Sarah & Craig’s Jamaica Plain Treetop Treasure
Name: Sarah, Craig, and son, Maceo
Location: Jamaica Plain — Boston, MA
Size: 1099 square feet
Years lived in: 8 — own
It’s fun enough to be around one homeowner who beams with delight and pride for her home. But when it’s a couple and it’s apparent that they equally love their home and they genuinely share an aesthetic without much need for compromise, it’s even sweeter. Such is the case at Sarah and Craig’s delightful treetop home.
Their creative, colorful home with so many personal touches is an easy place to love. Start with that uncovered, gleaming, honey-toned hardwood floor. It’s given a well-deserved chance to shine since Sarah and Craig prioritize lots of open kid-frlendly play and run space. Which brings me to another favorite feature: this is such a playful, vibrant and memorable environment for their young son, yet it still feels like adults live here too. Not an easy design task. I’ve also got a thing for things that hang so I love how much dangling stuff there is here: from the vintage stained-glass pieces in the windows, to the dining room mobile, to the long kitchen pot rack, to the adorable sea creature mobile in Maceo’s room, made by Sarah.
Some of my other favorite elements: Craig’s impressive music office, (you can check out his online mixes here) cleverly arranged to maximize storage space and afford a great window view; that delicious orange / yellow / black / white bathroom with the painted medicine cabinet; the novel use of window shades on their bedroom closet; and I could go on but I’ll stop myself at Sarah’s visually splendid jewelry collection sprouting from her mahogany flea market dresser.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful home, Sarah and Craig!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Vibrant, eclectic, blend of modern and vintage.
Inspiration: We were lucky to discover early on in our relationship that we have a very similar aesthetic and that we both enjoy scouring for unique pieces for our home. Beyond flea markets, the Brimfield Antique Show has always provided inspiration and cool objects to decorate our condo. Being up in the trees of Jamaica Plain has inspired many of the wood pieces and the general warmth of our place.
Favorite Element: We relish living up on a hill, surrounded by trees, out of most peoples’ view. We often refer to our condo as a “tree house.” This luxury has enabled us to live curtain-free in roughly 75% of our home.
Biggest Challenge: Getting big and heavy things up three flights of stairs has certainly been challenging. Keeping our home uncluttered has been tough too, especially because we love to acquire interesting objects. Now with our son in our lives, that challenge is crucial and never-ending.
What Friends Say: People always compliment us on our bold use of colors. Sometimes they’re even willing to listen to our stories of where we’ve found quirky conversation pieces.
Biggest Embarrassment: We bought a navy couch when we moved in almost eight years ago and it has since faded to look like a pair of 80’s jeans. It’s still comfy and is ideal for easy living with a toddler, but really, it is heinous.
Proudest DIY: Craig crafted a birch wine tree from a tree that fell on his parents’ property in New Hampshire. We also converted a discarded cast-iron stove (salvaged from a dump in New Hampshire) into a sleek liquor cabinet. Sarah reupholstered a beat up rocking chair from the late 1800’s (her first project) at a workshop at the Eliot School here in JP that she is super proud of.
Biggest Indulgence: We purchased an incredible Giclee print of an original painting (titled Subway) from our dear friend Chandra Dieppa Ortiz. We are also proud that we were able to custom design and professionally install shelving in our living room.
Best Advice: Given: Don’t be afraid to mix genres/styles/patterns – if your decor is too coordinated, things look forced. Take risks. Taken: Try to live in your space before decorating it immediately. And pay to get art framed professionally.
Dream Sources: Brimfield Fair; Design within Reach; Abodeon in Cambridge.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
• Living room – Behr: Corn Husk Green
• Dining room wall – Behr: Grass Cloth; Dining room below chair rail – Behr Corn Husk Green and Grape Leaves
• Office – Benjamin Moore: Sweet Orange
• Bathroom – Benjamin Moore: Melon Popsicle
• church pew bench: given as a gift, cut in half and re-joined to make a smaller bench
• light fixture: Ikea
• couch (to quote Sarah: “yuck!”): Boston Interiors
• chairs: reupholstered hand-me-down office chairs from Craig’s father
• coffee table / bench: Brimfield Fair
• bookshelf: custom made by Jason Carr
• silver lamp: hand-me-down from Craig’s father
• letterset box art: my cousin Mira Elwell
• various stained glass: local antique stores
• table: refinished core of a large door, passed down through the family
• dining room chairs: unfinished furniture store
• rocking chair: junk shop in New Bedford, reupholstered at JP’s Eliot School with fabric from Zimman’s
• dropleaf table: Craig’s grandmother
• green wall installation: MOMA store + found objects
• mobiles: Ikea outdoor
• mirrors: antique shops on the Cape
• iron-stove bar: garbage dump in Jaffrey, NH, cleaned / sprayed and mounted on wheels
• wine tree: made by Craig with fallen birch tree from New Hampshire
• stained glass: ebay
• bartsools: unfinished furniture store
• light wood dressers: Ikea
• large mahogany dresser: Brimfield
• typeset boxes: various Antique stores
• palm-tree lamp: Overstock
• circus art: made by Wheelock Children’s Theater set designer for our wedding
• jewelry tree: made by Craig with branches from backyard
• curtains; Ikea
• shower curtain: CB2
• medicine cabinet: Brimfield, then painted
• rug: Ikea
• sea creature mobile over crib: made by Sarah
• futon: Innovations Futons with homemade cover
• rocking chair: family heirloom
• stained glass: Brimfield
• curtains: homemade from Marimekko fabric bought in Space
Thanks, Sarah and Craig!
Images: Kyle Freeman
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