This Graphic Designer’s Boston Apartment Was Designed Around the Art

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Eclectic living room.
Credit: Rachael Bentley

Rachael Bentley has been renting this one-bedroom apartment for a year: I live in Beacon Hill, one of Boston’s oldest and most charming neighborhoods. I got extremely lucky in finding my apartment because it sits in an area of the neighborhood that is almost 100% single-family brick row houses. My apartment feels like an extension of my personality because it houses many of the things I love, and it’s excellent for entertaining, which is one of my favorite things to do.

I’m a creative director and I work on beauty and personal care brands. I travel a bit for work, but when I’m in Boston I work from home most of the time, so having a workspace is really important to me. I live on a square, and when I sit at my desk I can see the goings-on from the big windows in my living room. My apartment is south-facing, so I get the most incredible light all day long (and my plants are very happy here). One of my absolute favorite things about my place is that I live on the fourth floor and my windows face a bunch of huge old trees, so I feel like I’m in a treehouse, but I also have an amazing view of the Boston skyline behind it.

Credit: Rachael Bentley

I am a graphic designer by trade as well as a painter. My love of art influences every square inch of my home — I buy furniture and decor around my art, not the other way around. I’m obsessed with sourcing things for my home in unexpected places — I generally like to think outside the box in most things I do. My other great love is plants and flowers, and my home is filled with lots of greenery that balances the loudness of the art and color in my space.

Credit: Rachael Bentley

Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: Colorful, cozy, funky, and bright.

Credit: Rachael Bentley

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my dining room. Boston is notorious for tiny apartments, given that it’s such an old city, and it’s very rare to have a separate dining room in a one-bedroom in Beacon Hill. I love to cook and host dinner parties, and feel happiest when my friends and loved ones are sitting around my table.

Credit: Rachael Bentley

My dining room also doubles as my studio. I’m a painter, and the light is excellent there. I feel so lucky to have the space to paint in my home.

Credit: Rachael Bentley

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought is a vintage mid-century mirror that I hung above the chest of drawers in my bedroom. It’s huge and the wood is beautiful — most of my decor I source from antique stores or vintage markets, and I scored it at one of my favorite places just outside of Boston called Ramble Market. Every time I walk into their space, I feel like I could pass out with excitement. That’s when you know it’s good.

Credit: Rachael Bentley

Any advice for creating a home you love? Mix old and new. Source things from independent entrepreneurs, antique stores, secondhand places, etc. I like supporting individuals and making sustainable choices, so I try not to invest too much in items from large corporations. It also helps with building your own style, rather than buying things that everyone else is buying.

Credit: Rachael Bentley

Also, fresh flowers are the easiest investment to make your space feel more welcoming and lovely. I always, always have fresh flowers in my home!

Thanks, Rachael!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.

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