See Inside This Timeless Brookline Home Designed to Be Durable

Isabel Garcia
·4 min read

From House Beautiful

"The number one priority was making it durable and livable for a very active family," says designer Kristine Mullaney of the house she started designing in 2010. The clients, whose twin boys were young at the time, wanted their home to have unique, timeless design that could hold up to their lifestyle.

Located in Brookline, Massachusetts, the Colonial Revival home was built in 1920. Throughout various phases over the course of nine years, Mullaney created spaces that blend glamor with durability. Take the floors in the main foyer: It's inspired by the gorgeous black and white floors of the iconic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, but instead of using marble, Mullaney opted for custom-cut tiles made of harder-to-damage porcelain.

In the more casual, high-traffic areas throughout the home, she swathed surfaces in vinyl wall coverings and wipeable drapery and upholstery, so the family doesn't have to worry about the occasional spill.

To prevent home from feeling too formal, Mullaney incorporated pieces with a lived-in look—from a black vintage bench in the foyer to a colorful Oushak rug in the main bedroom. She also filled the home with art by both household names and local artists, creating a personalized, welcoming atmosphere. Contemporary pieces by Robert Mars add a pop of color to the lounge and the foyer. Hanging in the living room, a harbor print by Boston-based artist Seth B. Minkin serves as a nod to the family's vacation home in Nantucket. "If the house doesn’t have art, my design can only do so much," says Mullaney. "It really makes the home feel like it has a soul."

Main Foyer

Mullaney transformed the home's breezeway into a functional space, building wall closets with ample storage space. Art: Robert Mars Blue Cabinet: custom Kristine Mullaney Design made by Loki Custom Furniture Black Cabinet: vintage Bench: vintage through Brimfield Antique Market Tile: Ann Saks


Living Room

Designed to be a casual space where the homeowners could relax while their kids play, the living room is full of long-lasting furnishings. For the color scheme, Mullaney used similar navy and sea foam hues seen in the lounge and throughout the house.

Wallpaper: Studio 534 Art (Harbor Print): Seth B. Minkin Art (Figure Drawing): Adrienne Christos Sectional: Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams Rug: Stark Carpet Table and Chairs: CB2

Kitchen

Photo credit: Thomas Loof
Photo credit: Thomas Loof

"Durability was the driving factor in the kitchen," says Mullaney. For the solid surfaces, she used soapstone, a low-maintenance material and the floors (like in the foyer) are porcelain. Even the shades, which are made with an outdoor fabric, are stain resistant.

Island: Dutch Made Floors: Ann Saks Table and Chairs: Crate & Barrel


Dining Room

Photo credit: Thomas Loof
Photo credit: Thomas Loof

The homeowner wanted the dining room to be chic, moody, and unexpected. The handpainted, silver leaf ceiling has a gorgeous reflective quality that adds a dramatic layer to the room that complements the eggplant paint. The fabric of the head chairs is inspired by a Jackson Pollock painting.

Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Art: Damien Hirst Chandelier: Crystorama Lighting Ceiling: Silver Leaf Head Chairs: frame by Artistic Frame and fabric by Scalamandré Side Chairs: frame by Artistic Frame and fabric from Kristine Mullaney Table: vintage through Brimfield Antique Flea Market Rug: Custom Kristine Mullaney Design made by Landry & Acari

Lounge

Photo credit: Thomas Loof
Photo credit: Thomas Loof

The lounge is inspired by the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica—one of the homeowner's favorite getaways. Created just for adults, it's a space for entertaining and having after-dinner cocktails.

Blinds: Blinds To Go Sofa and Chairs: Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams Art: Robert Mars Table: Worlds Away Embroidered Pillows: Schumacher


Photo credit: Thomas Loof
Photo credit: Thomas Loof

Primary Bedroom

The Oushak carpet adds color to the room's gray, white, and lavender hues.

Drapery Fabric: Robert Allen Bed: Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams Art: Adrienne Christos Dresser: Worlds Away Oushak Carpet: Landry & Arcari

Primary Bathroom

The starting point for the primary bathroom was a black and white Pierre Frey fabric called Manhattan Toile, which adds visual depth to the front of the vanity.

Sconce: Ava Triple Sconce by Visual Comfort Mirror: Custom through the Back Bay Framery Wall Tile: Waterworks

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