Home Design

House Tour: A Cozy, Minimalist Apartment in Jamaica Plain

Forestbound owner Alice Saunders says her abode is where New England meets the West Coast.

Welcome to House Tours, where we peek inside creatively designed dwellings around town.
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alice saunders forestbound house tour

Photo by Alice Saunders

The Snapshot
Name: Alice Saunders
Neighborhood: Jamaica Plain
Type of home: Apartment
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Size: 800 square feet

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Alice Saunders’ reverence for quality craftsmanship is evident in her handcrafted bags, totes, and accessories, so it’s no surprise her flea market find-filled apartment exhibits a homey and handmade feel. As a maker and founder of Forestbound Bag Co., she gathers design inspiration around the clock—namely from plants, the seasons, and the art and furniture in her home.

Saunders lives on the bottom floor of a Jamaica Plain house built in the early 1900s. The home’s antique, dark wooden trim is complemented by a neutral palette, as well as understated patterns and fur accents (including a sleepy pup).

The vibe, in a phrase? Where New England meets the West Coast, thanks to its mix of time-honored antiques and breezy, modern touches. Plus, Saunders says she likes to incorporate different cut flowers and greenery throughout the seasons, explaining even making a small change, like incorporating new plants, can instantly transform the look of one corner of her apartment.

Ahead, hear from Saunders about her cozy, minimalist abode.

alice saunders forestbound house tour

Photo by Alice Saunders

Describe your style in three words.

Minimal, New England-meets-West Coast, neutral.

What’s your favorite part of your home?

It’s hard to choose one favorite part! What initially sold me on this apartment almost 10 years ago was how much natural light it gets throughout the day. (This is especially good since I am kind of a indoor plant addict.) I also love the dark wood trim and arches throughout the apartment—it is a daily reminder that we live in a 100ish-year-old home and I treasure that history.

Least favorite?

At some point in the past, I’m guessing in the ’90s, the kitchen was renovated to add a small dishwasher. To accommodate this, the sink was moved into the corner of our L-shaped kitchen counter and now you can not stand directly in front of the sink to wash the dishes, only at an awkward off to the side angle. It drives me absolutely crazy!

alice saunders forestbound house tour

Photo by Alice Saunders

Where do you find your design inspiration?

The stories behind all of the vintage textiles and furniture that I surround myself with, the plants and artwork that I inherited from my dad, and the beauty of the New England countryside in all seasons, but especially autumn.

Name your top three favorite places to shop.

Todd Farm Flea Market in Rowley, Craigslist, the Brimfield Antique Market.

A sentence of advice, please.

Plants and fresh flowers bring so much life into a space and can act as a design element that doesn’t necessarily have to be permanent.

alice saunders forestbound house tour

Photo by Alice Saunders

alice saunders forestbound house tour

Photo by Alice Saunders

alice saunders forestbound house tour

Photo by Alice Saunders

alice saunders forestbound house tour

Photo by Alice Saunders

alice saunders forestbound house tour

Photo by Alice Saunders