Alison & Jeff’s Happening Home

published Feb 26, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Alison & Jeff Allen
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Size: Rental House, 1,200 Square Feet
Years lived in: 1 year, 4 months

We’ve seen a great number of homes over the years. Some big, some small, some round and some without walls. This home nestled in the northern nook of the Midwest is one that instantly feels like home and oozes family and comfort while still feeling fresh in their retro, Mid-Century stylings. It’s a large feat to bring this much personality to a rental space and we have to say it’s been accomplished with hip, happening ways.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Alison and Jeff have taken great pride in tracking down housewares, furniture and art that are representative of their style while taking the time to save for larger purchases that will stand the test of time. In their rental they’ve done a great deal of painting to bring the space alive and make things feel like a true home instead of a set of walls that they pay by the month for. It’s made the largest impact in their space and brings everything together from door to door.

As you tour their home you’ll see Mid-Century influences from furniture to accessories. They’re mixed with pops of modern elements, artwork from friends and a record collection anyone would be lucky to own. We love the mixed chairs at the eat-in kitchen bar and the wall mounted desk — both are great uses of space!

Alison can also be found over at Deucecities, keeping track of all things kids, crafts and home. It’s a great place to hand out and today they’re celebrating their 1 year blog-anniversary, so make sure to stop in and say hello!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Vintage, affordable, mid-century modern with a twist. I try to make the most out of what we’ve got.

Inspiration: I’d have to say my main source of inspiration is the internet. More specifically, blogs like Apartment Therapy and photo sharing websites like flickr provide a ton of great real world examples that can be used as a springboard for new ideas.

Favorite Element: The floor to ceiling bookshelves that flank our living/dining room space are a great place for displaying books, artwork, photographs, collections and records. It helps to make the space feel complete and organized.

Biggest Challenge: Renting! We’ve found that it becomes very hard to make a rental space seem like your own, especially when you’re only living there for the short term. We didn’t want to invest in special furniture that was specific to this space, so we used a lot of pieces that we already had mixed in with new multi-functional pieces that could be used in many ways in a future home of our own.

What Friends Say: My friends say they really want you to check out my blog!

Biggest Embarrassment: Shameless blog promotion.

Proudest DIY: We haven’t had the opportunity to experience a lot of DIY’s yet, but are hoping to in our future home. I recently recovered our dining room chairs and I’m pretty proud of how they turned out.

Biggest Indulgence: The first big furniture piece we ever purchased was our grey Room and Board sofa. We’ve had it for about 6 years now and still love it. It’s important to spend money on the big pieces, and to make sure you’re investing in classic style and colors.

Best advice: Just do you.

Dream source: Etsy vintage shops, Craigslist “mid-century” search, and Ebay if it was one big store where everything was less than 50 dollars.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Furniture: Locally, we have a Room and Board outlet store that can provide high-quality furniture at a lower price than you’d pay at retail. All you need to do is just get in line on any given Saturday morning and you have a good chance of coming home with a great find at a good price. Lately though, I’ve been getting a lot of my furniture from Craigslist — it’s my new favorite place to shop. This is how it breaks down:

• Yellow Eames Shell Chair: Found as a set of two on Craigslist
• Grey Sofa: Room and Board Mercer sofa in Thickett
• Cream Armchair: Room and Board Mercer arm chair (from the outlet store)
• Coffee Table: Ikea

• Drexel Projection Table & 6 Chairs: Greatest Craigslist find ever.
• Danish Buffet/Dresser: Craigslist
• Hanging Lamp: CB2

• Calendar: Museum of Modern Art, New York
• Buffet: Ikea
• Minnesota Plates: Great-Grandma Collection, Yard Sales & Ebay

• Crib: Oeuf “Sparrow” Crib
• Changing Table: Oeuf
• Cream Armchair: Room and Board Mercer armchair
• Orange, Blue, White and Yellow Afghan: Homemade with Love by Me
• Bookshelf: Norrebo Series Ikea
• Ikea easel
• Hanging Lamp: Knappa Ikea
• Curtains: Hedda from Ikea

• Bedframe: Malm Ikea
• Quilt: Homemade quilt from my Grandma
• Sheets: Pottery Barn
• Afghan: Greatest Ebay find to date
• Yellow Eames Shell Chair: Found as a set of two on Craigslist
• Dresser: From when I was a kid.
• Bruce Springsteen Pillow: Made by me.

• Chairs: Poang from Ikea
• Lamp: From when I was a kid. I’ve been toting it around for years
• Vintage Beer Cans: From a Northern Minnesota thrift store
• Old Style sign and Ducks Picture were given as house warming gifts

• Living Room: Behr – Hallowed Hush, Behr – Stone Fence
• Kitchen: Crayola Chalk Board Paint
• Finn’s Room: Behr, Colbalt Glaze
• Bedroom: Behr, Twilight Gray
• Craft Zone: Behr, Gem Turquoise

Artwork: I am lucky to have made a lot of friends over the years who happen to be artists. Most of the paintings and illustrations you see are by Matt Scharenbroich. Our house is also sprinkled throughout with rock show posters from shows that my husband Jeff played when he was in a “legendary” (my words not his) touring band called The Plastic Constellations.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

(Thanks, Alison and Jeff!)

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