#49 - Katarina and Stephen's Whimsy & Sophistication

#49 - Katarina and Stephen's Whimsy & Sophistication

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Maxwell Ryan
Mar 28, 2006

Name: Katarina and Stephen
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Size: 550 s/f Studio apartment

Favorite resource:

Grandma and Grandpa's musty, old basement – you never know what treasures might be lurking down below!

What inspired you?

If living spaces can be described as having an ethos, ours is offhanded imperfection, whimsy, and sophistication pulled together on a shoestring, student budget. With one of us still enrolled as an undergraduate, the inspiration for this apartment stems from our desire to minimize expenses without compromising our love of color, comfort, and beauty.

...Our tiny Victorian studio apartment encompasses a unique blend of the exotic with the quirky, resulting from extensive combing of flea markets, art shows, bazaars, relatives' basements, and, quite literally, the curb on trash day. We chose an unusual, bold color for the walls, and accented it with rich contrasting crimsons, sumptuous fabrics, and elegant tropical plants. The massive, grand fireplace which retains its original hand-painted tiles from the late 19th century produces a distinctive focal point in the room, grounding the
eclecticism of the surrounding colors and furniture.

To create depth in our postage-stamp-sized kitchen, we accentuated the verticality of the room with sweeping blue and white painted stripes, simple cabinetry, and a graceful chandelier.

Design Tip:

Sometimes the most striking features of a room result from the seemingly most mundane resources manipulated with a creative twist – for example, the hanging window frames in our apartment were salvaged from the dumpster in front of an old Victorian mansion undergoing renovation. Instead of trash, we appreciated the frames for their unique simplicity and distressed imperfections, and chose to prominently display them in our home.

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