Jesse & Dan’s Collected Chaos in Boston
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Name: Jesse and Dan Moskowitz and their dog, Stormy
Location: Roxbury — Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 750 square feet
Years lived in: 5.5 years; Rented
When you enter Jesse and Dan Moskowitz’s comfy and colorful apartment in Boston’s historic Roxbury neighborhood, two things immediately stand out: the records and the pup. “It’s her apartment,” Dan states matter-of-factly, referring not to Jesse but to Stormy, the four-year-old Moskowitz dog. It’s no surprise that music strikes a chord in the fabric of the apartment, since Jesse and Dan met at a concert at the Middle East—a locally famous venue across the river in Cambridge—when they were in college. A decade later finds them married with one awesome dog, 800+ LPs, and a truly special place to call home.
While Dan’s weakness is records—the extensive collection is mostly his—Jesse’s is chairs, and she laughs, saying the apartment is currently at “chair capacity.” Jesse’s been sewing since she was a kid—she even made her own wedding dress—and she reupholstered and repainted most of the chairs herself. Her first upholstery project, a chair of her grandfather’s, sits in the dining room. With its bold red and white floral print, the fabric of the chair sets the color palette for the rest of the room, including the mismatched set of “orphan” dining chairs that Jesse painted a vibrant, high-gloss red.
Upholstery is an art that’s always being perfected. Jesse’s greatest achievement—the red armchair in the living room—was actually a project she re-did, her skills improving greatly with the second go-round. Other pieces demand frequent re-covering, as Stormy has a habit of “digging” in her chairs before she sits in them, and Jesse always has a running list of which items she’ll tackle next. Dan jokes that when Jesse is starting a new piece, she’ll just sit and stare at it. Jesse definitely has a penchant for projects, but more importantly, she has that rare ability to see an item not for what it is, but for what it could be.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Collected Chaos
Inspiration: Found Items and Collections
Favorite Element: My bedroom especially in the morning, everything is so comfy I [Jesse] never want to get up. Even my pup just wants to snuggle up and sleep in!
Biggest Challenge: Not taking in all the chairs I see… I think we’re at maximum chair capacity!
What Friends Say: Friends always make themselves right at home and get comfy/settle in. There’s always lots of food, games, movies, and laughs—so not much time for them to comment on home design!
Biggest Embarrassment: My projects are never finished. There are always at least one (if not three or more) pieces of furniture that are half-done and mostly unusable while they get reinvented… And dog hair, it’s everywhere!
Proudest DIY: I’m still pretty proud of the armchair I reupholstered. This is actually the second time I’ve redone the chair. The first time was OK, but I learned a lot since then and I am really pleased with how it turned out.
Biggest Indulgence: Probably the Mid-century modern sideboard in the dining room. I bought it off Craigslist so it wasn’t a huge splurge, but more than most of the furniture I’ve got. I had to measure our car many times to be 100% sure that it would fit and it ended up shoved up against the dash the whole 45-minute drive home! It was so worth it.
Best Advice: Make yourself comfortable and happy in your home. Surround yourself with things that give you joy and help you relax!
Dream Sources: I’ve been really lusting after the chairs on JoyBird… one day!
- Gate-leg table: IKEA via Craigslist
- Desk: Goodwill on Commonwealth Ave.
- Desk chair: the curb, painted, reupholstered in fabric from Sewfisticated Discount Fabrics
- Small blue chair: the curb, painted, reupholstered in fabric from Sewfisticated Discount Fabrics
- Hat tree: Boomerangs in Jamaica Plain
- Couch: Bedworks
- Coffee table: acquired from Jesse’s grandfather
- Arm chair: the curb, reupholstered with fabric from Sewfisticated Discount Fabrics
- Side tables: acquired from Jesse’s grandfather
- Wood lamps: acquired from Jesse’s grandfather
- Ottoman: made by Jesse with taper legs from SoftIndustry on Etsy
- Futon chair: Craigslist, reupholstered with fabric from Sewfisticated Discount Fabrics
- Sewing machine table base: Craigslist
- Sewing machine table top: made by Jesse to hold bottle cap collection
- TV cabinet: Boomerangs
- Jazz Giants papercuts: tinatarnoff on Etsy
- Dog Playing Poker: Roseanne Moskowitz (Dan’s mom)
- Landscape painting: Roseanne Moskowitz
- Vase with Sunflowers: Roseanne Moskowitz
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