Fresh Air for a Charlestown Townhouse
Written by Courtney Goodrich • Photographed by Sabrina Baloun // Things we love about this Charlestown townhouse — first, that dining room wallpaper! The owner, Laura, actually hesitated when interior designer Dane Austin, of Dane Austin Design, initially chose it, but she came around to a ‘yes’ after Dane pointed out in a gentle, yet assured way (as is this designer’s nature) simply what he liked about it. To him, the twisting branches, blooming flowers, and songbirds had a traditional look, but the oversize scale and color scheme felt modern. Plus, he knew mixing it with the more time-worn pieces in the room, like the reclaimed wood table and vintage chest of drawers, would strike the right balance between delicate and rustic that they wanted. It works wonderfully, just like everything else Dane brought to the home.
Pattern aside, we also love how this wallpaper lines the backs of the bookcases, which were revived with a fresh coat of white paint to match the room’s trim. This makes it recede into the background, allowing Dane to layer geometric artwork on top for an unexpected pop. There’s lots of texture here. The reclaimed wood table has steel accents, the woven rattan chairs have chrome legs, and the ceiling is covered with a slightly reflective wallpaper that helps bounce natural light around the room.
The living room is narrow with a fireplace in the middle, so there are two seating areas. By the TV, the forest green sofa and aqua double gourd table lamps pick up the colors in the painting above the fireplace, while above the sofa is a grid of black-and-white photos Laura collected from family members so she could feel like they were close by.
The other end of the room is more refined with a marble coffee table and leather chairs. Pieces of needlepoint by Laura’s grandmother, which Dane found in a guest bedroom, were hung prominently on the wall next to the bay window.
And… this room has wallpaper on the ceiling too! It might not be the first thing you notice, but the subtle leaf pattern, which echoes the shape of the light fixture, sure is a nice (and beautiful) surprise.
Dane and Laura talked a lot about how she wanted to feel in her home. The short answer — comfortable. And that’s most apparent in the bedroom. A calming space that’s decidedly not frilly, the walls are painted light blue with the section behind the bed covered in grasscloth. We especially love the teak dresser with satin brass hardware. Plus, the vintage leopard bench and the antique cloisonne lamps, passed down from Laura’s grandparents are just right.