interior designInteriorssneak peeks

it’s a boy!

by Grace Bonney

i agreed that we needed some gents on the sneak peek queue so today we’re getting a glimpse into a lovely lady and a totally stylish gent’s home. first it’s bryan boyer, a student of architecture at harvard’s graduate school of design. bryan has a beautiful modern apartment so here’s a sneak peek into his beautiful home. click here for full-sized photos of bryan’s apartment and read on for a description in bryan’s words…

When I moved to Cambridge two years ago I found this 400sqf studio apt as one open room with nasty gray carpets and pink paint on the walls. It’s on the 6th floor and one wall is almost entirely glazed so I get a lot of light, but it didn’t penetrate very deep into the room. New pergo floors and some careful furniture choices help bring light deeper into the space and it’s now quite livable. For the photo above: It took me four tries to find the right gray for the walls, but this is finally it: not too cool at night and not too warm during the day. I made the simple table which is great for breakfast or spreading out some books when working on a project. Instead of a headboard I covered the bedroom wall with hand printed paper by Esther Hong. My friends joke that my house can look like a group therapy session sometimes: just a bunch of chairs facing each other. An Eames Plywood Lounge chair in walnut sits at the table with two Grcic Chair Ones (my favorite!) and nearby there’s a felt chair from Bludot and a Casestudy Daybed for watching TV and taking naps. All of the furniture in my house tends towards the gray, so I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect couch blanket for years now. Someday I will find a blanket made from the perfect felt and just the right color, but until then I’ll have to make do with just a stacked-goat pillow.

Photo above: From the ‘bedroom’ looking out towards the main space. A plusminuszero hot carpet in the foreground makes it much easier for this Californian expat to get out of bed on winter mornings.

For photo above: These translucent bookcases from DWR transmit light towards the back of the room. Since I hate clutter and have very little space anyways, the cases also hold what few objects I have on display, including two pieces from Claire Sarembock. Since I work at home and spend a lot of time here, I wanted to break up the space a bit to create individual zones; a pair of free standing bookcases create an office nook for my computer but also give some privacy to the bed area and form a zone for my work/dinning table. The zones are further reinforced by their different lighting conditions at night: the table has three awesome LED lamps, my workstation is lit by an incandescent fixture, and the couch sits next to a Starck for Target light up table. It may sound finicky, but the various color temperatures of these lights really does help to give each part of the apartment its own identity.

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  • Wow! I love his lighting suggestions for creating more definition to the zones. I’d never thought of using different tones.

  • Your space looks so open and inviting. I’m looking for a similar gray for a room and was curious which gray you used. It’s so difficult to get the ‘perfect’ gray.

  • I love the logic behind the choices and the pleasing sum of the parts.

    I agree with Bryan that it is difficult to find home accessories suited for a guy’s space; men like pillows too!

  • The “headboard” is a fantastic idea and looks brilliant….but aside from that it looks exactly like a DWR showroom and he seems to have a pretty big disposable decorating/furniture income for a “Student”

  • Hello! I am also in the brisk Boston area and while the concrete floors I exposed and rehabbed seemed like a great idea at the time…the feet get a bit chilly. I would love one of those hot carpets but when I looked it up on line…. it says that they only do domestic japan sales…none to the U.S. Can anyone help? Something similiar or perhaps Brian can clue us in to how he got them.



  • beautiful space! i’ve been eying the blu dot felt chair for awhile.. can you comment on it’s comfort level?

  • paint- will have to get back to people with the exact formulation. need to venture into the basement storage unit to find the left over cans…

    hotcarpet- Mine was sent to the US by a friend in Japan. It’s the only way to get one here, as far as I know. You could try Dynamism.com which imports some other +/-0 stuff, perhaps they could special order a hot carpet?

    Felt chair- really depends on your body. It’s fine for me (6’ish) but some people who are shorter don’t like it. Then again, one of my shorter friends loves it and claims it’s ‘just right’ for her.

  • This space has too many iconic pieces in one space, in my opinion. I also have a hard time sensing the common thread between any of them. it seems like this person had the means to do whatever they wanted considering the price of many of the items in the space, but it just doesn’t seem well thought out or unified.

  • there are more boys on the way :)

    if you have any suggestions please feel free to send them along…

    stay tuned for thorsten van elten, the fred flare guys, the boys of variegated, the home of a talented (male!) design writer and many, many more…


  • The paint is here!

    As always, your luck with it may vary and you should always paint a test swatch before going all in.

    This is what I used:


    Ace Royal Touch
    Eggshell finish
    Ultra White 310 base

    B: 090
    C: 051
    F: 010

  • It might be nice to see another male designer representing warmer climates (west coast or some island chic)at least that’s where my sensibilities lie

  • damn, this is nothing like my college apartment! we couldn’t even afford furniture.
    come to thinj of it, i still can’t afford this stuff and i’m thirty. oh well, i guess i got into the wrong profession.

  • Brilliant layout! I’m impressed how you took a rectangle and suddenly it’s a light-filled space with pockets of cozy functionality.

  • I think his thought process is brilliant… using seethroughish shelving to extend the light from the back windows! I think this is one of the most thoughtful sneak peek’s yet. Interesting and educational!

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