Jenn Ski’s Not So Unhappy Hipster Home

published May 18, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Jenn Ski
Location: Bedford, New Hampshire
Size: 2,400 square feet
Years lived in: 2½ years — owned
Who else lives there: My husband Al and cat Floyd

The mid-century modern aesthetic gets lots of air play here on Apartment Therapy and seems to be the coveted style among hipsters. This interior design style which often includes sparse furnishings and straight lines is often austere. These less than cozy designs are cleverly mused about on the site Unhappy Hipsters but fortunately, Jenn’s home is anything but unhappy.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
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Front courtyard. (Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Built in 1951 by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, Jenn’s home boasts all of the definitive mid century modern elements: simple lines, lofty ceilings, walls of windows to bring the outside in, and a single story, open floor plan. However, just like her vibrant, colorful artwork, Jenn adds heaps of warmth with large area rugs, plants, collections of colorful vessels and server-ware, accent walls, and unexpected pops of color using throw pillows. Her aesthetic is well defined and everything in her home has been collected as part of the same story.

Jenn moved to New Hampshire for this house, so clearly she knows what she’s looking for. The previous owners operated a stone quarry and the house is outfitted with travertine floors and unique polished white rock in the kitchen which extends out into the patio. They also left a very unusual chandelier in the entryway which blends well with her decor. Many of the home’s elements look contemporary and as Jenn pointed out, the house which was built 60 years ago, must have been built as a house of the future. The fireplace, the flooring, and the electronic box to open and close the curtains in the dining room are all original.

Her DIY successes are numerous starting with the circular stepping stones in the front courtyard. She and her husband used wacky wood to mold asymmetrical circles and hired a cement company to fill them in. Now that it is Spring she has been turning her attention to her yard. As most home owners feel, there is lots more work to be done which is why we share with you the main living areas only. She plans to completely redesign the kitchen, finish the bathroom, and work on the bedrooms and her studio more. Until then, enjoy all of the exciting and wonderful things she has done to date.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our style: Modern, Mid-century, Eclectic

What is your greatest inspiration? The house itself. It has been changing me. I find that my art and my decorating style are matching the style of the home. I am also inspired by 50’s and 60’s design.

Favorite Element: What sold me was the windows in the hallway and, well, all the windows. They made it feel so open. I always wanted to live in a modern style loft but still wanted privacy and space. This was perfect for me.

Biggest Challenge: When we first moved in the front yard was a big mess of overgrown bushes. The whole property doesn’t have any grass and I thought it would be nice to have a little patch of green. After removing a dozen or so huge stumps we finally have a green lawn and you can actually see the house now.

Biggest Embarrassment:I still have a lot of work that needs to be done in the kitchen and in my office. I heard from a neighbor that the kitchen used to have metal cabinets but they were removed because they were worn and rusty. It broke my heart to hear that.

Proudest DIY:The concrete circle walkway! We built the forms out of wacky wood and hired a company to pour the concrete.

Biggest Indulgence: We purchased Lenox sofas from Room & Board and we had an Avante garage door installed. The garage was previously a car port. I don’t really like to spend much on furniture; I mostly shop on Craigslist. I got my Noguchi coffee table for $60 and the vintage Arco lamp for $25.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Furniture: Craiglist and Room & Board

Artwork: Jenn Ski

Garage Door: Avante

Outdoor sculptures: Joe Papendick

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Jen and Al!