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How We Live: Sean and Zach

In a perfect world, we would all find spaces ideally suited to our style, in our dream location, and – since we’re already engaging in some serious wishful thinking – with a rock-bottom price-tag. But Sean Litchfield and Zachary Violette’s intriguing Jamaica Plain apartment – just 400 square feet and loaded with potential stumbling blocks like a narrow entry hallway and occasionally odd angles – proves that creating a warm, welcoming, beautiful home isn’t about starting with the ideal canvas. It’s about transforming the space you have to reflect your tastes and fulfill your needs.

For Sean, a freelance photographer, and Zach, an architectural historian and PhD candidate, those needs include maximizing the small apartment’s space, since both of them often work from home, and getting the most out of their kitchen, since they enjoy cooking together. They’ve managed both with a series of ingenious workarounds, including loads of shelving and a willingness to wall-mount just about anything.

While their space may be limited, their funky style is anything but; their tastes range from Victorian ephemera to mid-century modern, with room for just about anything that strikes their fancy. Dedicated thrifters who are never above peeking into a dumpster, Sean and Zach have created a space that is personal, unique, and best of all, inexpensive. “We both have very specific tastes,” says Sean, “but neither of us would ever pay a premium for them. It’s both amazing and appalling what people throw away.”

Luckily, those peoples’ losses are Sean and Zach’s (and our!) gains. Take a peek at their own little cabinet of wonders (and if you like Sean and Zach’s unique style, swing by the store – we just happen to have a few pieces in stock right now that would fit perfectly into their one-of-a-kind space!) :

Sean & Zach - AmpersandVM How We Live

From the entrance to Sean and Zach’s 400 sqft. apartment, a wall lined with books leads all the way through to the window.

Sean & Zach - How We Live - Hallway

A sharp left leads into a hallway where Christmas tree lights illuminate a collection of vintage maps and Occupy Wall Street signs.

Sean & Zach - How We Live - Living Room 1

The tight quarters beg for storage solutions. This Mid-Century teak wall unit with desk helps fit two people into a small space. An additional, unique storage idea is the vintage suitcase beneath the coffee table. You can put anything inside, the hard case offers great protection, and best of all, you can tuck them in just about anywhere, since they make a great design element!

Sean & Zach - How We Live - Living Room 2

One “wow” moment in this space came when I saw the typewriters and paper cutters mounted to the wall. Such an original idea, and it really looks amazing. Check out our Facebook page where you can see the album in its entirety.

Sean & Zach - How We Live - Living Room 3

Living Room

Sean & Zach - How We Live - Bedroom
Sean & Zach’s cozy bedroom. Note the beautiful reuse of rustic windows.

Sean & Zach - How We Live - Kitchen
Views of the kitchen

Sean & Zach - How We Live - Kitchen
When you can’t spread out, spread up: it’s a great way to maximize a space’s potential!

Know someone in New England with an amazing space? Let us know about it by sending an e-mail to and it might be featured in a future installment of “How We Live!”

One Comment Post a comment
  1. so many lovely things! Love the yellow and leaping deer

    December 20, 2012

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