Who lives here: Michael Matthews
Size: 433 square feet (40 square meters); one loft bedroom, one bathroom
Year built: 1870
The main living space is decorated with an eclectic mix of art, including a large landscape painting on the fireplace mantel that Matthews’ mother found. The statement piece is surrounded by other pop culture-inspired artwork, including the two framed Beatles records, which Matthews found in a shop in Brussels.
“You have to prioritize your pieces,” he adds. “My dining room table only has seating on one side; my couch also serves as a partition to create a micro-environment; and I have a makeshift foyer that creates another micro-space, which also gives the bathroom a distant feel.”
Due to the dearth of storage space in the unit, evidence of Matthews’ hobbies — surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, rowing and golfing — is out in the open. Matthews, who rowed in high school, found the 1920s oars that sit between the windows at an old boathouse in New Jersey.
Couch, rug, coffee table: West Elm
“Crucial is the absence of a TV,” he adds, “which facilitates more reading, calling friends and keeping in touch with people and personal cultivation.”
Bar cart: West Elm
“Leisure-wise I try to go to yoga daily, surf whenever waves show up and socialize at least once a week,” he says. When he is home, he uses this area as a place to study or do work.
Beacon Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the United States and has strict historical-committee mandates, so the architecture of his apartment and the adjacent buildings is relatively unchanged since the 1870s.
“The neighborhood is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” he says of his newly beloved Beacon Hill. “I’m a prototypical Southern California surfer kid who decided he wanted to see what the seasons are all about — I essentially had to reinvent myself in Boston.”