
  • Luxo lamp
  • Vintage yellow organizer: Goodwill Industries
  • Leather plant hangers: DIY by Julia
  • Cat painting: Hidden on the back of another thrifted piece!
  • Thread bare rug: hand-me-down
  • Poster of Folly Cove designers: Life magazine, 1957
  • Woven sculpture study: Julia Goldstein
(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Custom corner desk: Bought via Craigslist, built by The Door Store in Cambridge
  • Knoll Pollock chair
  • Burrow blanket: Burrow Handmade Goods
  • Vintage Luxo drafting lamp: A birthday gift from Julia
  • Moholy-Nagy exhibition poster: Bauhaus Archive Museum in Berlin
  • 1942 Royal Deluxe typewriter: Antique store in Los Angeles
  • Thayer Coggin club chair: Craigslist
  • Mid-century wall shelving: Estate sale outside of Boston
(Image credit: Emily Billings)


  • Boma Inuit duck sculpture: Brought back from Canada
  • Paul McCobb group planner chair: Thrifted from the North Shore.. not far from Mr. McCobb’s hometown
  • Mid-century Fish lamp: Cape Cod yard sale
  • Headboard/bed frame: DIY
  • Wall mounted bedside tables: DIY
  • Dresser set: Estate sale
  • Wooden box: Gift from Julia’s grandfather
  • Jewelry holder: Umbra
  • Race Point photograph: Thrifted in Winthrop, MA
  • Gyotaku: Made by Julia Goldstein
  • Ink abstract w/ woman: This was actually the beautiful packing material from a Japanese man in Minnesota that sold me some leather tools.
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Julia and Stone’s best advice? “Hunt for apartments in the off-season – when the competition is minimal for a place like this.” The 1960’s duplex offers the perfect backdrop to their naturally modern aesthetic, as well as the square footage for two studios for the creative duo. (Image credit: Emily Billings)

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Thanks, Julia and Stone!