Sneak Peek: Claire Ferrante

Claire Ferrante spent five years in this Boston apartment with her dog, Riley. She’s a self-proclaimed flea market addict (with a vintage Etsy shop to prove it!), so she had to get creative with space in order to fit all her favorite finds. She keeps the vintage collection feeling unified by sticking to clean, simple lines, real wood and vibrant colors. Though Claire still owns the condo, she just moved to Vermont two months ago. In a matter of months, she got engaged, quit her job and moved with her fiancé, Josh, to a house on 10 acres in Vermont. She’s blogging about the process of adjusting to country life on The Little Dog Blog, and we hope to share a little peek of that space once she’s settled in! Thanks, Claire! — Amy Azzarito

Image above: The couch is Jasper from Room and Board in the color Linen. The coffee table was a $15 thrift store find. The Danish modern chair by the couch was thrifted for $3 at an estate sale. The upholstery was disintegrating, and the wood was in bad shape, so I refinished the wood, bought new foam and fabric and upholstered new cushions myself in a light blue tweed.

Image above: The prints hanging over the couch are band posters from the talented Jason Munn at The Small Stakes.

See more of Claire’s Boston home after the jump . . .

Image above: The kitchen cabinets and dishwasher are full of vintage stock. That’s what you get trying to run a vintage business out of a 500-square-foot studio with no closets!

Image above: The dining table was an antique store find, and the Thonet chairs around the table were a lucky Brimfield Antique Show find. The chandelier over the dining table is a Patrick Townsend Orbit Chandelier from Horne that I splurged on.

Image above: The murphy bed was designed by me and built by a local Boston carpenter using a murphy bed kit ordered online and my existing IKEA free-standing dressers. It is basically a massive IKEA hack. The wood shelving unit by the window I had cut to size, stained and installed by a carpenter. My nightstand was a Heywood-Wakefield thrift store find. The white ceramic and wood lamp on the nightstand is vintage from eBay.

Image above: The white pleather scoop chair in front of the murphy bed was another Brimfield find that was in bad shape and in need of some TLC. I completely refurbished the wood, bought new foam and pleather and reupholstered the seat.

Image above: The textiles on the chair are all pieces for sale in my Etsy shop. I have really been getting into textiles lately and am hoping one day to have a loom and weave my own pieces.

Image above: The antique oak dresser was found at the thrift store and had about five coats of white paint on it. I sanded it down to the original wood, stained and sealed it and added new knobs. The marble busts on the dresser were picked up over the years at flea markets.

  1. Aline says:

    Claire, your home is so charming! And I felt in love with your sleeping lovely dogs and your colourful books!

  2. Danielle says:

    Wonderful space! I would like to know where you got the horse statue (with no legs) on the bookshelf.

  3. Sarah says:

    This is SUCH a great house! I’m always drawn to all white homes with colorful collections, books and textiles. The vintage finds really warm up the space and make it feel so cozy, and the oodles of natural light don’t hurt either! Nicely done.

  4. kim says:

    This all fits together so very well! Beautiful.

  5. Claire says:

    Danielle, the horse bust was an antique find at the Brimfield Antique Show that happens 3x/year outside Boston. It’s one of my favorite vintage finds ever!

  6. Barbara says:

    Simply lovely. Not too bad at the upholstery work, either!

  7. rach says:

    This is brilliant. I think you could also go into the Ikea hacked Murphy bed business. (Make a kit up with directions.) Have you submitted this to the Ikea hack website? You will inspire others/maybe make money with a link to your kit.

  8. Carol-Anne says:

    Lovely space you’ve created! There is a book with mulicoloured stripes in the bookcase photo; can you tell me the name of it? many thanks!

  9. gerry says:

    Well done and an inspiration to your mom!

  10. Melanie says:

    your creative flare leaves me breathless :). you make everything work so beautifully together, Claire !

  11. Marie says:

    I love it, Claire! I wish I had this kind of knack for decorating, upholstering, designing, and thrift-finding! *sigh* :-)

  12. Ellen says:

    So impressed by all the tlc in each piece!

  13. Amanda says:

    I’m in love with the shelves in your living room. Where did you find those???

  14. Isabelle says:

    Such a great job in such a small space. I can only imagine what you will do with a Vermont house. Hope you share it with us.

  15. Linda Clayton says:

    How lovely! Creativity runs in your family!

  16. Love this! A nice clean space with splashes of colors!

  17. M.K. says:

    Wonderful mix of vintage! Moved to Boston from NYC over a year ago and am looking for a few vintage pieces. Do you have any thrift store suggestions or neighborhoods to explore for vintage finds?

  18. Karen T says:

    Carol-Anne, that’s the indispensable Paul Rand book, A Designer’s Art.

  19. gina says:

    what a cool space….can I ask what part of boston? The South End is my favorite!

  20. Shruti says:

    The book shelf is adorable..thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Yvonne says:

    Lovely!! Wall shelves source please “) ?

  22. Claire says:

    Yvonne & Amanda — For the shelves I measured out the width and length I wanted them to be then worked with a carpenter to get the pieces cut to size at a lumber yard. We gave them a coat of sealer then installed them with hardware found at Home Depot.

  23. Claire says:

    Gina, the condo is in Downtown Crossing. Yes, people actually live down there :)

  24. Claire says:

    M.K. — Boston is full of great thrifting spots! For antiques, there’s a great antique mall in Cambridge called the Cambridge Antique Mall with 5 floors of dealer spaces. For thrifting, there are Goodwills all over the place. Check out the Goodwill website for exact locations. There’s also a great thrift store called Urban Renewals in Allston. For high end antiques, Charles Street in Beacon Hill has a number of nice antique stores.

  25. Molly says:

    Thrilled to see a shout out to Jason Munn of the Small Stakes here! His talents couldn’t be more deserving of praise.

  26. Kristine says:

    See, world, Boston does have good style!

  27. Well done sanding back the dresser. You did a wonderful job. it is just divine.

  28. collman says:

    Any idea what is the breed of the puppy from the first picture?

  29. Claire says:

    Collman, our pup Fern is a rescue and they think she is a Border Collie Aussie mix :)

  30. Lilian says:

    I love the minimalistic feel of the murphy bed and the bedroom.

  31. collman says:

    Thanks, Claire, it is such a sweetheart!

  32. Hilary W.S. says:

    Great place! The chairs around the dining table are Eames, though…

  33. Michelle Banks says:

    Wonderful space. I love the textiles! I’m constantly on the look out for vintage tablecloths.
    And the murphy bed ikea hack is brilliant. The contrast of wood to shiny white cabinets creates a visual texture that adds so much to the room.

  34. Claire says:

    Hilary W.S. — Eames made a similar looking chair made from molded plywood, but it was lower to the ground and the seat was tilted back slightly. I wish I had stumbled upon Eames chairs, but mine are marked Thonet below the seats. You better believe I keep my eye out for Eames at the flea markets though!

  35. Lisa says:

    for other commenters wondering about boston thrifting: everything claire said plus a great place called salvage (in arlington)!

  36. What a fantastic space. Creative, minimalistic, clean lines and brilliant light. Very inspiring, Claire!

  37. Kristen says:

    This is an absolutely beautiful house! I love the Greek/Roman-esque busts scattered around. Does anyone know where I can purchase one like them?

  38. taylor says:

    Clare – I’m looking to make a similar bed – would you be willing to share or direct me to the right kit to order and materials to customize??

    1. Claire says:

      Taylor, if you search “murphy bed kit” online tons of options will come up.

      I ordered this one:

      The design of the cabinets and all of the wood parts around the bed was done by me. The kit just includes the spring mechanism parts for the bed. Good luck!

  39. Gretchen says:

    Absolutely love the murphy bed. Are the directions online anywhere?

  40. myleen says:

    Hi Claire, care to share contact info of your local Boston Carpenter? Or any other carpenters you can recommend?

  41. Amy says:

    Love the murphy bed!! And the amazing glossy white cabinets, they play off the slated wood beautifully.


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