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Make It Your Own

You don’t need to own a place to make it great. Check out this designer’s rental.

“Changing things architecturally was not possible,” Lindsay EB Atapattu says of her Brookline home. “So I got creative with paint, fabrics, and lighting.”

After designer Lindsay EB Atapattu talked her daughters out of a purple bedroom (she was sure they would tire of it quickly), they opted for pink and green. Atapattu used green floral fabric by Jasper for the lumbar pillows, and painted the nightstand, a $30 Facebook Marketplace find, to match. The lamp, from her late grandparents’ house, is topped with a custom shade. The painted stripes are Benjamin Moore Pensacola Pink and White Dove.Jared Kuzia Photography

Lindsay EB Atapattu lives in a rental with her husband and their three young children, so she couldn’t do major things. But the designer and principal of LEB Interiors could turn the Brookline three-bedroom unit into a stylish home. “Changing things architecturally was not possible,” she says. “So I got creative with paint, fabrics, and lighting.” Atapattu also took a high/low approach, which let her to splurge on pieces she loved and those that would create outsized impact. While her family plans to stay for the long haul, Atapattu only invested in items they can bring with them should they move.

For the dining room, Atapattu ordered her forever dining table and chairs from Highland House. For the kids’ rooms, however, she scoured Facebook Marketplace for beds, dressers, and bookcases. The pieces imbue the rooms with a home-y, we’ve-lived-here-for-ages feel. Vintage rugs layered over the bedrooms’ wall-to-wall carpets have a similar effect. “I like the layered look anyway,” Atapattu says. Swapping out generic big-box store light fixtures for unique ones made a huge difference throughout. “The old lights are in boxes in the basement; we can switch them back when we leave,” she says.


She also splurged on custom draperies, which elevate the spaces and can be reused. In the dining room, breezy neutral drapes with playful onion-tassel trim finish the room. In her son’s nursery, Atapattu created custom curtains using inexpensive windowpane-plaid fabric that adds interest to the freshly painted blue walls. She chose the pattern, as well as the room’s other elements, for their longevity. “It’s a space that will grow with him,” she says.

The girls’ bedroom is magical. Expending effort that she vows never to repeat, Atapattu hand-painted pale pink candy stripes on all four walls. Using a laser level as a guide, the designer ran masking tape every 4 inches and got to painstakingly painting. The stripes match the custom scallop-edged canopies that she concocted and hung using hardware store rope, which is fastened to cup hooks screwed into the ceiling. “It took three full days — 28 hours — to paint those stripes, but it was worth it!”



Interior designer: LEB Interiors, leb-interiors.com


Atapattu hung a tapestry purchased from an Etsy seller in France in her dining room, which has 10-foot ceilings. “I already had gallery walls in other rooms, so I wanted something large scale here,” she says. Framed intaglios feel fresh alongside it.Jared Kuzia Photography
The vintage rug from Etsy inspired the nursery. “It was in the bedroom that all three kids shared in our last apartment,” Atapattu says. After unearthing a pair of batik prints that she and her husband brought back from their honeymoon in Sri Lanka, the designer realized they worked perfectly with the rug and reframed them. By using larger mats, she was able to fill the space above the crib. The walls are painted a complementary hue, Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue.Jared Kuzia Photography

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.