Location: Quincy, Massachusetts
Size: 863 sq/ft
Years lived in: 2.5 years
We live in a great old brownstone apartment building so we hate to complain, but we secretly dream of the day when we can enjoy a vast open floor plan. Until then we'll just admire Melinda's loft in a renovated factory building in Quincy, Massachusetts — just a few minutes south of downtown Boston — with its soaring ceilings, open layout and infinite wall space to experiment with color...
Melinda is an interior designer and once you set foot into her space, you know it. The open loft is gently segmented into living zones — kitchen, dining, living and office — using both color and creative furniture ideas (don't miss those great architectural salvage windows-turned-walls in the office). The only private space is in the bedroom, which has lovely clerestory windows to allow light in from the wall of windows in the open living space. We so admire Melinda's unabashed use of color — from deep, rich purple and bright orange on the walls to red cowhide and chartreuse green on the floors. It adds a lovely sense of depth and diversity in the relatively small space. More about Melinda's loft building here.
My/Our style: Eclectic. I bring all kinds of things into my home — Danish modern, Art Deco antiques, architectural salvage — transforming their context and/or function (like the farmhouse windows that I turned into a movable wall)
Inspiration: Historic, old buildings, like mine, that were once something other than residential space.
Favorite Element: The high ceilings. The unit has many challenges but with that comes creativity. I like the odd walls, high ceilings and piping everywhere — gives me something to work around and helps create a more intricate, beautiful space.
Biggest Challenge: The creation of the window wall to separate the office from the living space. I wanted transparency, history (not something bought) and something cost effective. I found these old farmhouse windows from Noreast1 in NH for $20 each and built a wheelbase system so they could roll individually. Voila: instant office.
What Friends Say: They love the place. I have people from different units in my building asking to see the place because they see my bright orange wall when they are walking up to the front door of our building. I have made a lot of new friends that way.
Biggest Embarrassment: When people come over and I am not expecting anyone....I like my place to be spotless when people come over.
Proudest DIY: The credenza in my living room where my TV sits, which I built and designed myself. I put my heart and soul into it and I'm so proud to say I built it.
Biggest Indulgence: Accessories...I love them. The sheepskin rug, pillows, bedspread, lighting. Anything to add more beauty to the space.
Best advice: Set goals. Maybe it won't get done right away, but that's OK. You would rather buy something you really love than something just because you have an empty space. I had one sofa and no coffee table for almost a year and a half because I didn't find the perfect piece. But I waited and now I am completely satisfied.
Resources: Noreast1 Architectural Salvage, Vermont Architectural Salvage, Home Depot, FLOR.com, Sherman Williams (low VOC paint), Benjamin Moore (metallic paint in bedroom), Ikea, Nature, Nova68.com, Herman Miller, various antique stores, Edelman Leather, UnicaHome, Anthropologie
Appliances: Fridgidaire (fridge, stove, dishwasher, and washer/dryer) all Energy Star
Hardware: Most came with the unit, but some hooks are from Anthropologie and architectural salvage yards
Furniture: Boston Interiors (sofa white); Tan sofa I got from neighbor who was selling for $50 brand new; Herman Miller, Eames coffee table in the living room (it is worth spending a bit more on classic pieces); Ikea (book shelves and floating credenza in dining room and all cabinetry in bathroom and kitchen); Antiques (side tables, cello, dining room table, bedside table, and Indian block prints hanging on the wall in my bedroom); Built myself: window wall, and credenza in living room
Accessories: Noreast1, Marshalls, Ikea, Thomas Paul, West Elm, Anthropologie
Lighting: Nova68.com (George Nelson bubble lamp), Modern Poverty.com (Tord's Midsummer Light), other lighting...lots of rope lighting from Home Depot.
Rugs and Carpets: Bowron (sheepskin on sofa in living), Edelman leather (burnt orange cowhide rug) it was a bit damaged so I got it for free (in bedroom), FLOR carpet tiles in kitchen (Solid ground stripe, House Pet), dining (Fedora) and living (various patterns, many which are now discontinued)
Window Treatments: The Shade Store.com: the treatments are less expensive, you just have to install them yourself...get some of your guy friends some beer and dinner!
Dining: Marrimekko wall hangings, various art from around the world.
Living: Many of the paintings are imitations of a very famous painter from Ecuador (in South America) named GuayaSamin.
Entry: Then I have various masks from Guatemala, the upper regions of Ecuador in the mountainous regions and tribal masks from the rainforest regions of Ecuador.
Bedroom: I have various photography from Red Nickel...she is an amazing photographer based here in Boston; watercolor renderings in my bedroom which I did of a house in Spain; Indian textile block prints hanging on the wall in my bedroom
Paint: Sherwin Williams in living room: Quietude, Robust Orange, And Turkish Coffee (brown). Kitchen wall: Drizzle. Bathroom: Sherwin Williams (yellow, don't remember) Grey (Don't remember). Bedroom: Benjamin Williams (Metallic glaze in 001 white) and Sherwin Williams (Expressive Plum; purple).
Flooring: Stained concrete floors. Done in a fashion that was used a lot in the early 1900's in factories. It is done almost like clay pots are fired in a kiln. A glaze is put on the floor and it is fired, then sealed and a protective shine coat is put on it. Every floor in our building is different because of the way these floors were done.