Esteban Cortez's Recent Articles
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Planning a New Kitchen? How to Add Charm & Character to a New Build
When Huberdine and her husband Bertie bought their Dutch home 11 years ago, it had just been built. While it’s lovely to have a brand new home — the downside to new construction is that it doesn’t have years and years of historical character and charm! Always a fan of romantic and rustic design elements, Huberdine immediately started to fill her home with vintage finds and natural elements to offset the home’s modern finishes.
Sep 28, 2017
This DIY Headboard Is a ’70s Style, Modern (Affordable) Mashup
Did you catch a peek at Jes and Caleb’s vintage-inspired home that featured this dreamy DIY headboard and wood wall combo in the guest room? The couple says they’ve always been inspired by the ’70s, so they opted for adding wood paneling to create an over-sized headboard. It pays homage to the mid-century decor element, yet looks modern at the same time.
Sep 27, 2017
Inspiration File: Rustic Kitchen Islands
There’s a common design misconception that only one decor style can be injected into a room at a time. At Apartment Therapy we’re all about breaking the rules, and these rustic kitchen islands make rule-breaking look so good. These rustic kitchen islands can feel at home in a traditional, country-style space and can just as easily make their way into a sleek kitchen with modern finishes.
Sep 26, 2017
The Best Purple Wall Paint Color Comes from a Surprising Source
When John and Melissa bought their Pennsylvania home, they wanted to create a space that would grow and evolve with them and their family. That’s why choosing the right wall paint color was even more crucial: They wanted something bold, timeless, and flexible. In addition, their paint choice had to be versatile enough to accommodate future additions to their home — perhaps a new sofa or different wall art. The winning hue is purple, and the source for this shade is surprising!
Sep 22, 2017
Real-life Clothes Storage Solutions When You Share Closet Space
When you live with your partner, sharing a closet is one of those challenges that inevitably presents itself in every home — big or small. These couples below tackled the small closet challenge with functionality and aesthetic in mind, and their ideas are easy (and affordable) enough to try in your own home…whether you rent or own. See if some of their solutions will work for you.
Sep 21, 2017
Clever Collection Ideas to Steal from a Vintage Lover’s Home
Ana and German make use of almost every wall, nook, and cranny in their dreamy Buenos Aires country home. In their case, it’s almost necessary, as friends constantly bring them flea market finds as gifts, and Ana is always searching high and low for vintage treasures. The couple’s home perfectly illustrates that displaying collectibles doesn’t mean the space has to appear jumbled or messy; their home is charming and harmonious.
Sep 20, 2017
An Inherited Childhood Home Gets a Modern Makeover
Name: Timothy Kolstad Location: San Jose, California Size: 1,888 square feet Years lived in: 27 years (on and off); Owned for 2 years Timothy never expected he’d end up back in San Jose living in his childhood home. He inherited the house two years ago, and since then, he’s worked hard to remodel the space and make it his own, which he says hasn’t been an easy task on a limited budget.
Sep 19, 2017
Actually Attractive Ways to Style that Awkward Space Above Kitchen Cabinets
That awkward space between upper kitchen cabinets and the ceiling can pose a design challenge. While letting it just be is an option many choose, others instead embrace the extra opportunity to showcase their style. And of course, for super small kitchens, using that space above the cabinets as storage is a necessity. Here are some inspiring examples of times this narrow, odd space was styled to perfection.
Sep 19, 2017
A Chicago Garden Unit Is Bright and Full of Vintage Finds
"Have you ever looked at an apartment in the pitch black without heat? It's not great."
Sep 7, 2017
A Guide to Indoor Gardening: Our Review of Living With Plants
Living With Plants is one of those books I wish I had read before I went out and bought a ton of plants years ago. The result of my over-excitement at the time lead some of them to an unfortunate end. This is one of those books I’ll likely reference for years to come, not only because of its useful information on caring for my plants, but also for its beautiful photography, effective styling tips, and the handful of DIY tutorials accompanied with easy-to-follow instructions.
Sep 4, 2017
A Kitschy, Comfy Chicago Apartment Inspired by Grandma’s House
Name: Timothy Scheel Location: Humboldt Park — Chicago, Illinois Size: 750 square feet Years lived in: 3 years, renting If you told Tim his apartment reminds you of your grandma’s apartment, he’d likely take it as a compliment. Over the years, he’s inherited a ton of pieces from his family and bought from many estate sales, so the space exudes a comfortable, lived-in feeling.
Sep 2, 2017
Two Artists Share a “West by Southwest” Oakland Apartment
James and Lauren are two artists living in Oakland, and their apartment is perfect for work and play.
Sep 1, 2017
A Kitschy, Pink-alicious Apartment that Says No! to Minimalism
Alex and Sean refuse to leave any walls bare in their Oakland apartment and share a love for mid-century furniture, classic TV, and cheesy movies.
Aug 15, 2017
Mid Century Meets Scandi Rustic Chic in Chicago’s Bronzeville
Name: Kenyatta Forbes Location: Bronzeville — Chicago, Illinois Size: 1,450 square feet Years lived in: 5 years, owned Kenyatta is inspired by patterns in nature, textures, and bold and bright colors, all of which can be found in her Chicago apartment. “I think the thing I love most about my home is the elements of history, memories, and design,” Kenyatta says. “I love how they all come together and couldn’t exist without each other.
Aug 15, 2017
Before and After: A “Luxe Bohemian” Bedroom Gets a Refresh
Bridget’s “luxe bohemian” Oakland apartment is full of unique furniture, eccentric art, and beautiful textiles. But even all of those wonderful elements combined can make a space feel cluttered and disorderly, as Bridget says was the case in her bedroom. “It was starting to feel clunky and granny-ish. There were big, heavy furniture pieces and too many color schemes.” To fix that, Bridget got the idea to rearrange large furniture pieces and mix it up with new art.
Aug 2, 2017
A Vintage Lover’s Designed-on-a-Dime Oakland Apartment
Name: Natasha Harden Location: Bella Vista — Oakland, California Size: 725 square feet Years lived in: 4 years, renting Natasha—a Virgo—credits her Zodiac sign for her heightened sense of detail. “I can spend hours thrifting, and trust me, I always find something cute,” she proudly says. “I usually just walk around in a thrift store and I let patterns and textures speak to me.
Jul 31, 2017
A “Modern Bohemia Meets West Coast” Apartment in Oakland
Name: Jimmy Brower, Damien Merino, and their dog Joey Location: Gaskill — Oakland, California Size: 700 square feet Years lived in: 2 years, renting Jimmy and Damien instantly fell in love with their Oakland apartment. The bond was so strong that they signed the lease before they even looked inside. Risky — yes — but they don’t regret a thing about the decision, as they find themselves drawn to the natural energy of the space more and more each day.
Jul 25, 2017
Three Roommates Share a Small Attic Apartment
Name: 3 roommates (plus their cats Boogie and Sammie) Location: California Size: ~600 square feet Years lived in: 5 years These three roommates live in a two-bedroom attic apartment in a historic mansion that was converted to apartments. The space has its perks, such as the walls painted yellow and its convenience to downtown Oakland and public transit. But the awkward attic space also has its drawbacks: small windows resulting in low light, weird ceilings angles, and a tiny kitchen.
Jul 25, 2017
A Woodsy MCM California “Tear Down” Gets a Second Chance
Name: Susan and David Location: East Bay, California Size: 2,250 square feet Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned Susan and David’s East Bay home comes with intact natural features, Douglas fir beams and cabinets, and a functional floor plan. Why anybody would list this mid-century home as a “tear down” on the market is a mystery. Luckily, Susan and David stumbled upon the listing when a sale fell through.
Jul 19, 2017
An Artist’s Studio Inspired by DIY, Desert Landscapes & Latin Soul
Name: Eduardo Valadez Arenas Location: Fruitvale — Oakland, California Size: 400 square feet (plus adjacent work studio) Years lived in: 4 years, renting After coming to the U.S. from Mexico city, Eduardo settled in Thousand Palms, California, a small desert town just east of Palm Springs. This upbringing in small desert towns throughout California continues to influence his personal style, art aesthetic and home design.
Jun 27, 2017
A “Rainbow Bohemian” Tiny Cottage in the Berkeley Hills
Name: Rachelle Padgett Location: Berkeley, California Size: 525 square feet Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting In Rachelle’s living room, a rich and colorful rug is layered on top of another, creating a kaleidoscope of colors on the floor. Bright turquoise sheets in her bedroom complement the framed photo of a bright French Quarter house she took on a recent trip to a jazz festival.
Jun 26, 2017
A Plant-Packed 500-Square-Foot San Francisco Home
Name: Jessica Henry Location: Duboce Triangle — San Francisco, California Size: 500 square feet Years lived in: 4 years, renting Jessica likes to collect things that remind her of a specific time and place, like the leather butterfly chair she got in Argentina, or the bedroom mirror she found at a San Diego thrift store. All of those mementos combined with eclectic accents — and lots and lots of greenery — are what makes her place special.
Jun 26, 2017
A 420-Square-Foot Studio Is Small, But Comes With a View
Name: Kirstie Maryott Location: Lower Pacific heights — San Francisco, California Size: 420 square feet Years lived in: Rented 2 years Kirstie has bounced around from state to state the past few years of her life, including stops in Colorado, Virginia and Georgia. A California native, she has called the Bay Area home for the last two years, where she lives in a charming studio on the top floor of a building in the Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood.
Jun 5, 2017
The Best Budget IKEA Buys When You Have Little or No Closet Space
Did you catch this tour in which Shelbie and her roommates not only make a four-bedroom apartment look refreshing and cohesive, but also add a bunch of clever (and affordable!) storage solutions to their no-closet bedrooms? They all agree that lack of storage is one of the biggest challenges in their San Francisco apartment, but they make it look effortless and orderly using easily accessible products.
May 25, 2017
Not in Love With Your Backsplash? We Tested Adhesive, Removable Smart Tiles
Smart Tiles promises easy installation, easy cleaning and resistance to heat and humidity. As a renter, I wanted to give them a try.
May 8, 2017
A Kitschy “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse-Inspired” Maximalist Apartment
Name: Johnny Matcham Location: Tower District — Fresno, California Size: 650 square feet Years lived in: 3 years, renting Johnny grew up surrounded by vintage. His father collected vintage radios, cameras and old advertising signs. His mom had a large collection of cookie jars and vintage kitchen decor. His grandparents had a house full of kitsch treasures: tiki mugs, risqué lady figurines, and novelty bar ware. Growing up, Johnny’s bedroom was filled with vintage art and toys.
Apr 30, 2017
5 Roommates, 0 Closets and Lots of Clever Storage Solutions in San Francisco
Name: Shelbie Engelgau, Blake Cox, MJ Tantingco, Myles Huff (and fifth roommate Brian, who isn’t featured in the tour) Location: Oceanview — San Francisco, California Size: 1,000 square feet Years lived in: 4 months, rented Shelbie’s move into this San Francisco apartment required no driving: She and her roommates only had to schlep their furniture up a small flight of stairs from the unit below into this newly remodeled four-bedroom upstairs unit.
Apr 29, 2017
A Timeless, Eclectic Oakland Apartment Full of Family Heirlooms
Name: Elle Ruhstaller and Alex Ristevski Location: Piedmont Avenue — Oakland, California Size: 1,200 square feet Years lived in: 3 years, renting Elle can’t really pinpoint a specific style for the Oakland apartment she shares with her partner Alex. “It’s a mash-up of what I like most from many different eras,” she said of her apartment’s decor.
Apr 29, 2017
Friends Squeeze into a 450-Square-Foot San Francisco Rental
Name: Cai Haun and Britt Maton Location: Oceanview — San Francisco, California Size: 450 square feet Years lived in: 5 months, renting Having a complete and comfortable home is really important to Cai. She’s moved at least once a year, every year, since she was 13, so adapting quickly has never been an issue. But because of the frequent moves, she noticed she wasn’t putting much effort into her homes as she’d like to (since she would inevitably move out within a year).
Apr 26, 2017
A Chef and DIYer Spice Up Their Home with Color & Culture
Name: Estefania and Chris Palomarez Location: Cleveland Heights — Oakland, California Size: 550 square feet Years lived in: 8 months, rented Estefania says she had a plain looking apartment a few months before their house tour. But she and her partner Chris pushed themselves to work their way down each room, painting the walls and building pieces that suit their style (and are functional).
Apr 23, 2017
The Revival of a Former Bachelor Pad in Oakland
Name: Meg Woodcheke and Conor Acomb Location: Oakland, California Size: 1,000 square feet Years lived in: Rented 8 years by Conor (Meg moved in 2 years ago) Meg doesn’t find much fun in buying furniture sets for her apartment, which she shares with her boyfriend Conor. “I think the real joy is in finding pieces from here and there and making them work together,” she says.
Apr 21, 2017
How to Make the Super Tricky “Shotgun” Layout Work
I recently stayed in a traditional shotgun apartment in New Orleans with my partner and one of my best friends. If you aren’t familiar with the shotgun home layout, it’s typically long and narrow, and made up of rooms that are directly connected to each other, directing you through each room to get to the next. The layouts were very popular in the South (especially New Orleans), but are also common in New York and Chicago.
Apr 9, 2017
A Swoon-Worthy San Francisco Home with Killer Views
Name: Leo and Daniel Location: Dolores Heights — San Francisco, California Size: 1,250 square feet Years lived in: Rented 2.5 years Leo and Daniel consider themselves fortunate to live in a stunning, spacious San Francisco apartment overlooking the city’s skyline. Daniel’s parents own the building, so he and his sister (who lives in the unit above the couple) got first dibs.
Mar 30, 2017
Two Architects Share a Jungle-Inspired Home in Wine Country
Name: Austin Carrier, Alex Mutter-Rottmayer, and their dog Ziggy Location: Sonoma, California Size: 800 square feet Years lived in: 2 years, owned Austin and Alex say their apartment is like the scene in Alice in Wonderland in which the Mad Hatter is calling for people to change seats. It’s very likely that the couple’s wine country apartment is already styled completely different than how it looked during this house tour.
Mar 27, 2017
Real Life Closet Makeover: Esteban & Todd’s New Closet is Now the Stuff Of (Organized) Dreams
Closet size: 24 square feet How many people use this closet? Two. My partner Todd and I share the closet. How long have you lived in your home? Five years Your closet in 5 words or less: Small, narrow, chaotic, cluttered, disorderly. My partner Todd and I challenged ourselves to clean out our closet from head to toe, then reorganize it in a way that made more sense. We did a massive purge session, shopped for smart storage solutions, and are now ready to share our new space.
Mar 14, 2017
A Real Life Chaotic Closet Gets a Makeover: Esteban & Todd’s Clutter Challenge
Closet size: 24 square feet How many people use this closet? Two. My partner Todd and I share the closet. How long have you lived in your home? Five years Your closet in 5 words or less: Small, narrow, chaotic, cluttered, disorderly. We moved into our Oakland apartment five years ago, and our bedroom closet has been a mess ever since. It’s not the amount of space that’s the problem, but how we use it.
Mar 13, 2017
Making it Work: 8 Solutions for Even the Smallest Studios
Aside from getting a glimpse at how other readers make a home, one of the best things about Apartment Therapy House Tours is exploring the myriad small space living solutions. Renting a small space—particularly a studio—often presents obstacles: perhaps there is an unsightly feature that can’t be removed or a seemingly inevitable storage issue (we’ve all been there).
Mar 5, 2017
Desert Vibes in a Jewelry Designer’s Oakland Apartment
Name: Cheyenne Cannon Location: West Oakland — Oakland, California Size: ~250 square feet (part of a 2-story, 4-bedroom house) Years lived in: 1.5 years, rented Though Cheyenne doesn’t get to claim an entire apartment to herself, her small workspace and bedroom provide the bright light, privacy and inspiration she needs. She lucked out when the private second floor bedroom opened up.
Mar 4, 2017
The New York Kitchen: Beautiful, Functional & Stylish
New York City has always been at the forefront of style, so it’s typical that the kitchens in the city are beautiful, sophisticated and unconventional. Here are some of our favorite kitchens from our New York City tours—the ones that make great design look effortless and unique solutions seem feasible. Amelia’s New York rental kitchen is small, but functional in so many ways.
Mar 2, 2017
A Serene “Bohemian Eclectic” San Francisco Studio
Name: Jory Dayne Location: Tenderloin — San Francisco, California Size: 525 square feet Years lived in: 1.5 years, rented The bustle of the street scene just outside Jory’s doorstep is a contrast to the warm, serene studio apartment he calls home. A flood of light pours in through bay windows, reflecting off the cluster of plants in the corner.
Feb 23, 2017
Color, Light & Life in a Puerto Rican Home
Name: Sylvia De Marco Location: Ocean Park — San Juan, Puerto Rico Size: 2,500 square feet Years lived in: Rented 2 years Live a Great Story. The front of Sylvia’s house boldly displays the slogan on a pink wall, with potted plants and bright flowers on the wall ledge. The facade says a lot about what guests will find upon entering. Like her bright and hip Ocean Park neighborhood, Sylvia’s home is filled with an array of colorful furniture, lively plants, and unique art.
Feb 22, 2017
Get the Look: Playful, Modern & Minimal
Carlos’ Puerto Rico apartment is filled with bright, colorful furniture and playful accents, such as video game consoles from his childhood and mustache throw pillows. His sophisticated home—which is 23 stories high with gorgeous views of Puerto Rico’s beaches—doesn’t take itself too seriously. Check out the sources below to shop the style for your own home.
Feb 9, 2017
Get the Look: “Modernized Traditional” & Textured Style
Hannah and Marc’s vibrant and textured Nashville home showcases modern accents and bold paint colors, and infuses them with traditional elements. The end result is a style they call “Modernized Traditional” — a successful way of mixing contemporary pieces in a traditional space. Check out the links below to shop the style for your home.
Feb 7, 2017
Get the Look: Detailed Modern Meets Traditional Craft
When Pamela, Michael, and their son Max moved into their 1906 historic Portland home, the floors were layered with soot and grime, the ceilings had water damage and rot, and there were literally holes in the floors. The couple did a major renovation, and now, the home shows off beautiful original features plus finishes of their choice. It’s also filled with gorgeous furniture, accents, and art the family loves. Check out the links below to shop some of those pieces.
Feb 7, 2017
Get the Look: Modern & Cool Meets Classic & Romantic
Kate and Jennifer’s shared space is equal parts modern and cool, but also classic and romantic. In their 1,000 square foot condo, you’ll find bold colors and clean lines mixed with traditional furniture and accents. Shop the style below to get this sophisticated yet edgy look in your home.
Feb 3, 2017
Get the Look: Chic, Glam & Playful
Tiffany and Alan’s Austin bungalow is chic and playful, inspired by Tiffany’s background in fashion and the couple’s travels. Most impressive is that the couple has only been in the space for nine months. You can easily get this warm, beautiful look in your home using the links below. Shop the style!
Jan 31, 2017
Get the Look: “The Kennedys Go to Camp” Style
Matt and Amanda’s Pasadena home doesn’t have one specific style. But they think that if the Kennedys went camping, this is how it would look: craftsman elements, mid-century furniture mixed with rustic accents, and even a little bit of glam. Combined, those elements create a cozy home the couple can enjoy in their quiet, tree-lined neighborhood. Shop the style below!
Jan 29, 2017
Get the Look: A Harmonious Blend of Traditional, Contemporary & Modern
Kathryn and Emilio’s North Carolina home doesn’t feature one specific style. It showcases a harmonious blend of traditional, contemporary and modern styles that provides the family and their guests with a breath of fresh air. Guests are also delighted to find surprises in every corner if they look close enough, such as the Art Deco floor lamp in the living room or geometric lamps in the bedroom. You can now shop the style using the links below!
Jan 23, 2017