Tag Archives: Flexform

Design Diary: Victorian Townhouse by Evolve Residential

Earlier this summer, Boston designer Tom Egan of Evolve Residential sent me photos of his business partner Josh Linder’s 609-square foot, parlor-level condominium in a 19th century Victorian townhouse in the South End. We had hoped to feature it in the Boston Globe Magazine’s upcoming “New England Traditional” home issue, but alas, Josh sold it and moved out. But, lucky me (and you), I can feature it here. It’s amazing, and of course, Josh and Tom did all the design work. Here’s the grand tour:

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The bones of the 145 year-old condo were beautiful and retained all of the traditional elements one associates with 19th century Boston homes: high ceilings, bay windows, crown moldings, and paneled doors. Yet it had been turned into a hodgepodge mess over the years. In addition to restoring the historic details, they tweaked the layout to suit 21st century living (an-suite bathroom, Poggenpohl kitchen).  The paint colors, fabrics, and furniture are a dynamic mix of contemporary and traditional. The living room is painted in seven shades of gray!

The sofa was custom made to follow the lines of the bay window, and is upholstered in a plush strié velvet. The walnut barrel chairs are by Flexform from local furniture store, ShowroomThe target painting is by Michael Hoffman, represented by nearby gallery, Jules Place.

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The antique petite neoclassical Biedermier walnut chest of drawers is gorgous. They found a fabulous pair of French Baroque style mirrors from the 1940s; one’s in the living room, the other in the dining area. I asked about the funny little men on the chest. They answered, ” These little cuties are an antique pair of porcelain white monkeys from antique vendor in Los Angeles.”

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To the left of the fireplace they designed a custom banquette to function as a dining area and work space. Brass Irwin Feld “stiletto” ottomans upholstered plush pleated velvet are an unexpected contrast to the Saarinen pedestal table, and a feminine counterpoint to the black tufted leather banquette. To the right is the master bedroom. I love the tall, panelled door, which is painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Polo Blue.”

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A nice closeup of the other French Baroque style mirror. Look in the mirror for a glimpse of the kitchen.

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Check out the table (on legs!) in the entry. Tom says, “It’s our absolute favorite piece in the entire residence!”  It is a 1940s polished metal German prosthetic style skeleton leg table with a thick Lucite top. Whoa. The Osborne & Little “Trifad” wallpaper composed of metallic interlocking Chinese keys is one of my favorites. The floors are dyed black and finished with an ultra-matte polyurethane.

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In the master bedrooom, the walls are covered in a grey textured fabric which has been paper-backed and applied like wallpaper. They did not reveal where that funky chandelier is from . . . Love the ikat pillows and thick drapery.

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Here’s Josh’s closet. Jealous?

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Hi shirts and suits match the decor : )

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The chocolate-colored kitchen has grasscloth walls. Tom says, “It adds a beautiful texture with a subtle iridescence from the various colored grass strands running throughout the paper.”  As to its practicality, he notes that covering the grasscloth with a thin coat of matte polyurethane creates a wipe-able surface. Good to know.

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The cabinetry is Poggenphol. I love how it’s slotted under the eaves. A table lamp makes it so cozy. What’s above the fridge?  A built-in Miele espresso machine!

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There’s also a lovely little deck.

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Photos by Sean Litchfield

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Design Diary: Jeff Osborne’s South End Loft

I’ve been meaning to highlight interior designer Jeff Osborne’s South End condo for a while now. I originally wrote about it, “Living With Less, for the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.  Why now? I have just hired Jeff and his partner, interior designer Amanda Hark, to renovate the main floor of our Boston condo. Their newly created firm is called Hark + Osborne ). I am so excited.

Jeff’s Boston loft isn’t large, but he makes great use of the space. And  he has an amazing eye, mixing old and new, high and low. He had to do some serious editing to make it work. He gave all his old furniture to his brother in order to be able to get the look he wanted. The overall aesthetic is clean and modern and very tailored, but there are plenty of vintage pieces for character and texture.

Photo by Josh Kuchinsky

In the main living space, the television blends right in with the art. The ebony, bamboo-topped coffee table by Gervasoni from Showroom in Boston has simple lines, with an Asian feel. The rug is Italian, made from linen and wool. The sofa, upholstered in linen, is Flexform, from Showroom. Showoroom owner Doug Gates is his close friend.

Photo by Josh Kuchinsky

The vintage Louis Vuitton trunk was a gift from Osborne’s parents. The painting of man on left is a self-portrait by Cyrille Conan from a local Boston art gallery. The smaller piece on the right was painted by his grandfather. It’s a cottage on Ballston Beach on Cape Cod, that has since washed away. Underneath, on the white lacquer Poliform shelf, is a whaling-ship propeller that he found at a Boston antiques show.


The smaller ceramic bowl on the far left is by Tim Christiansen, purchased from The Society of Arts & Crafts on Newbury Street. (Christiansen and Osoborne went to boarding school together.) The larger one is from Norway from his parents, who collect ceramics and art.  “They have fantastic taste,” he says, “They downplay it, but it’s been a huge influence on my work.” Both bowls sit on wood blocks from West Elm.

The artwork is hard to see here. The vertical is a drawing of a nose that he bought when he studied abroad in Florence; it’s a local contemporary artist but in an antique French frame that he bought it from a store called Flair. Next to it is a print from Paris of hats flying off people’s heads by Charlotte Reine.

On the bottom shelf are Chinese bronze animal bells from Intarwut in Cambridge.

Two aluminum frame full-length mirrors from IKEA are propped up behind the Flexform stainless steel and rope folding chairs.

Photo by Josh Kuchinsky

The bed is beyond the main living space, in a south-facing, floor-ceiling-windowed nook. The bed (high) is upholstered in white leather and covered in gray houndstooth linens. The nightstands (low) are from West Elm. The industrial-style lamps are from Casa Design in SoWa. The chair in the foreground, upholstered in striped chenille, is Flexform.

A trio of postcards depicting Greek ruins were discovered in a junk shop in Provincetown.

Photo by  Josh Kuchinsky

The kitchen is standard issue from the building. The wrapped countertop is bisque-colored speckled Caesarstone, the appliances are Viking, and the cabinetry Wenge wood. Osborne added the three silvery pendant light fixtures from Casa Design over the bar. And note the Alessi juicer next to the bowl of oranges.

The entry is lined with family photos and artwork.

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Design Diary