An Artist’s 500-Square-Foot St. Louis Apartment Is Filled With Black and White DIY Murals

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Bedroom with neutral color scheme, painted brick, and hand painted mural

Name: Erin Williams
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 500 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I deeply identify as an artist and a creative, but this is the first place where I’ve really allowed that to come alive. I moved from D.C. to St. Louis in order to attend grad school. Since I know I will be here for at least two years, and I had the summer to really settle in, I decided to go full-on with the decor and the wall art. I gave away all my furniture in order to economize the move, so I had a clean slate to start with. But, in having to have gotten rid of everything (and generally purging my furniture after the dozen moves I’ve done before this one) I’ve evolved into becoming a minimalist, and only bringing in what I need, what I like, and what will work best in my space.

I moved into what I thought was my dream apartment a few years ago, but a bedbug infestation forced me to get rid of all of my furniture. When I moved from that place into the apartment before this one, I was gun-shy and only got the necessities of what I needed and suppressed all desires to decorate. Now, in a new state literally and figuratively, I allowed myself to really settle in and get out everything that I’d been holding inside.

What is your favorite room and why? My living room area! I have missed having a couch, and I recline on this one daily and often. I really, really want a Frame television but can’t afford one, so until this I have my television perched on an easel, which makes for easy pivoting from the living room area to the bedroom area.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: “An artist lives here.”

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The shoe bench at the front of the door. I was having a situation where all the shoes were kind of piling at the door when I came home, so the bench really helps with the landing strip aspect of the place.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Study, study, study! I’ve spent hours looking at spaces online and really got into how places were set and structured and what pieces worked best in smaller spaces. Think of your home as a refuge: Whenever I leave my home, I am so excited to come back because I know I have a self-curated, gorgeous, and calming space waiting for me.

Take some time to come up with a color palette or scheme; that will keep your eye sharp for apartment-specific decor to bring in. And be on the lookout for freebies and sales. I bought my couch on Prime Day, deeply discounted, and I found the canvas above my bed in a dumpster. I wiped it down, painted over it, and created the beautiful canvas above my bed as it is now.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.