This Chestnut Hill home designed by Sashya Thind brings the outside in.

Photo by Jared Kuzia

Boston isn’t a city known for its indoor-outdoor living. But when interior designer Sashya Thind offered a twist on the concept for a Chestnut Hill home with a large outdoor space, the owners were excited to push the envelope. “As a designer, you come in with big ideas and sometimes they get dwindled down based on how safe the client wants to be,” Thind says. “In this case, they really wanted to lean into the creativity.” Here’s how she delivered a year-round lush escape.

The Concept

From the start, both the client and Thind were drawn to the philosophy of biophilic design. The main living space features an accordion wall of windows that opens into a yard, which complements Thind’s contemporary concept of bringing the outdoors in. Deriving inspiration from nature, Japanese influences and modernist architects, Thind incorporated organic forms, indoor environments that reflect natural creations and, of course, a lot of plant life. “We landed on a balance of forms that would feel really good from a functional standpoint,” Thind says.

Photo by Jared Kuzia

The Priority

With a focus on creating a space full of light and vitality that seamlessly flows from room to room, Thind found creative ways to breathe life into unexpected areas of the home—such as the living wall behind the stairs. “There was no real natural light in the staircase, we built a living wall and installed a skylight-like fixture to give the feeling that it’s illuminated naturally,” Thind says.

Photo by Jared Kuzia

The Details

“My favorite detail is the indoor ficus tree. Winter is challenging, and not seeing any greenery outside the window for months on end can make you feel not your best,” Thind says. “When you sit under the tree and bask in the winter sunlight, you feel like you’re sitting in a park. The clients have two young daughters who I imagined sitting and reading under the canopy.”

The Challenge

Keeping plants alive, especially throughout a Boston winter, is a feat. With all the vegetation in this project, Thind and the client worked with a horticulturist to ensure the installations would continue to thrive and be easily replaced if they didn’t. “For the ficus, we designed a planter that addressed how to fit a copper pan inside, how much water it needed and how to replace the tree if it did die,” Thind says.

Photo by Jared Kuzia

The Art

Along with the foliage throughout the home, the furniture, paintings and sculptures also lend themselves to biophilic forms. This is particularly true of the large green and black wall pieces by Boston textile artist Beth Pellegrino. “She typically does square and rectangular frames, but for this particular project, we collaborated to include a circular shape to emphasize the organic forms that we were creating with the furniture,” explains Thind.

Photo by Jared Kuzia

The Outcome

The mix of furniture and art by local makers, along with thoughtful plant installations give the home a calm, enlightening and artistic aura. Every piece and finish was considered with the bigger picture in mind, says Thind: “To create a home that is light and bright, that uplifts and ultimately correlates to nature.”

Explore more of Sashya Thind’s work at