Before & After: A Condo in a Former Church Gets a Modern Update — Professional Project

Project by: Barbara of Galyean Vail
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Barbara’s clients’ condo in a former church was naturally architecturally interesting, but needed a cohesive style that could highlight the more enviable aspects of the home. She worked with them to bring in color, play up the natural lights and sprinkle in sophisticated accessories to create a cohesively stylish home.

From Barbara: This home was redesigned for a couple who love history, traveling and nature and were drawn to this 19th century church-turned-condos for its unique architecture and large windows that brought in an abundance of light. The living room lacked a true focal point and the existing furniture felt dark and incongruent with the client’s eclectic style. Our goal was to light the home from within and focus on the tall ceilings, while bringing in textures and organic elements with meaningful accessories.

Refinishing the fireplace in a soft gray herringbone tile brightened up the living room and I added modern sconces and a bone inlay mirror above. The brass etageres flanking the fireplace are reserved for a curated selection of books, dotted by locally sourced vintage objects. I love that the brass reflects the light and the geometric shelves add visual interest. Various plants also help to soften the angles and draw the eye up toward the ceiling. To maintain a sense of fluidity when walking through the dining space, I selected a round walnut table with a unique base and luxurious grey velvet chairs.

The oversized Persian rug helps to unite all of the furniture pieces and injects a beautiful teal color that changes with the light. The custom Roman shades are one of the client’s favorite additions and were created with the most elegant linen fabric. The unique nature of the windows meant that several cardboard models had to be cut in order to ensure the perfect fit. A mix of mohair, velvet and block printed pillows complement the soothing tones that grace the room. Each element was thoughtfully chosen to create a cohesively eclectic and welcoming space that pays homage to the architecture that is rich with history.

Resource list:

Thanks to Barbara and the Galyean Vail team for sharing this project!

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