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South End condo gets bright and sophisticated

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Sarah Winchester

When the young woman who lives in this compact South End condominium bought the place, the decor hadn't been touched in decades. "It was very dark and dated with wallpaper from the 1960s or 1970s," says designer Julie Richard, who runs Shelter Interior Design.

Richard strove to create a brighter haven with sophistication that was more fitting for its new millennial inhabitant. "The owner is from Texas, she grew up on a farm there," explains Richard. "We loved the idea of giving the place a little farmhouse style with an urban twist."

A wall that had enclosed the kitchen was taken down to join the space with the living room and the drop ceilings were also removed which gives the space a much more open and expansive feel. A clean, neutral color scheme centered on lighter grey tones works to infuse the area with a brighter appeal.


Open shelving takes the place of upper cabinetry. "By not having upper cabinets there's a visual gaining of space," says Richard. The island was designed to be chock full of storage on the working side of the kitchen. "It has pull-out cabinets and drawers for cookie sheets and spices — we utilized every square inch of it."

The white subway tile backsplash covers the entire wall behind the stove for ease of cleaning and because it avoids a transition between materials. "It creates a really cohesive feeling and by bringing the eye all the way up to the ceiling it gives the illusion of something larger," says Richard.

Counters are a honed Cararra marble which exude a modern farmhouse style; brass pulls and fixtures, including the three Hicks pendants above the island, are both chic and timeless. As nod to the homeowner's equestrian background, Richard selected a print of horse for the hallway wall. "It's a nod to home for her as well as something soft and neutral that adds something organic to the urban setting," says Richard.


Brass hooks depicting horse heads are hung in the foyer where an oversize brass lantern draws the eye up. The striking hot pink rug is one of a few strategic pops of color that give the home unexpected and intriguing wow-factor.

Jaci Conry can be reached at jaci@jaciconry.com