Ryuhei Minami, an architect now practicing interior design — agree to help. His professional eyes saw layout solutions for the oddly configured space that mine didn’t. He also challenged some pre-conceived notions I had about paint treatments — the dark wall color and accent stripe makes the living feel really open. Also, I’d previously had roommates, so I needed a lot of furniture on a budget. We addressed that by mixing inexpensive IKEA pieces, secondhand finds and a few pieces I pulled off the street. I spent more than I expected but the total was under $2,000! A great deal for finishing a 2 bedroom apartment. Inspiration-wise, I'm really in love with rough-hewn textures (wood, horn, rope), maps/globes and vintage fabric. I just finished a patchwork installation in the bathroom inspired by old fashion cross stitch samplers. I also love contradictions: contemporary versus vintage, masculine versus feminine, the play of opposing textures and playful twists. The one-of-a-kind, gilded driftwood kitchen lighting fixture — glam but utilitarian, rustic but sleek — is pretty emblematic of my aesthetic. The unexpected part of working with Ryuhei was that it actually exaggerated my point of view. I got more surprising moments that way. For example, the vintage suitcase repurposed as a wine rack and a deer head wearing a kerchief and rosary are the fruits of collaboration. It’s still in process and I’ll continue to enjoy designing my space as my schedule and budget allow! Thanks Josh! • 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.