Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Don't Try This at Home: Apple Store Decor

You know that warm, cozy feeling that ovewhelms you inside an Apple Store? The one on Boylston Street is so comfortable and inviting that you wish you could stay there forever, reveling in glass walls, concrete, whiteness, metal, and that flock of enthusiastic geeks in matching T-shirts. How great it would it be furnish your own place in the same style — with a few hard wooden benches and lots of counters, and without a single, distracting scrap of textile or cushioning anywhere?

If that appeals to you, you'll love this apartment on Marlborough Street. When this building was renovated and converted to condos a few years ago, it was marketed as "Heaven on Marlborough." The developer was super-proud of it, mainly because he'd hired an artist to paint a blue sky and clouds on the lobby ceiling. He'd gutted it to the studs but carefully preserved a portion the original stairway as the lone testament to its former Victorian craftsmanship and beauty. (When I heard that, I had to get out of there fast because I felt ill. Since then, I've grown more used to this kind of thing, which is rampant around here.)

I guess not everyone wants to be in heaven forever, so this one-bedroom apartment is on the market. So here's your opportunity to have an Apple Store bedroom — with convenient bike parking right outside. If you ask me, they've overdone the decorating, but you can easily get rid of the living room furniture, the mattress, and all that fussy drapery for a pure, Apple Store look. Imagine that bedroom with a simple platform bed in pale oak — and skip the mattress.

You need to leave your shoes outside the store bedroom... why didn't Steve Jobs think of that?*

Bedroom blends in almost seamlessly with the kitchen... yum!

Glass and metal office furniture for that welcoming, Apple Store feel.
(all photos courtesy of The Charles Realty, via

If that bedroom isn't enough to grab you, consider this: there's a 142-square-foot "private wine cellar" in this 650 SF condo. That's right — nearly 20 percent of this unit is dedicated to drowning your sorrows. Talk about heaven.

* I found this listing on, the very best online real-estate search tool, in my opinion.


  1. Such a strange attempt at ultramodernism: it's as if they thought they wanted cool austerity but found it uncomfortable to live in, then tried draperies to soften the edges, and then finally gave up and decided to sell the place.

    I suspect that spaces that aim for pristine modernism are just the logical (over-)extension of the bourgeois obsession with cleanliness. To inhabit such spaces as they're intended, one has to be obsessive about putting away every sign of, well, actually inhabiting it - -and the owners clearly gave up. (Or possibly never understood what they were getting into in the first place.)

  2. Interesting ideas... I never got anywhere near that far with a theory about this place, or modernist pads in general. Tasty food for thought — thank you!

  3. I'm not sure I understand the stairs to a window in the top picture.

  4. Why do people want sterility? Life is messy. Sterile is.... morgue-like. Clean is nice, but my eyes want to see signs of intelligent life and style that reflects some personality, not a blank canvas. Those shoes just make me laugh.


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