Inside Out: Jennifer and David Find a Middle Ground

Inside Out: Jennifer and David Find a Middle Ground

Jill Slater
Jun 25, 2007

Inside Out: A showcase for those who transform their residences into homes via innovative intervention

Name: Jennifer and David
Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Size: 1500 sqft.

Don't be alarmed at the size of Jennifer and David's apartment. Keep in mind that they rent outside of Boston.

They have spent the past five years transitioning from just-out-of-college-we-need-something-to-sit-on, to discerning adults who make active choices about their surroundings.

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While David, a video-game artist, prefers an utterly clutter free home and feels calmer in the presence of clean lines, Jennifer, a designer, likes to surround herself with her favorite drawings, mementos, etc. In fact, according to Jennifer, "if it weren't for David, the walls would be plastered with stuff!" To compromise, David has helped Jennifer edit, while Jennifer has shown David that sometimes a little visual nostalgia can be inspiring as well as restorative.

The open bookcases from Ikea that they use in the office and the dressing room are great examples of their compromise. The fact that the shelves are exposed has forced Jennifer to be very selective about what she displays and David appreciates how the bookshelves create uniformity. The ease of putting things away balances out the need to fold clothes neatly. In the end, David and Jennifer are happy.

AT Survey:

Style: Tough question. We like modern furnishings, anything with clean, simple lines. But we like to have a lot of color too.

Inspiration: There are a few things. The beautiful wood work of the apartment. Travel (imaginary and real): The color of our bedroom reminded me of the water in Costa Rica and the kitchen color reminded me of Mexico. Graphic Art/Video Games: A lot of our art is bold and colorful and there are a lot of video game things around the house.

Favorite Element: I love the tall folding and pocket doors and the big doors and arches. The apartment has very high ceilings, and david is 6'7" so when we first walked in, we were like… this is perfect. Also, the house is on a dead-end off of a dead-end and faces franklin park, so it is really quite here and there are tons of trees, which is great for the city.

Biggest Challenge: Our biggest challenge is buying furniture. We are very particular and many times our desires are out of our price range so buying furniture seems to take a very long time.

What Friends Say: "Whoah… this is cool!" Generally because the apartment isn't your typical Boston triple-decker layout, which is why we resign our lease each year.

Biggest Embarrassment: hmm… well right now it is our lack of a chair in the living room. I hated the old one and when we got our xmas tree in dec I decided to get rid of the old chair permanently thinking we'd replace it by the time the tree hit the sidewalk. But three months later we are still looking…
The other one is that there is a large "indoor porch" on the front of the house. It is unfinished and uninsulated so in the summer it acts as my silkscreen area but in the winter it is storage (summer tires, xmas stuff etc..) and I hate it because it is the first room that you walk into. Didn't take any pics of it.

Proudest DIY: David revamped an old video game machine and it now functions as the tv stand in our bedroom. There is another stand up video game machine waiting for a revamp out on our indoor porch…

Biggest Indulgence: I think our biggest indulgence is the space allowed for my office. It is the biggest room in the house. Sometimes I wish for a dining room, but then I would have to move the office off-site, and right now I like working in my pajamas too much to do that.

Best Advice: For painting I would say buy the smallest amount you can and test it first. A few years ago we painted the dressing room the ugliest yellow you have ever seen. We painted the whole room thinking "it will look better when it dries. Or when the light is different". Well it never did and we just lived with it for a few years, despising it, until recently. Could have been easily avoided if we had gotten a quart instead of a gallon.

Dream Source: I go through elle decoration and living etc magazine and tear out my "dream things" all the time.


Bedroom: Lagoon from Behr, Bed/Duvet is from West Elm, Nightstand is from Pier One, antique chair is my grandmother's piano stool, tv stand is a refurbed video game machine

Dressing Room: Clothing shelf from Ikea, Bookshelf by Peter Bogart, same color as bedroom, mirror – unsure, vintage silver plates for holding perfume, paper lanterns from ikea. Artwork: Jessica Burko

Living Room: color is Brazillian Ruby from Ralph Lauren, bookshelves from Crate + Barrell, couch boston interiors, coffee table by Peter Bogart, tv stand west elm, not sure where the square lamp is from. Artwork: Monster Truck Print by Kevin Cyr, Small Paintings by Kevin Morosini, Large Prints by unknown artist, Sculpture by Andrew Backus, Mask by David Battilana

Kitchen: color is from Behr, table from ikea, video game machine on wall is a pachinko machine that dave bought at brimfield, Artwork by Kevin Morosini

Office: one wall is Chalkboard paint and the others are dolphin fin behr. Desks are of our own making, Home depot, shelves are from ikea. Artwork Cartoon Prints by Steve Murakishi, Travel Prints by Jennifer Hill, Drawings by David Battilana

Hallway: the walls are white (haven't painted them… yet), Artwork by David Battilana and Jennifer Hill, rug by artist Claudia mills

Originally Posted on February 28th, 2007
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