Stuff Magazine and Elements of Style / by Sarah

I am beyond flattered to have my home and photographs featured in Stuff Magazine and Elements of Style, both penned by Erin T. Gates. Erin is an extremely talented interior designer and writer and the fact that her blog often served as inspiration while I was decorating my new home in Boston, makes her feature all the more flattering.  Plus, I got to shoot all the photographs for the pieces.


I am of course psyched the cover of the issue is super cool.  I just love the lime green and brown colors.

Click through for all the photographs in the article and blog post, and a big welcome to new readers who found me though Elements of Style.

Paint colors all Benjamin Moore Aura Interior
Living room - London Fog  (bookshelves: Black in semi gloss)
Bathroom - London Fog
Bedroom - Glass Slipper
Office/Closet - Chantilly Lace

Magnolia was such a little camera hog that day.  She literally followed me room to room, trying to get in the shots.

Thanks again Erin for the beautiful article.

A New Lease On Style

by Erin T. Gates |  March 22, 2010

Living in a city known for extraordinarily high real-estate prices and battling an economy that continues to meddle with many a savings account has led droves of Bostonians to put down roots in rented properties. If you don't have a deed to your own four walls, it's easy to assume that the space can't be made to feel uniquely yours, but that is not the case. There are easy ways to add luxury and personality to a rental that won't force you to forfeit your security deposit or invest loads of money where you won't see a return.

That fact is made clear by the home of Beacon Hill photographer Sarah Winchester and her husband Steve. Love brought Winchester up to snowy, overpriced Boston from warm and sunny Atlanta, where she owns a darling bungalow. In an attempt to quell any homesickness, she and her then fiancé decided to forgo sharing his Back Bay condo and instead fulfill her dream of residing on the charming gas-lit streets of Beacon Hill. After trolling Craigslist for the perfect rental, they spotted the one. Floor-to-ceiling windows, two marble fireplaces, and a monstrously large walk-in closet that could also serve as an office made the decision to sign the lease an easy one.

An avid design-blog reader and experienced homeowner, Winchester gathered ideas and set out to customize the space. She began by getting approval from her landlord to change the wall colors, which is the easiest and cheapest way to warm up an uninspired room. Splurging on low-VOC Benjamin Moore paint, Winchester coated the living room in a soft gray, which accentuates the fireplace and beautiful white trim. She then painted the interiors of the built-in bookshelves with glossy black, which not only deepens the space visually but also makes all the accessories inside pop vividly. Small doses of bold color can make a big impact with little effort and commitment. "It's amazing what even a slightly different color can do to a space," Winchester recounts. She added a modern zebra rug and café table to offset the classic architectural details, while the antique-inspired entry console and mirror play along with the sense of history in the unit.

The bedroom is an ethereal and soothing light blue, which glows with the ample amount of light from the large windows. Adding more sparkle is a mirrored dresser, an homage to the boudoir glamour of yesteryear, while modern bedding from DwellStudio contributes vibrant color and pattern. The master closet is what sets this space apart from many cramped Beacon Hill rentals. "When I walked in, I immediately envisioned it as an office with that fabulous bay window," Winchester says. By rolling up her sleeves and mustering a little do-it-yourself effort, she made a custom desk that fits snugly into the bay window with one-inch plywood. After sanding and covering it with white enamel paint, she mounted it with brackets. The project cost her no more than $30 and allowed her to use every inch of the space. By adding a stylish IKEA Lucite chair and sheepskin, she has a sunny place to work at home that's separate from the main living space.

Despite the tediousness of having to patch holes before moving out of a rental, hanging artwork is a must in any residence. Winchester is lucky to have many of her own beautiful photographic works to choose from, and she hung them not only on the walls but in unexpected places, like on the inside of the closet door and on the front of the shelves in the living room's bookcases. Individual touches like this make each corner and surface feel carefully considered and personalized. And while they plan on purchasing a new place in the near future, the couple relishes in the fantastic details of their stylish apartment - so much so that Winchester barely thinks about those warm Georgia breezes she left behind.