Inside Baking Blogger Sarah Crawford’s South Boston Studio
Boston-based food blogger, Sarah Crawford, creates her dream studio in South Boston with the help of Rebel Builders.
Sarah Crawford’s baking blog, Broma Bakery, started small. A college student in 2010, she developed the blog as a creative outlet that showcased recipes for classic desserts and pastries with unique twists. Gradually, Crawford’s talent for food photography shined and people loved her treats. She now has an Instagram following that is closing in on 500K.
By 2021, Crawford’s operation was continuously expanding; the blogger realized working out of her house was no longer cutting it. She needed more space to produce content. Crawford soon signed a lease on a former clothing warehouse in South Boston. “I could see that it would be perfect immediately. The space has these giant windows, and it was all white. As a photographer, I need a light box, and that’s exactly what this is.”
To build out the 1,600-square-foot space, Crawford tapped Rebel Builders. Crawford felt that owner Diana Pauro understood her vision—an airy modern kitchen to prepare recipes and photograph the results with an adjacent living area—right off the bat.
“This was a marriage of residential and commercial. It was a project that needed to hit several spots,” Pauro says.“[Sarah] knows how to do photography and how to do cooking. She knows her brand. She knows her aesthetic. She let me curate her ideas, and we had a very good decision-making process.”
Crawford wanted an artistic, unconventional feel for the marble counters. After several scouting trips to stone vendors in the Boston area, Crawford came away feeling that the selections were too conservative. “So I took a trip to New York and finally found this Calacatta Monet marble I loved,” she says. “Rebel were so great about it. We did things like that, where we went outside the box.” The marble from ABC Stone, which has a beautiful combination of neutral whites, grays, and beiges with deep purple and green veining, was also used for the kitchen backsplash.
A cohesive and intentional color palette of milky whites, grays, and beiges was key to the “zen and balance” of the studio. In order to achieve both a neutral and light backdrop and a warm atmosphere, “Ivory Porcelain” by Benjamin Moore was used for the cabinets and “Pure White” by Sherwin-Williams for the walls. “When you’re in the space with that natural light everywhere, you feel very uplifted,” Pauro says.
Since the timeframe for the build-out was tight, Crawford had to make some concessions, which included using pre-designed cabinets made to spec versus custom cabinetry. “We just made sure that we chose fixtures and finishing touches that were really special,” says Crawford, who selected smaller manufacturers for many items, which resulted in better lead times.
Subtle wow-moments are created with elements such as the linear brass Katy Skelton light fixtures over the island, which offer an appealing juxtaposition with the industrial elements of the space. Crawford selected the farmhouse-style Fireclay sink because it felt more architectural and sleek than similar models. The antique brass deVol Kitchens faucet is a beautiful combination “of modern sensibilities and European design,” Crawford says.
Crawford and her team are able to do twice the amount of work in the studio that they were able to do in her home. “The space has made our job so much easier. It’s really like a pinch-me moment to come into work every day,” Crawford says. “It feels luxurious, but it also feels homey, which is the exact balance we were trying to find.”