Easygoing, Nautical New England Style in Boston

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

Name: Philip Saul and his cat, Toby
Location: South End; Boston, Massachusetts
Years lived in: 8 years; Rented

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For Philip Saul, his South End apartment boasts two major advantages: the incredible amount of natural light his large south-facing windows offer, and the ridiculously short commute to his men’s clothing shop, SAULT New England. Much like his brick and mortar store, Philip’s apartment is easygoing, and reflective of his passion for sourcing New England-inflected decor. The high ceilings, expansive windows, and hardwood floors make the space bright and airy while accommodating the “bordering on hoarder” aesthetic with which Philip has infused his apartment.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

During New England’s warmer months, Philip often finds escape in the many nearby coastal communities. It is no surprise, then, that his urban apartment incorporates the casual allure and warm atmosphere of Cape Cod and the coast. Philip’s love of all things nautical can be seen in the decorations throughout his space. Whether it’s in the form of a photograph, a piece of art, vintage buoys, or a pair of well-worn oars, it’s clear that his love for the ocean steers his apartment’s aesthetic. Filled with a wonderfully cohesive assortment of vintage finds and judiciously-chosen objects, the space is infused with color, character, and life—three things that are needed in any setting.

Instead of fussing over aspects of the apartment he cannot change, Philip makes a point of being resourceful, collecting (or making) things that have some significance to him. He is at peace with the fact that, although he has lived in the unit for nearly a decade, it is still a rental—meaning renovations are not possible—and instead inflects his personality through bold color choices and decor. “The best advice I have for someone looking to make their space more of a home is it’s not done in one weekend. It takes time to collect and curate the furniture, home goods, and cool little gems that create a space that is unique to your personal style. It’s not about the big ticket items, it’s about the way it all works and flows.” Philip’s dream? To one day have a little beach shack of his own to decorate. Until that day, he continues to surround himself with the things he loves most.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I guess I’d call my style casual, masculine, modern, easygoing, and bordering on hoarder. I like to have things in my home that work together. Everything has some meaning or form of function. I am a very visual person and that shows in my personal space, too. I like the idea of my home having layers of cool stuff.

Favorite Element: I lucked out with the actual space of the apartment. High ceilings, hardwood floors, big windows with lots of morning light. I also like that it’s a bit banged up. The moldings have layers of paint, the doorknobs don’t match. I like that it’s old, imperfect, and lived-in.

Biggest Challenge: I think the biggest challenge is that I want to put more work into my apartment, but it’s an apartment and I don’t own it. I’ve done enough to create a comfortable living space but would love some improvements. It is a challenge working with the flooring and almond refrigerator in the kitchen.

What Friends Say: A lot of friends say it feels like the apartment belongs in NYC. It’s not a typical Boston apartment. It is spacious and not in a brownstone. The building was built in 1900 and was used for residences for the local hospitals and theaters.

Biggest Embarrassment: The wicker and rope Mid-century modern chair that the cat uses as a scratching post. It was a big purchase at the time but it serves the purpose.

Proudest DIY: I’m a very resourceful guy… maybe say “handy.” I’ve built fixtures for my stores: shelving, tables, and displays. I like hitting up used furniture stores, yard sales, and I also have a lot of furniture from past retail jobs and pieces from my family. I guess the collection of everything is my proudest DIY.

Biggest Indulgence: I guess the biggest indulgence is the vintage wood stump table in my living room. I got it a few years ago at the Brimfield Flea. My friend had to talk me into buying it. It was a whopping $500. It still smelled like mildew and cigarette smoke but with a little love it’s one of my favorite pieces.

Best Advice: The best advice I have for someone looking to make their space more of a home is it’s not done in one weekend. It takes time to collect and curate the furniture, home goods, and cool little gems that create a space that is unique to your personal style. It’s not about the big ticket items, it’s about the way it all works and flows.

Dream Sources: Schoolhouse Electric. Nor’East Architectural Antiques. A little beach shack of my own to decorate would be a dream, too.

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Philip in his eclectic one-bedroom apartment in Boston (Image credit: Emily Billings)



  • Living room walls: Sherwin-Williams Basque Green
  • Living room trim: Sherwin-Williams Dover White
  • Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Winter Orchard, BEHR Aegean
  • Bedroom walls (above): Ralph Lauren Midnight Blue
  • Bedroom trim: Ralph Lauren Optic White
  • Bathroom walls: Glidden Onyx Black
  • Bathroom trim: Sherwin-Williams Dover White



  • Butcher block countertop: IKEA
  • Large counter jars: Crate & Barrel
  • Coffee maker: DeLonghi kMix
  • Dinnerware: West Elm, Banana Republic Home
  • Glassware: MICHELLE WILLEY


  • Bed: West Elm
  • Side table: vintage entry table
  • Orange lamp: Crate & Barrel
  • Sheets and bedding: Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic Home
  • Globes: vintage via SAULT New England
  • Wicker chair: Anthropologie
  • Dresser: family heirloom
  • Bike: vintage 1974 Schwinn
  • Ink and needlepoint art: PATCH NYC
  • Black and white prints: Bruce Weber


  • Towels: West Elm
  • Giant Edison light and cord: SAULT New England
  • Skincare products: Ursa Major via SAULT New England
  • Framed and mounted map art: vintage maps and books

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Thanks, Philip!