TJ Douglasâ€™s home reflects a man with refined tastesâ€”and a love of sneakers.
TJ and Hadley Douglas had one important requirement when searching for their South End home almost seven years ago: It had to have enough space for TJ, an avid collector, to stash his myriad objects. â€śI moved a lot as a kid, so I couldnâ€™t bring many things with me,â€ť says TJ, who, along with his wife, owns the boutique wine-and-liquor mini chain the Urban Grape. The three-bedroom townhouse they found proved to be the perfect showcase for TJâ€™s designer sneakers (40 pairs in all), trove of old-school decanters, and prized collection of wine bottles (signed by winemakers heâ€™s met over the years). â€śFor a long time, my most treasured bottle was a Bruno Rocca Rabaja, signed by Bruno himself, which I got when I was working as the GM at Armani CafĂ©,â€ť TJ says. â€śBut this year,Â I picked up a bottle of Pappy 20-year signed by Julian Van Winkle. Weâ€™re going to let that appreciate to pay for the kidsâ€™ college education.â€ť Here are some of his other favorite treasures.
VIEW FROM THE TOP:Â (Pictured Above)Â TJ, photographed on the coupleâ€™s South End roof deck (â€śItâ€™s like having an extra room for four months of the year,â€ť he says of the outdoor space), is outfitted in a plaid shirt by CafĂ© Coton, Seven jeans, and an Omega Seamaster â€śPlanet Oceanâ€ť watch, a 30th-birthday gift from Hadley.
SIGNED AND SEALED: Signed bottles arenâ€™t necessarily worth more, but â€śthey represent my evolution in the wine world, and the people Iâ€™ve met and shared memories with,â€ť TJ says nostalgically. His extensive collection includes (from left): the Boy Grenache blend from Charles Smith; Pappy Van Winkleâ€™s Family Reserve; George Pinot Noir, from George Levkoff; Illumination, by Quintessa winemaker Charles Thomas; Robert Foley Claret, by Robert Foley; Le Clos des FĂ©es VV, from HervĂ© Bizeul; the Creator Cabernet blend from Charles Smith; and the most prized bottle, a Barbaresco from Bruno Rocca.
FREEZE FRAME:Â The third-floor photo wall, which contains some 120 frames, is visible from TJ and Hadleyâ€™s bedroom. â€śWe can lie in bed and look at all the photos, and the kids love walking by and talking about them,â€ť TJ says. â€śEveryone is represented: parents, siblings, in-laws, kids, pets….If youâ€™re in the family, youâ€™re on the wall.â€ť
BOTTLE ROCKETS:Â From yard sales to antiques markets, TJ finds interesting decanters just about everywhere, including this bottle of Hibiki, a Japanese whiskey sold at Urban Grape, and a Louis XIII cognac bottle that he picked up while working at Armani CafĂ©. â€śLouis XIII sells for around $200 a pour in most restaurants,â€ť Douglas says, â€śso needless to say, I took the empty bottle home and filled it with something more affordable!â€ť
MIX AND MATCH:Â TJ is always on the lookout for fun button-down shirts, and his collection includes styles from Ted Baker, Hugo Boss, J. McLaughlin, and Saks Fifth Avenue. â€śI like that I can take a classically preppy shirtâ€”like a pink gingham from J. McLaughlinâ€”and pair it with off-the-wall sneakers and make it something it wasnâ€™t originally meant to be,â€ť he says.
JUST FOR KICKS:Â In TJâ€™s estimation, one can never have too many sneakers. â€śSome for every season, some for hanging out with the kids, some for date night, some for working out,â€ť he says. His neon-green Jordans were a gift from Olympic gold medalist Cat Whitehill, a former Urban Grape employee.
RECORD DRINKING:Â TJ keeps a book filled with labels of special wines heâ€™s savored, often with accompanying observations and memories of the tasting experience. â€śI enjoy wine from a wide variety of regions, and I think this page shows that,â€ť he says. â€śFrench, Italian, and Washington stateâ€”all on one page. I just need to look at the labels to be back in the moment.â€ť
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/property/article/2013/09/10/tj-douglas-urban-grape-home/