Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Historic Boston townhome stacks up modern art, boho-style

This art-filled Boston townhome is the opposite of an austere white-walled art gallery, which means its décor rocks and rolls with color and light from floor to wall to ceiling. Marni and Damon Katz have been enthusiastic art buyers for 20-plus years, but their attitude toward decorating their home with art is anything but stuffy. “We just buy what we like and figure we’ll find a place for it,” Marni says.

And so far, it's worked. The 2,600-square-foot condo they’ve lived in since 2003 cooperates by providing ample room for display. And even though the historic brownstone was built in 1885, inside it’s most definitely 2016, with bright boho colors and textures dominating the home's decor as well as the largely modern, and perpetually growing, collection of paintings, photos and prints.


http://www.annieschlechter.com/
Annie Schlechter

In the family room, Marni broke some hard-and-fast gallery-wall rules (boho, right?) by mixing up the frames on every piece in the grouping over the sofa. The bright pillows and area rug pick up the colors of the art, rather than compete with it. A charcoal gray sofa (my go-to fave), light greige walls (Benjamin Moore Valley Forge Tan), and a nubby gray area rug layered under the more colorful one are the perfect backdrop for high boho drama.


http://www.annieschlechter.com/
Annie Schlechter

The kitchen is smack dab in the middle of the condo, so Marni decided to paint the inset ceiling a different color (Benjamin Moore Warm Springs) to brighten and define the area. “A blue ceiling makes me feel like I’m outdoors even when I’m doing the dishes,” she adds. 

Notice the tiny “surprise” art by the refrigerator, framed in can’t-miss-it chartreuse.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Annie Schlechter

The family of four eats most of their meals in the breakfast nook. Banquettes always look cozy to me, but this one is made even cozier by the art that surrounds it. Notice how some has been hung below eye-level, so it can be enjoyed by someone who’s seated. Again Marni mixes up her frames, but she breaks another rule as well: the art is hung without any theme in mind. “I put up one piece I liked,” she says, “the photo of the girl in the grass (black frame, left), then built around it.”

I like her confidence. It gives me the push I need to start hanging some of the art I bought for my own gallery walls.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Annie Schlechter

A three-dimensional wool rug from Angela Adams determined the palette in this not-so-formal, formal living room. “I love the rug’s lush, storybook forest feel,” Marni says. Paintings in the room reinforce that feeling, as does the wall color (Benjamin Moore Pale Vista). 

Notice, too, how Marni makes use of every nook and cranny to hang art—the bay window’s wide molding gets a dose, as does the short wall (right) over the built-in-storage units. The effect? No matter where you stand or what angle you look from, there's eye candy. Yumm!!


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Annie Schlechter

Even the nonfunctioning fireplace is put to work with one canvas above and another complimentary one leaned against the opening. “Propping up art is a low commitment,” she says. “I can change it on a whim—no nails!” The painting-as-screen does double duty by blocking drafts.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Annie Schlechter

The stairwell is at a direct sight line from the kitchen. And since Marni spends a lot of time in her kitchen, she dressed the stairwell with some of her favorite pieces. I like how the gentle curve of the pendant light softens the hard edges of the framed art.

I also like that handsome ginger tabby cat making an entrance! That would be the most highly treasured work of art in MY book.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Annie Schlechter

Marni continued the Pale Vista paint color from the living room into the master bedroom, which is down those stairs you just saw and on the bottom level of the five-storey condo. She then chose summery green bedding and wallpaper in white and silver to help bounce light around. 

So who says now you can’t hang art against wallpaper? One more home decor “rule” out the window!


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Annie Schlechter

One of the boys' rooms even proves you can locate bold art next to a bold patterned textile. The lithograph shown here shares similar shapes and colors with the headboard, and it all looks great against Benjamin Moore Blue Hydrangea. I love the delicate dance of dots and lines in this room, and ikat anything always gets my vote.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Annie Schlechter

The Katz condo is in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood. Follow the link to read more about their home. Or pick up a copy of the latest issue of HGTV Magazine and get Marni’s go-to list of click-to-buy art, all priced under $100. And, while you’re clicking around, I’d be tickled if you also used this link to follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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