Natural Selection

A dark Beacon Hill condominium becomes an airy, modern home when infused with nature-inspired accents and warm tones.

Above the mantle hangs a piece of art by Debby Krim that plays off of the tones of the logs in the fireplace. The sofa is by Lee Industries, and the stool is by Oly.

The Phillip Jeffries grass cloth wallcovering is featured in the entryway, dining area and in the second-floor hallway.  

Gold hardware and accents, including the Newport Brass sink faucet, make the kitchen feel much more modern.

The dining table banquette is upholstered in an ikat-print fabric by Schumacher.  

While the homeowners had lived in this home—part of a gracious Beacon Hill brownstone—for a few years, they hadn’t spent much time focusing on the decor. Eventually, they decided that the dark, heavy vibe needed an overhaul in favor of a brighter backdrop that reflects elements to which they’re drawn to.

Designer Bo Perkins came on board to create a new aesthetic. “The homeowners love natural elements, so we used those to help brighten the space,” says Perkins, who strove to give the home a “sophisticated, urban and comfortable feel.”

In the open kitchen, living and dining area, the distinct spaces need to work in cohesion while serving their separate functions. Perkins worked with the homeowners to select a soft color palette throughout, highlighted by strategic pops of blue.

Accent walls in the foyer and behind the dining table are sheathed in a Phillip Jeffries grass cloth that infuses natural flair with textural appeal. Just inside the front door, a burled maple chest the homeowners have had for years offers a pleasing juxtaposition with a rustic umbrella stand fashioned out of a tree trunk. The base of the Bunny Williams lamp atop the chest echoes the subtle greenish-blue tiles inset in the white marble floor.

“We subtly repeated elements throughout the space,” says Perkins. The curved lines of the A. Rudin swivel chairs in the living area are recalled in the curved inlays found on the built-in cabinet doors on each side of the fireplace; additionally, the reclaimed wood dining table features curved balusters on the base.

Gilt-framed Restoration Hardware mirrors hang above the fireplace cabinetry. “We installed the mirrors to bring light into the living area,” says Perkins. “They offer the illusion of adding windows without dominating the room.”

In the kitchen, dated drawer and cabinet pulls were replaced with Schoolhouse Electric satin brass hardware, permeating the space with warmth, modernity and a dash of glamour. Sculptural open pendants from Circa Lighting suit the compact kitchen well, as they draw the eye upward without becoming a distracting focal point.

Decorative accents, throw pillows and artwork enhance the space with splashes of color. A painting from Galerie d’Orsay on Newbury Street by artist Kathy Buist hangs on the wall behind the dining table. The abstract work picks up the neutral hues depicted in the onyx kitchen backsplash while adding a hint of blue. The linen-upholstered dining chairs have generous seats and a low profile to promote the integrated feel of the different sections of the room.

The owners have always loved their home, says Perkins: “It’s now perfectly suited to them.”