Quirky collectibles and fresh, modern design collide in a South End brownstone.
Elitis wallpaper along one wall sets the mood in the master bedroom, which features a European art deco bed, salvaged lamps, and vintage side tables, all inherited from the homeownersâ family.Â
In the more than two years between buying their South End brownstone and actually moving inâyears Liana and Michael Krupp spent living first with friends and then his parents, their cat and dog in towâthe then-newlyweds learned to purge. Theyâd packed up their Fort Point loft a week before their fall 2010 wedding, but due to a long list of delays (selling the old place, gutting the new) couldnât settle into their new home until April 2012. âIt was an exercise in minimalism,â says Liana, a communications consultant for local retailers, designers, and her husbandâs restaurant group, Area Four. âWeâre in a constant state of purging âstuff.ââ
Clockwise from top left, Liana Krupp shows off the coupleâs Casa Deco wallpaper; insect shadow boxes from Provincetownâs Wa adorn a living room wall; a table in the hallway holds insect boxes found at Seed to Stem; Michael Krupp found the ship hulls decorating the guest bedroom in his familyâs basement.
Of course, the best part about purging is the replenishing, something these two happen to be very good at. Their 1,900-square-foot Greek Revival (and 800-square-foot garden-level unit) gave Liana plenty of room to explore her growing fascination with ârustic modernâ dĂ©corâvintage photos, insect shadow boxes, taxidermy, terrariumsâand house their existing collections, which include art deco furniture inherited from Michaelâs parents, works by artist friends such as Colin Asquith and Noah Pfeffer, and at least some of Michaelâs obsessions, which over the years have included Ralph Lauren polo shirts, concert posters, Sherlock Holmes memorabilia, and â80s-era handheld video games. Many of these acquisitions are displayed around the house in salon-style arrangements, or what Liana calls âcontrolled chaos.â Between them, they own upward of 400 pairs of sneakers, a shared loved you might say brought them together in the first place: The couple met at an Adidas shop in New Yorkâs SoHo neighborhood in 2002. âMy girlfriends who worked there were these New York City natives who were deep into sneaker culture,â Liana says. âIâm pretty sure half of anything cool that Iâm into to this day is still influenced by them.â She likes, she says, âweird, interesting things that lie somewhere between bizarre and fascinating.â And yes: Thatâs a stuffed parrot on her mantel.Â
A custom-built Superb bike rests next to a 1920s-era elevator from New England Demolition and Salvage, which serves as a coat and shoe closet.
Before the couple moved into the four-story house, originally built in 1896, they commissioned a complete gut renovation of the upper three floors under the direction of architect Joe Stromer. Drywall was broken down to reveal original brickworkâadding more than 200 square feet of space, not to mention a significant amount of characterâand the steep, wobbly stairs were replaced with a floating stairway in maple. Stromer created a master bedroom and a guest bedroom on the second floor, each with a private bath, and a TV room with an attached deck offering views of Copley on the third. The basement unit, which currently houses Lianaâs best friend and frequent collaborator, designer Sam Mendoza, will eventually be incorporated into the rest of the house. Until then, Liana says, âThis place is actually working well for our weird little family. Iâm seriously the luckiest girl in the world to have my best friendâwho my husband can cook and drink mezcal withâliving right downstairs.â Having an in-house designer also comes in handy when you have nothing to wear.Â
An exposed-brick wall showcases an array of old-school posters; in the dining room, antlers complement a vintage bar cart from Crompton Collective.Â
Once the structural changes were made, the Krupps were able to focus on the details. The couple decorated themselves, sourcing furniture, rugs, and wallpaper from Mohr & McPherson, the Cambridge Antiques Market, Lekker, and Schoolhouse Electric, as well as Crompton Collective and Seed to Stem, in Worcester, Silver Fox Salvage, in Albany, and antiques dealers along Route 7 in Great Barrington and Sheffield, close to their second home in the Berkshires. Liana and Michael also upgraded the space with custom woodwork, including built-in bookshelves and sliding wood shutters from Mystic Millwork, as well as ceilings made of Wyoming snow fence. âWe wanted to blend a more loftlike space, full of exposed brick, with this warm wood feeling we have at our Berkshires cabin,â Liana says.Â
Â A piece by the artist Steve Lambert hangs atop cheeky wallpaper from the U.K.-based company Dupenny.Â
Although every bit of floor and wall space in the Kruppsâ house is used, itâs not at all a mishmash. Rather, itâs a seamless blend of styles thatâs neither too masculine nor too feminineâa balance that can be hard for many couples to achieve, if they even agree on dĂ©cor at all. âMichael and I have been together since we were in our twenties, so our aesthetic has grown together and often informs one anotherâs taste,â Liana says. âHe definitely leans to more modern lines and absolutely has more stuff, but loves wood and brick and old rusty things. I love patterns, colors, things that feel old but not dingy.â Itâs a marriage that works, in more ways than one.
A photograph by Bostonâs Stephen Sheffield hangs above a chair from Urban Remains. Custom Mystic Millwork shelving displays terrariums, a vintage Dictaphone, and a saxophone case.Â
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Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/property/article/2014/06/03/vintage-beauty-south-end-brownstone/