Stylish JP couple prepare for a new addition
What’s a hip couple to do when preparing for a bundle of joy to arrive at any moment? How do they keep the their personal, modern esthetic while addressing the necessities of parenthood? The answer starts with combining comforting family heirlooms and a strong editing eye.
Josh Reed, an account director for Almighty digital marketing, and Tim Kelleher, a yoga instructor at South Boston Yoga, North End Yoga, and JP Centre Yoga, chose their Jamaica Plain home with a developing family in mind. “We had a lot of discussions about creating the space to make a family. We were committed to staying urban and not fleeing to the suburbs,” explains Reed. “Diversity was important to us. Plus, JP has a small town feel similar to where we grew up.”
In 2010, the couple chose a 1909-constructed home that was recently converted from a Northeastern University fraternity house into two condo units. When they purchased the home, the second floor’s three rooms and the entrance staircase contained three separate colors of wall-to-wall carpeting. “Josh almost didn’t want the place because of the carpet,” Kelleher says. “I had to tell him ‘This place is enormous and fabulous!’” A little elbow grease revealed the hidden potential. “We had to rebuild the staircase to expose the walnut stained oak underneath.”
Astute visitors will notice repeating bird and tree motifs throughout the house, a reaction to their previous South-End garden level condo. Admits Reed, “I don’t know how we lived [there]. We must have subliminally craved trees and birds. Now we live in a tree house.” This is especially true in the master bedroom, an addition to the original structure that is surrounded on three sides with enormous windows.
Functional Victorian-era details help keep the design from being too austere. A built-in china cabinet in the dining room is given a touch of whimsy with the addition of mirror ball among the objets d’art on display. A functional wood-burning stove architecturally grounds the living room. Used during the winter months to heat the first floor, the piece is occasionally put to use for stove-top cooking. Kelleher and Reed are not concerned about the accessibility of the stove when the baby becomes more mobile. “Josh and I both grew up with wood burning stoves. Neither one of us is overly alarmed. They make great cast-iron baby fences,” says Kelleher.
Reclaimed pieces also meld the modern and the classic. The dining room chairs, refurbished and reupholstered, are from an antiques auction and the table was a Craigslist find. Etsy.com, a website focusing on handmade and vintage products, is a major resource for the couple. The living room’s TV cabinet, a wall-mounted entry way table, and reclaimed railroad tie bench in the dressing room, were all custom made for vendors on the site.
The couple have chosen adoption as the best means of creating a family. The office/yoga studio will be converted to a nursery when they get news of the baby’s arrival. “They tell you not to set up the nursery until [the baby is] in the home. Just in case,” explains Kelleher. Which does not mean that the couple hasn’t planned for the big day. “The moment we hear, the register goes out,” laughs Reed. “We have a list on Amazon.com for our families and one at Tadpole for all our local friends.” Cases of essential equipment are in the ready, hidden under beds and sofas.
The room’s pale taupe walls, which change from warm beige to a deep sea-foam over the course of the day, will stay and become accented with more playful pops of color and accents. Pressed cardboard sculptural pieces will be added to the walls for visual interest. “While we’ve been on baby-austerity for the past few years,” admits Kelleher. “Lately we’ve been in full nesting and retail mode.”
“I tend to nest. Tim curates,” continues Reed. [x]