Theresa dela Vega
Roscoe Village — Chicago, Illinois
525 square feet
Years lived in:
1½ — rented
We first got a glimpse of Theresa's little apartment when she submitted photos to the 2010 Small Cool contest
. That was back in April and Theresa has made a number of changes since then. These changes have helped Theresa take her designs up a notch and also make more use of her limited space.
Theresa's apartment is a little one bedroom unit on the second floor of a storefront building. One of the first little quirky features I loved about it was the step up into the apartment at the front door. Inside, Theresa is working with a limited 550 square feet — of which she has made tremendous use. The main room is nicely divided to include a living space and also a dining area. (You may have seen the post about Theresa's sweater upholstered dining chairs over at Re-Nest
The reupholstered dining chairs are just one of the many thrifty tricks Theresa used to decorate her apartment. An old sofa is refreshed with a patterned fabric and wallpaper scraps transformed a bland coat rack and light switch plate. Theresa's apartment is a great lesson that cute, livable design can be achieved on a very limited budget.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Old school vs. New School with a touch of Hello Kitty.
Apartmenttherapy.com hands down! I'm really glad a former colleague (thanks Leah!) introduced me to the site. I would also say my mom — every time I go over to her house the basement has been rearranged, like mother like daughter.
As far as the apartment itself, I really enjoy the natural lighting. As far as favorite furnishings, I found a glass top table at a garage sale that stores my board games as well as displays my fun photo booth pictures.
Bike storage, I used to prop my bike upside down on a bookcase and I've thought about hooks on the ceiling but I rent and I'm short so that wouldn't work. Now I just embrace the display of a bike in my bedroom.
What Friends Say:
"What's different about your place?"
My bathroom — the cracked tile floor, the mismatched knobs under the sink, the toilet paper holder fixture that I have to hide with a shelving unit.
I refinished a dresser that I had as a kid. I sanded, spray-painted and put new knobs on the dresser. This was my first sanding/paint job and was so pleased that I was excited to start on more projects. I recently rearranged my room though so the dresser is no longer on display but is now in my closet.
I own 2 pieces of original art purchased from the tenant that lived in the same unit prior to me.
Think outside of the box, use what you already have and be resourceful, repurposing things puts a fresh spin on things.
A warehouse of vintage gems from all my favorite thrift stores.
Resources of Note:
- Kurt Halsey
- DIY- recycled images from calendars
Images: Jason Loper
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- garage sales
- estate sales
- thrift stores