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Kimberlea's Beacon Hill Victorian




Boston, Massachusetts



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

It was built in 1804 and designed by Charles Bulfinch when the "hill" of Beacon Hill was first developed. I love the architectural details that show the rich history; the molding, the ceiling medallion with the holes from when the lights were gas lit, the hole in the floor were a servants bell was and the interior shutters. The living room drew me to the space, I love to entertain and wanted to have a large room for parties. I like the Federal style of decorating were everything is against the walls and things move around depending on the occasion and this is my updated twist. The bedroom is less classic and shows my adoration for fashion. I came up with the wall display of evening dresses because they take up so much horizontal closet space. The solution is practical and fun!

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

Coming up with the colors, furniture and decor on a very limited budget that would balance historical appropriateness with comfort and style. In the living room I used historically accurate colors, a few antique pieces and added the more stylish ottoman and sofa. To combat the need for storage and desire for decor without expense, I can up with some creative solutions to use what I had in new ways, like the old serving pieces in the china cabinet, the drapes and hooks in the bedroom for dresses or the umbrella closet that became a bar. The guys at the local hardware store cut the wood for the shelves and loved the bar idea. Although the blue paint is accurate for Colonial or Federal decor, I like how it works as a backdrop for modern cocktails.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (39)

I like the living room!

posted by sweethomesweet on April 22, 2011 at 7:32pm
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Wonderful! Anyone would love to call your apartment home.

posted by Faye Kurnick on April 22, 2011 at 3:23pm
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The chairs next to the fireplace are sooo beautiful!

posted by hotpaprika on April 22, 2011 at 8:29am
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I love the color in the living room and the beautiful built in bookcases.

posted by gingercookies on April 22, 2011 at 9:05am
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so jealous of your built-ins

posted by lorrinm on April 22, 2011 at 9:18am
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fantastic job of respecting the history of your place without it looking stodgy

posted by ec05 on April 22, 2011 at 9:32am
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Thanks, I tried a 13 shades of grey for livingroom before picking this one. Thank goodness for the mini samples! In the end I had a custom mix from Benjamin Moore to match a ballroom at the Lyman Estate in Waltham. The blue is from the Historic New England paint collection and is called "Bold Bollection." I love it because it looks so modern, yet its accurate for Colonial or Federal period homes. (Despite the catchy headline, the apartment is from the Federal period,not Victoirian.)

posted by KTBos on April 22, 2011 at 9:48am
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The whole picture is stunning

posted by Janet_g_ on April 22, 2011 at 10:04am
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The chairs were a random inexpenisive find a giant furniture store, in stock in ivory damask (and not a pretty one) but you could order them in other fabrics.

posted by KTBos on April 22, 2011 at 10:08am
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I die.

The "flat" closet (dress display)? I die again.

It's historical and modern at the same time. A nice surprise. The word decadent comes to mind.

And um, the champagne bucket??!?

posted by cvgmiami on April 22, 2011 at 11:15am
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I"m fa-fainting at that living room -- so elegant! So stylish. My gawd -- when's the next party? I'll bring champagne!

posted by citipearl on April 22, 2011 at 11:34am
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when can i move in?

posted by karenmturney on April 22, 2011 at 11:53am
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Very cool AND elegant! Love the empty champagne bottle in the bedroom. Who did you share that with?

posted by Momstermash on April 22, 2011 at 12:10pm
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I love your sofa! Where did you find it? Beautiful space and love how you kept the historical significance.

posted by Tracy333 on April 22, 2011 at 12:31pm
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Congratulations! You have done a truly masterful job of maintaining the history of your beautifully appointed apartment.

posted by Home Decorator on April 22, 2011 at 1:35pm
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Your living room is massive and gorgeous. I would die to live in a house 913 sq ft. I definitely do not consider that small.

posted by MoMoo on April 22, 2011 at 3:33pm
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posted by The Vintage Spoon on April 22, 2011 at 4:17pm
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The dresses hanging on the wall are because they take up a huge amount of limited closet space because of the full skirts. its much better for them to hang than be flat. These are the ones that take up the most room or would crease if squished. The closet area has two apartment sized closet and one is half full of evening wear, so its a way to have more storage. I normally have the drapes closed to keep dust from them and the drapes go flush to the ceiling to reduce any dust. The floor below the also has cedar strips across the bottom to help ward off moths. I have collected the evening dresses over the last 20 years and I wear them often, so for me its practical. The kitchen isn't that interesting and I thought this reflected how to be creative in small places to suit your own unique needs.

posted by KTBos on April 22, 2011 at 7:43pm
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The sofa is from Restoration Hardware and was my biggest splurge. I sold my old sofa, a chaise, 2 chairs, a breakfast bar, a portable closet and an ac from my old apartment on craigslist to equal the cost.

posted by KTBos on April 22, 2011 at 7:48pm
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The champagne bucket and empty soldier is an installation art inspired attempt. The wall is the first thing you see in the room and I thought it went well with the Vincent Show print. You have to go through the bedroom to get to the bathroom and normally the drapes are closed over the dresses, so adds a little something. But it may go back to the kitchen!

posted by KTBos on April 22, 2011 at 7:57pm
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Hi, I really love your place, especially the living room. I am going through countless samples to find a blue/gray for my bedroom, and the color your have seems pretty close to what I am looking for. I understang it was a custom color. any suggestion on how to get close to it? do you know what would be the closest non custom color? thanks

posted by dreamdc on April 22, 2011 at 8:19pm
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I think the link to this page is broken. I got here by clicking on the picture but when I clicked on the "got to entry page" link it didn't work.

posted by delg23 on April 22, 2011 at 8:52pm
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Oh my goodness. This place is gorgeous. I can tell that you really worked on the paint colors and you did an absolutely fabulous job. I'm so happy to see that you used the Chesterfield sofa: it's so perfect for the room and it looks utterly inviting. The living room is just perfect.

Then the creative stuff you did with the closets and the built-ins: I love that as well. You not only have a wonderful eye and respect for your living space, you also put in touches of whimsy that, simply put, make me happy and put a smile on my face.

I hope you win. This is hands-down the best apartment shown. Instead of following trends, you listened to the apartment and to yourself, and that's rare.

Thank you for inviting us into your home.

posted by Terry3 on April 22, 2011 at 9:05pm
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Simply stunning... a beautiful blend of modern and traditional!

posted by OTPMom on April 22, 2011 at 10:10pm
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Creative blend of 'now' and 'then.' Beautiful!

posted by viewpte on April 22, 2011 at 10:38pm
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Your living room looks majestic! Assuming the floorplan diagram is somewhat to scale, it must be a stunningly large space. The darker contrast color in the built-in bookcases is great too. I used to live in Beacon Hill and understand the awkward floorplan, but I would consider 913 SF to be very large as 1-bedrooms go in that area (unless you're in a mansion on Mt. Vernon or something).

posted by Clairesf on April 23, 2011 at 1:35am
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I saw this room before you transformed it. It was forgettable. Now, thanks to your work it is unforgettable. Your thoughtful approach brought a 200 year-old room...home again. Great job!

posted by dbates on April 23, 2011 at 9:00am
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The floor plan is pretty close to scale, the bulk of sq ft is in the living room. In the bedroom I had to search awhile to get side/night tables with storage that were narrow enough to fit between the bed and wall (!8 in) as there wasn't anyplace else in the room to place a dresser due to the doorway layout and pass way to get to the bathroom. The bathroom has a shower only because its not large enough to fit a bathtub. True, most place on the Hill would have 2 bedrooms for this sq ft and another room is what I was willing to give up to have a bigger space for entertaining.

posted by KTBos on April 23, 2011 at 12:28pm
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So so so so pretty. Definitely one of my favourite favourites. I, too, had difficulty getting to this page as the link to see your entry was broken.

posted by martigny on April 23, 2011 at 12:47pm
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The headboard/curtain combination is so clever. Love this.

posted by Juliet___ on April 23, 2011 at 4:01pm
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What a beautiful home!!!!

posted by KelseyAnn on April 24, 2011 at 11:04am
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Your living room is so perfect...so delicate.

posted by xerocada2 on April 24, 2011 at 12:26pm
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gorgeous. that dress display is so dreamy.

posted by elizabeth11 on April 25, 2011 at 12:37am
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Great ideas, I like the bar, the wall dresses and the shoe-shelves! Wonderfull!

posted by Ofelia on April 26, 2011 at 4:09pm
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Oh, I forgot, the chesterfield sofa is so classic!

posted by Ofelia on April 26, 2011 at 4:13pm
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I'm sorry you're not getting more votes. The paint color alone makes your place a winner.

posted by Terry3 on April 27, 2011 at 8:00pm
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Ohhh such a happy looking, inviting home! The historical aspect is maintained yet complimented to elegantly and hip with lively colors. So perfect!

posted by ADQ on May 1, 2011 at 8:58am
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The party dress room is so clever.This is the new trend! I'm copying it!

posted by AQG on May 1, 2011 at 9:11am
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oh, wow ! that living room ! *swoon*

posted by pizzapi on May 30, 2011 at 2:50am
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