Boston Brownstone

Living in a small space has its challenges, that’s no secret. Whether its a square studio, a narrow brownstone, a basement apartment- all small spaces face their challenges. As one of these “challenged” individuals, living in a brownstone, I am constantly scouring the internet looking for inspiration- how to maximize space, unique layouts, ways to bring in more light. There are so many tricks & tactics to making a small space livable, and comfortable…we just have to find them!

So when I came across this home tour of a quintessential brownstone here in Boston, I knew I had to continue reading. While the home isn’t “small”, it’s still an 1800s brownstone- this means it was built narrow, with relatively low ceilings and minimal natural light…and shared by 4 people.


The renovation to this house is amazing. I think this is one of the best ways to design a brownstone- from the iron windowed walls to the recessed ceilings to the open seating…it’s so functional & fabulous!

I love the living room- it’s the best layout for a brownstone (standard width is 12′, “large” is 20′). The mounted tv, with the chairs on either side, allows for a minimum seating of 6. Also note the clear coffee table- it makes the space appear much larger than it is. Lucite is always a great idea in a small space!


Neutral walls & furniture keeps the room feeling larger & cleaner, while the art provides the needed pop of color. How amazing is this tufted sofa?!


Check out the tv below- I LOOOOOVE how it’s mounted. It’s recessed back & hidden in a piece of artwork. It makes the space look so luxurious and “adult”, rather than a family room. In a home where you have 1 living space, this is a great feature. (you could also hide behind a mirror)


Okay, so we can all agree this kitchen is gorgeous! But the floor to ceiling iron windows really takes it to a whole new level- you can see that one window is actually a door that opens (to a rear patio, I presume) and the amount of light is incredible. Can you imagine how small & dark this kitchen would feel with normal windows?


Again, the white walls- paint, tile, molding…it makes the room appear taller & larger. White walls are always, always a good idea. I’m loving the open shelving above the office area, although can you imagine how hard it would be to keep this organized? Also, I would have liked to see the desk in a different material- the dark wood feels a  bit heavy to me.


Now this room is truly unique- that ceiling! I imagine they’re on the top floor- loving the skylight, chandelier & built in shelving along the wall. I think a gray hide rug would have totally brought the space together here, but it looks great either way.


Of course, no home is complete without a gallery wall- and when you have minimal wall space, it’s the best way to display photos.


Finally, we come to the master. Again, high ceilings, mounted tv & neutral decor brings the space together. It does feel a little dark, but for a bedroom I think that’s fine. This looks very cozy & comfortable.


The chaise is just perfect here! What an adorable reading nook.


I like that they kept the bathroom simple- white, marble, nickel- classic & clean. Also love the contrast with the black door- touches like this really make a space look finished.


What do you think? Could you ever live in a brownstone?!

{All images via the House Beautiful article here}


2 thoughts on “Boston Brownstone

  1. Hey lady, thanks for connecting with me on Instagram! I had to come check out this post! 🙂

    This brownstone is nowhere near as fancy as the apartment I just moved into this week, but there are still some commonalities! I think you’re so right about the clear table and lots of whites and neutrals helping the space feel bigger. That’s essential around here! I’m also very sensitive to dark spaces (they immediately make me feel lazy/indecisive/lethargic) so I suuuper love those windows in that kitchen!

    Thanks for sharing your stylistic insights!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lorna- I’m so glad you love it! Mine’s nowhere near as fancy either (whose is?!) but it’s fun to see how a layout can work in various style homes. Let me know if you need any additional design advice, I’d love to help! Can’t wait to see the finished product!!


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