The view from the 24th floor of the Residences at the W includes the Charles River, the gold dome of the State House, Boston Common, the Public Garden, and brick red brownstone after brownstone. Those colors became the inspiration for the designers working on HGTV's Urban Oasis.
HGTV is giving away the insanely posh 1,000-square-foot, one-bedroom condominium this fall. It includes 1½ baths, a gourmet kitchen, floor-to-ceiling views, and comes fully furnished. Entering is easy (you can do so at the channel's website beginning Aug. 26). Winning the space is not so easy. More than
18 million people entered to win last year's Urban Oasis contest.
The head designer of the project gave a preview of the home earlier this week, and explained how the city, seen through floor-to-ceiling windows, dictated its color scheme. It was also important for the design team, which worked on the home throughout the spring, to make the space modern enough to fit the aesthetic of the W, but also offer touches of Boston.
"We didn't want to go completely traditional," said Lindsay Pumpa, the lead interior designer of the project. "But we did want to speak to Boston color-wise. So we used colors that were more traditional, like mochas and copper, but then we used all very contemporary furniture. There was a lot about the city we wanted to incorporate, but in a very modern way."
Stepping inside the condo is like entering the kind of pristine home that is only seen in home design magazines and coffee table books. There's a sleek European kitchen, chandeliers in the bathroom, and a canopy of stripes painted on the ceiling over the bed.
Pumpa also gathered a few relics of old Boston, such as doorknobs from a salvage store and a collection of vintage soda bottles from a local antique shop.
Also important: a fireplace, something that tends to be a luxury in high-rise buildings.
"I think it warms up the look of the space, but also, it's a necessity in the winter," Pumpa said.
Finding the location was nearly as challenging as decorating it. HGTV house planner Jack Thomasson said he arrived in the city searching for a place offering quintessential Boston views. The New York Urban Oasis home had views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty. In Chicago, the condo had a view of the Chicago Transit Authority (more commonly known as the L).
In addition to being designed by professionals, the condo also features top-quality appliances, a few that are not yet available to the public.
"As crazy as it sounds, one of my favorite innovations in the space is the toilet," Thomasson said. "The lid rises when you walk into the master bath. It does everything. It even plays music."
Besides a musical toilet, the HGTV contest also includes a car, and is worth more than $1 million. But Pumpa says the home also comes with something priceless — bragging rights.
"I know I'm biased, but this is a place that appeals to everyone," she said. "We made sure that it's not too feminine or not too masculine. We want the winner to come in, unpack their bags, and host the kind of dinner party that will make all their friends envious."