Small Space, Big Style. Anthropologie (everything they do, but particularly the sets they build for catalog shoots and the wacky fantasy stuff they do for in-store installations, like the giant chicken-wire bird with feathers made from old book pages), U.K. décor pubs, such as Living Etc., and Elle Décor U.K., Apartment Therapy House Tours (particularly the offhand vignettes people create in their spaces), WPA-era art, OCD Craigslist searches, a pile of stuff no one’s yet picked over at Ruff & Ready in D.C. Favorite Element: The light. No, the art. Or the black floor. Wait … the dog. Definitely the dog. Okay: the artful way the dog’s nails are adding “character” to the painstakingly varnished black floor—when the light hits it just right. Biggest Challenge: Arranging the living room furniture. It’s a tough room— the fireplace is off-center and there’s a wall that juts out in the exact spot you’d want to put the couch or a chair. Every couple of months I attempt a new arrangement then end up moving everything back to where it was in the first place. What Friends Say: “What the …?” Or, “Let’s hang out at your place. But put away that baby doll head.” Biggest Embarrassment: Renovation-wise: Kitchen sink placement. There’s no counter space between the sink and the stove. Oops. My bad. (Simple solution: Putting the wood cutting board across the sink.) Décor-design-wise: The abandoned projects, i.e., the half-finished tack design on the dining table, the wooden beads strung on just one of the kitchen chandeliers (a much bigger PITA than anticipated), the remnants of a failed glue-gun reupholstering attempt along the arm of one of the green wing back chairs. Proudest DIY: The renovation was hardly DIY (although I did chip away the plaster to expose the brick wall on my own!). But I’m proud of what I came up with on graph paper—reconfiguring the entire layout, opening walls, moving doorways, turning a hallway into a closet, ripping out dry-walled-in ducts, working around the HVAC and pipes plopped in the center of the place. All with only one rookie mistake. (See “Biggest Embarrassment” above.) My contractor then took my amateur blueprint and brought it to life. Biggest Indulgence: My couch from Red Barn Mercantile. First, a bit of background: I have a long and storied history of purchasing style-rich/comfort-poor couches. The museum of misfit sofas is documented on TV (the scratchy houndstooth sleeper featured on Small Space, Big Style), online, (the short-lived Knoll impulse purchase from Eastern Market) and in my basement storage (the back-breaker Moroccan day bed I’m saving for the screened-in porch of the home I‘m never going to be able to afford). And that’s only the last three. There have been more, may they RIP. I thought I’d never find The One… and then one day I walked into Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town and sat on a Cisco Brothers sofa. Game over. I was finally ready to shell out grown-up money for a grown-up piece of furniture. Given the commitment, I wanted everything to be perfect, so I tweaked the design of the Catalina love seat—nixing the rolled arms, going with a bench cushion instead of separate seat cushions, adjusting leg height and style. Because it’s manufactured in the U.S. with eco-kosher wood, soy-based earth-friendly stuffing and upholstered in hemp, I’m pretty sure that I’ve canceled out my carbon footprint for at least a couple of months. Best advice: “So what if there’s a wall there now. Make it a doorway.“ That’s what a friend said to me when I was struggling to come up with the best layout for the place. Basically, the advice is this: Go nuts (on paper) as if you have no design constraints. Free your mind to consider any and every possibility. (And not just when you’re tackling big projects, either: Why not use shelf liner as a fluted glass substitute on the bookcase doors? Broken bass amp? Could be a great coffee table base.) When you come back down to earth you’ll likely have a few new ideas to explore—ones you wouldn’t have considered if you hadn’t let yourself imagine a wall as a doorway. Of course, before you wave your magic sledgehammer for real, remember to consider things like budget, gravity, re-sale, and whether or not that’s a load-bearing wall. Dream source: Kelley Wearstler’s cast-offs, Evolution in SoHo, Paris flea markets. And a shopping excursion with Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie buyers, and anything designed by/touched/glanced at by Tom Ford. Craigslist (handmade by a guy’s grandfather) Bookcase: the long-gone secondhand store, Cielo Mirrors (top to bottom): church sale, Look Again Resale Shop in Old Town, GoodWood in D.C. Ceiling fixture: Chinoiserie in Old Town Peacock wall sculpture: Assembled from four separate peacocks from eBay; spray-painted and held together with white zip ties. Black pleather woven rug: Overstock.com Curtains: Tablecloths from Bed, Bath & Beyond KITCHEN Shelves: Ikea; microwave shelf from a restaurant supply store while shopping for theater props Coral chandeliers: Lowe’s, originally silver and then painted “safety orange” (unintentionally) and toned down with a light coat of red craft paint Metal backsplash/wall tiles: Miles Kimball Drop-leaf table: Ikea (dressed up with nailhead trim to be completed after I get more tacks) Chairs: vintage Stakmore folding chairs (set of four plus card table in my basement) from Look Again Resale (snagged 15 minutes after they were dropped off) LIVING ROOM Sofa: Red Barn Mercantile White stool: the “Spool Stool” from House Eclectic Wing chairs: $50 for the pair on Craigslist Tulip table: Eastern Market Metal lamp: Mt. Vernon Antique Center Bench/ottomans: Crate & Barrel Outlet in Alexandria, Va. Coffee table: Base from Look Again; glass from Pier One Imports Console/entertainment/buffett: Church sale (painted it white) Lucite fireplace tools: eBay Metal pedestal table: Marshall’s Fireplace mantel: Brass Knob Warehouse Rugs: Cowhide from Ikea, black ground from Urban Outfitters Picture frames: Large pieces framed at the Principle Gallery. Most of the black frames are from Ikea fitted with custom mats from the Principle Gallery. Pillows: Black/white birds from Ikea; Skull pillows,covers from Crate & Barrel Outlet and stud skull iron-ons from Michaels BEDROOM Bed frame: Eastern Market (via a friend who purchased it originally) Storage bench: House Eclectic Hanging lamp: Shade from Urban Outfitters, lined with parchment paper BATHROOM Hands: Flea markets, thrift stores. OTHER Hardware: Entryway closet globe doorknobs from Anthropologie; small glass globe knobs on desk and French doors from Restoration Hardware; kitchen cabinet knobs from Ikea Lindsey Roberts • HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE Check out past house tours here • Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form. • Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.