Jamaica Plain loft is a hand-crafted make-over success

By Christina Wallace, Metro Boston Senior Reporter | May 13, 2005

Photos of Scot Yount's loft
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Photos of Scot Yount's loft

Scot Yount likes to do it the hard way.

The New England Cable News reporter learned the television business while working at a tiny Alaskan station. He fixed motorcycles to pay his way through college. Several years ago, he taught himself how to play the guitar and now writes his own musical scores for his news documentaries.

Yount took the same "nothing is impossible" approach with the Jamaica Plain loft he purchased with his girlfriend of five years, Sarah Magazine, a media relations executive.

"Today, people know how to do two things: whatever they do at work and watch sports," said Yount. "In 1900, a guy had to learn how to build a barn, deliver a baby and fix a tractor. ...I just think if they can do it I can do it."

Life in a factory

In 2003, Yount walked into the 19th-century loft building, which used to be a factory for horse drawn carriages, and was immediately drawn to the 15 large-pane windows, exposed brick walls and vintage feel. Magazine wasn't convinced he could transform the 1700 sq. feet of bare space into a livable home.

"She said it was awful, it was going to cost too much and there was too much to do," said Yount, an Alaskan native.

A year and half later, he has used his own two hands to create an abode that nurtures his musical passion and Magazine's zest for cooking.

"If you have a budget, you can get so much more for your money if you do it yourself," said Yount.

Before tackling the project, Yount derived inspiration from pictures he discovered online of a guitar store. The main room, which features exposed pipes, wooden beams and 200 year-old pine floors, is decorated with Yount's vintage guitars, a Yamaha drum set and black and white photos of jazz greats such as Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. He also has a sprawling desk with a large sound board, stacked speakers placed throughout the apartment and a CD player in the bathroom.

"It's enormously satisfying to know that with your own hands, a little ingenuity and the right tools you can build something that's long lasting and other people can enjoy," said Yount.

Six weeks, no kitchen.

With the help of a friend, Yount ripped out the old, white Formica kitchen and updated it with cherry cabinets, black granite counter tops and an industrial stove for Magazine's love of baking.

He did the work during his free time on the weekends and during the day before heading to his night shift at the station.

"Six weeks without a kitchen was hard but we spent $14,000. If we had it done professionally it would have cost $35,000. I might make mistakes but I'll fix them."

To separate the bedroom from the rest of the apartment, he erected a wall with transom windows and French doors.

Yount still considers the loft a work in progress. After recently experimenting with plumbing in the kitchen, he is planning to install a Jacuzzi tub and new shower. He also wants to refinish the wood floors and encase the gas fireplace.

"People underestimate what they can accomplish if they try," said Yount.

Christina Wallace, Metro Boston Senior Reporter [an error occurred while processing this directive]

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