Yesterday I was perusing one of my favorite store sites, TwelveChairsBoston, and I came across a photo of actress Kerri Russell's renovated brownstone!
I was immediately floored (no pun intended) and rushed over to Elle Decor to check it out for myself. Believe me the photos don't disappoint.
Now I have had a forever long girl crush on Kerri Russell. And of course you know what happened when I came face to face with Kerri in an airport...I tried to keep my cool...read about that here.
But that doesn't mean I can't drool over her house! I love how unexpected the furnishings are--pretty serene & contemporary for a rustic brownstone.
Elle Decor's Kathleen Hackett where she explains why she didn't turn her brownstone into a giant farmhouse cliche! Genius!
After looking at more than two dozen houses, from the tumbledown to top-to-bottom renovations, they purchased an 1860s brownstone that needed a ton of work. “I can’t help myself,” says Deary, “but why buy someone else’s renovation if you’re going to redo it anyway?”
Easy to say for a guy whom Russell calls her MacGyver. Deary gutted the place to brick and studs himself, then moved walls to open it up, most notably in the master bath, where now no walls exist at all. The pumpkin-pine floor stayed, though he painstakingly pulled up, numbered, restored, and nailed back every plank. Four 40-foot Dumpsters later, he had turned a warren of suffocating rooms into a stunning, light-filled shell.
It was a collaboration from the beginning, with Russell sketching room layouts, choosing furnishings, and picking out fabrics while Deary took charge of materials—almost all of them cast off. The kitchen cabinetry is built entirely from a dismantled post-and-beam house, as are the bathroom vanities.
Deary turned pieces of discarded pine into the handsome porthole mirror that hangs over the living room mantel. The ficus there grows out of a Donald Judd–inspired plank box that was once a desk. He dug joists out of a Dumpster and saw the perfect kitchen table, then unearthed the house’s old shutters in the basement and turned them into window casings. Beside their bed, a golden block of reclaimed pine flooring serves as a night table. After living out of a suitcase for years, Russell now hangs her clothes on sleek plumbing pipes Deary saved from a past renovation job.
Indeed, the young actress is so enamored of her husband’s talent that when it came time to fill the place with furniture, Russell made sure it didn’t speak louder than the rooms themselves. “With so much wood in the equation, it could have turned into a cliché of farmhouse chic,” she says, “so I stuck with a neutral palette, kept it spare, and worked in as many textures as I could without straying into girly territory.”
Photographs by William Waldron