Before & After: A Rental Apartment’s Dingy Kitchen Is Unrecognizable After a Modern Reno

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Name: Leslie Salonen
Designer: Forge + Bow Dwellings
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 582 square feet
Years lived in? 6 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I waited patiently for about 11 months to move into THIS space renovated and designed by Forge and Bow. Why? Because I KNEW it was going to be the perfect apartment for me. I’m 33 and this is the very first time in my life that I’ve lived completely on my own. Crazy, right? That being said, this was the perfect opportunity to mindfully choose a space that felt like it had to be mine. Forge and Bow Dwellings made that happen for me. As for me, I am an on-the-go, experience driven person. I rarely sit still. You can either find me at a concert, heading on an adventure/spending time with friends, or at our Refuge Hair HQ taking over the hair industry one healthy hair treatment at a time.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic with a bohemian touch.

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my living room. It’s where I’m surrounded by so many little items that mean so much to me and it’s the coziest, most inviting space in my place.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? If I could change anything about my home I would add more storage. I mean, who doesn’t need more room for their shoes?

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Great question! The last thing that I bought for my home was a black and white Etsy print of Kate Moss. I pair it with a drumstick on top of the frame from a Kings of Leon concert I scooped up after a show years and years ago.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? I’d have to say the fictional character would resemble a lot of the good friends I have in my life already. When I think of who would be most comfortable, I imagine a friend who typically has a lot of busyness happening in her life that looks forward to “girls night in.” Sitting in the living room, getting cozy with our favorite junk food, and watching a movie. I see my space as a calm oasis from the craziness of every day stresses.

Any advice for creating a home you love? My advice is to create a space that feels like it’s an extension of your personal style. That when people walk in they say “This is SOOO YOU!” Also a HUGE tip I received from Annie Obermann from Forge and Bow is to not RUSH into buying a bunch of stuff for your house just to “fill it.” She encourages people to take the time to mindfully pick out pieces that will be long lasting and that you still will love in the next six months!

This submission’s responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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