Sky and Madison expected a gradual, laid-back buying process. They’d told themselves they would allow a year for their search. It didn’t take a year; it took a week—and the process went smoothly. Their next task was configuring their massive North Dorchester newly built condo, with its city views.
SKY: It was kind of a switch from thinking about renting for as long as we’ve lived on our own—through college and then as young professionals—to owning a place and being more of a fixture, instead of this mindset of being transient in an area.
MADISON: I think that was a huge thing for us, to say can we see community here in five years? [Right now, our condo building is the first new residential development behind a mall.] One of the biggest things Melony brought up was would we find community here? What did that look like? It’s kind of new concept for us because I think we had always been in a community and not really realized that.
SKY: As much as you’re shopping for a specific property, you’re also buying into the neighborhood as well, so educating ourselves about what we’re getting ourselves into was that much more important.
MADISON: We previously were living in Chinatown, which was a super centrally located area. Commutes to and from work were pretty reasonable, and one of the big things that we wanted to consider was what our daily commute was going to look like.
So we actually commuted a number of times from our offices, from our previous home, from places we like to go regularly, to the new location just to scope out what that would be like. We’re both runners, so a few times I ran around the neighborhood to get a sense for would I be comfortable running in the area—were there parks or beachfront? And there are beaches, which is beautiful.
All of those micro moments in your life that you would be living somewhere else is just so important to run through.
Color and credenzas
MADISON: Then [there’s] the decorating aspect—I love just decorating in general; I love color. We have a lot of fun picking out new furniture pieces and deciding what colors to paint specific rooms…
SKY: …going through many iterations—many iterations—moving things around, deciding what’s going to work for us or what we need to change.
MADISON: I think we only moved the living room around four or five times.
SKY: Actually, I was counting. It was like, maybe 20.
MADISON: [When] picking out pieces, now that we know we’re going to be here for an extended period of time, we’re thinking beyond just a piece that’s functional to get us through, we’re also thinking of what we want to look at every day. We went back and forth on a credenza for our living area and where to purchase it. We looked at a number of the big-box retailers and just thought for the price, it wasn’t what we wanted. It didn’t have the character that we wanted.
We ended up going with [a] credenza that we bought in New Hampshire from the 1950s that was refurbished. It is one-of-a-kind; it has a story to tell. It has really worked well in the space and gives us something that we love to look at every day. It’s been really fun picking those heirloom pieces for our lives…
SKY: … choosing things that we know we’ll want to hang onto, that we might pass down to our kids someday.
MADISON: Exactly. Well, most of them are too heavy to even pull out of the place, so we may just have to leave them to our kids in this condo!
When we were deciding to decorate our space, one of the things we noticed pretty quickly when we moved in was just the massiveness of this space. We have one big living area that is, I think, 58 feet long.
SKY: Yeah, it’s like a bowling alley.
MADISON: So [in] trying to figure out how to bring comfort to this space without overwhelming it, we decided to use each of the doors into the bedrooms and different living spaces as sort of a picture frame, and how we would want that to look when you entered the space.
We moved forward with some bold colors in each of the rooms, doing a mustard yellow in the dining room, sort of a dark cobalt blue—Poseidon, as it’s called—in the office, and then emerald green in [the] guest room. It just turned out really fun, because it makes each of the spaces more intimate and then brings that intimacy into the living area as well. It makes it visually exciting and visually appealing.
SKY: What I like about the layout of our new space and through the design that we’ve chosen in each room is then it sets a palette for the common space, as well the colors that we choose to use there.
MADISON: We have not had any overnight guests yet but my mother will be coming in a week and the guest room will be hers. She fondly refers to it as “the queen’s suite.” So she says, “Get the queen’s suite ready…”
SKY: “the queen is coming!”
Photos by Anfuso Imaging