James &amp Donna's South End Artist's Loft

James &amp Donna's South End Artist's Loft

Kyle Freeman
Jan 25, 2011

Name: James Hull, Donna Veverka, and Mikro the poodle
Location: South End — Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 1340 square feet (including jewelry studio)
Years lived in: 8 — owned

James Hull is a well respected curator and artist and his partner Donna Veverka is an accomplished jewelry designer. So it's no surprise that their combined creativity and sensibilities have produced a striking and memorable home.

James and Donna have managed no small feat: to make a high-ceilinged loft space feel cozy and inviting. They've successfully created intimately-scaled, discrete zones within a large open space. Even though the zones stand strong on their own accord, they also play so well together, united by a perimeter of amazing artwork.

I'm attracted to so many qualities of James and Donna's home, but I'll force myself to focus on just a few. The plywood wall, oh the plywood wall - not only does it host a fantastic collection of artwork, its expansive, organic, warm-toned presence is largely responsible for making their home feel so inviting. Their "million dollar" red kitchen revived my fading interest in red, and its crisp contrast with the white cabinets and grey floor is really fun. I love how the huge, well-worn red oriental rug (which they scored for free!) brings the red from the kitchen into the rest of the space; these two large swaths of red, bridged by the amazing, narrow, rustic 9 foot dining table, create such a pleasing visual rhythm. And I should have started my "favorites" list with the contained entry, lined by their clever repurposed mantel-turned-coatrack. And then there's Mikro, the elder poodle. Let's just say my crush was big. He's a lucky pup to call this place home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Artist's Loft

Inspiration: Chelsea art galleries, Maine backwoods cabins

Favorite Element: Plywood wall. After years of building plywood walls for galleries only to cover them up with sheet rock, I found that it saves lots of time (no painting and patching) to use a great pattern to hide the holes and there is no need to paint ( seven years so far...). The warm and wonderful color seems to compliment most artwork too.

Biggest Challenge: Kitchen redo (needed a wall built, so entry hall and glass door added), creating vertical storage.

What Friends Say: "You guys sure have a lot of art", and " You rearranged the furniture again"

Biggest Embarrassment: Vinyl tile floor in bathroom.

Proudest DIY: The kitchen, and the big sliding barn door to our bedroom

Biggest Indulgence: Art by our talented friends

Best Advice: Live in a space for a little while before redesigning it - get a feel for how you use a space to best lay it out. Work in phases to see what works before diving in all the way.

Resources of Note:


    • Kitchen & Entry: Benjamin Moore - Million Dollar Red
    • Bedroom: Benjamin Moore - Seaphine



    • Artwork, monochrome "Orange Flash": Bill Thompson
    • Small framed painting: Sol Lewitt
    • Red wooden 1950's foundry pattern clock: James Hull


    • Unfinished pine plywood: D, B, & Lumberyard
    • Large orange and gray painting, "Code Orange": Emil Corsillo
    • Antique warehouse pallet coffee table: salvaged from Boston's Fort Port area warehouses
    • 1970's Arc lamp: Donna's parents
    • Green danish modern chairs: Brattleboro, VT antique store
    • Couch: Ikea
    • 17 x 10 Oriental rug: free from neighbor in building
    • Handmade pillows, using Zimman's fabrics and Winmil fabrics: Donna Veverka



    • 9 foot dining table: Restoration Resources
    • Queen Anne dining chairs: Lowell, MA antique shop
    • Large photograph of sculptural head: James Hull "Restoration Series, Vatican Museum, Rome"


    • Cabinets: Ikea
    • Rug: Flor tiles
    • Backsplash art (numbers): Jeff Perrott


    • "Mirror" painting on wall outside bedroom: Chris Faust
    • Oak veneer bed platform with flat files: James Hull (designed and built)
    • "Inland 2" painting: Chris Faust
    • Antique ladder: Beacon, NY shop
    • Lampstand bronze, based on Etruscan lamp in Villa Giulia Museum Rome: James Hull
    • Lesser Kudo horns: found in building's trash room
    • Closet curtains: Donna Ververka, using Zimman's fabric


    • fake Barry McGee painted panels: Suzannah Sinclair & James Hull
    • sink: Ikea


Thanks, James and Donna!

Images: Kyle Freeman

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