Rich &amp Emily’s Somerville Surprise

published Aug 23, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Rich and Emily and their daughter
Location: Somerville, Massachusetts
Size: 2000 square feet
Years lived in: 3 — owned

I tend to be a little Jamaica Plain-centric with my house tours so it’s always fun when I scooch on over to the other side of the river for a house tour. Rich and Emily’s Somerville home was well worth the trek!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Their condo includes the second and third floor of a two-family house. There were more than a few things about Rich and Emily’s place that surprised and delighted me, but here are the stand-outs:

The black trim. I LOVE the black trim. They pull it off beautifully. It adds a simple elegance to their entire home, even in their daughter’s otherwise pink and white room. It’s perfect.

Speaking of simple elegance, I love how curated and uncluttered their space feels, each furnishing or decoration serving a clear purpose, functional or aesthetic. And this is no truer than in the kitchen. I LOVE this kitchen, especially how limited the color palette is. The red stools are so striking in an otherwise black, grey, and wood-colored space. Not to mention the unusual and adorable kitchen nook that includes a lovely farm sink, fridge and shelving for dishes.

What’s also surprising about Rich and Emily’s is how deceivingly spacious it is, which you’d never guess from the curb. And the space is adorned with the most beautiful architectural details. This place really is a gem, that Rich and Emily have only made it more and more beautiful with their TLC and hard work.

(Image credit: Kyle Freeman from Rich and Emily’s Somerville Surprise)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern. Art-Inspired. Comfortable. Simple.

Inspiration: Stylehive, Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, Domino Magazine (so sad it’s gone), home decorating shows (often for what we don’t like!). A lot of times, we have one thing that we really love–a piece of furniture, a wall color, a piece of art–and we take that as a jumping off point and we design around it and figure out the rest as we go.

Favorite Element: All of the old architectural details, especially the window and door moldings, scallop ceilings, pocket doors, and farmhouse sink.

Biggest Challenge: Time! We’re only about half way done renovating our house. Our daughter is just a little over one year old, so most of our free time is spent running after her or relaxing from running after her. We don’t have as much time anymore to devote to renovating an old home. Plus, Rich is doing the majority of the work himself, so when we say “we”, we really mean him.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our bathrooms. They’re falling apart. One is a beautiful shade of puke yellow and purple. We can’t wait to redo it.

Proudest DIY: Most of it, because it’s almost all DIY. Before we moved in, the apartment had been occupied by a series of renters for decades, and had hardly been touched since the 1970s, we’d imagine. So, it was in pretty rough shape and we’ve had to significantly fix up all of the walls and woodwork. Plus, we’ve been living in it at the same time as we’re renovating, which can be extra challenging.

Biggest Indulgence: Some pieces of furniture that we really wanted–the noguchi coffee table and the Nelson Swag Leg Desk in particular.

Best Advice: Be patient if you’re doing renovations yourself. However long you think something might take–double it! Triple it!

Dream Sources: Having things custom made, Moss, eBay if we had unlimited funds to buy original modern furniture, Gagosian for contemporary art.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Living Room and Dining Room – Walls: Benjamin Moore Dove Wing, Trim: Benjamin Moore White
    • Kitchen – Benjamin Moore Mountain Mist
    • Family Room – Benjamin Moore Williamsburg Blue
    • Guest Room – Benjamin Moore Cloud
    • Daughter’s Room – Benjamin Moore Pink Cadillac
    • Black Trimwork: Benjamin Moore Black


    • Couch: Crate & Barrel Petra
    • Bench: Knock-off Nelson
    • Overhead Light: CB2
    • Rug: Overstock
    • Lamp: Target


    • Chairs: West Elm
    • Mini Couch: Vintage
    • Table: Filene’s Basement
    • Rug: Flor
    • Yellow House Photograph: Remi Thornton


    • Cabinets, Island, Shelves: Ikea
    • Hanging Light: Yale Electric
    • Artwork: Shepard Fairey


    • Couch: Crate & Barrel Lounge
    • Coffee Table: Vintage L. Pontoppidan
    • Curtains: West Elm
    • Rug: Lechmere Rug
    • Desk: Nelson Swag Leg
    • Toy Boxes: Serena & Lily


    • Side Tables: Pier 1
    • Bedding: Target
    • Lamps: Target
    • Rug: West Elm


    • Crib: Oeuf
    • Curtains and Rug: Pottery Barn
    • Chair: Vintage faux-Eames
    • Lamp: West Elm

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Rich and Emily!

Images: Kyle Freeman

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