Andrew & Erica’s “Bohemian Cupcake”

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Andrew & Erica
Location: Toronto, Canada
Size: 1,250 square feet
Years lived in: 1

Living with roommates can present an array of challenges. Usually people are more concerned about cleanliness and noise rather than sharing an aesthetic vision for their place. Andrew and Erica, who have only lived together for about a year, have created an incredibly charming and engaging interior they describe as “Bohemian Cupcake”.

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

Freelance painter Erica works for an interior design firm in Toronto’s West end — Hudson Kruse. Andrew is a world traveler, foodie and blogger for DobberNation) and he works downtown for a travel company.

There is no set recipe for this look. It’s a combination of colorful Asian souvenirs, American ephemera and thrift store finds. Both Andrew and Erica have a fondness for art (often self-made) and objects that are romantic, exotic or humorous. (A trio of dainty white plaster candle holders rest in front of a male pin-up on the fridge) While Erica is an interior decorator (at a fairly conservative Toronto firm) she uses flowers throughout the space in a whimsical but elegant way. Whether it was a conscious or not, white remains the base color on the walls, beds and sofa. This clean palette enables them to layer pattern, texture and image throughout the interiors without overwhelming any of the spaces.

In the kitchen, two vertical triptychs (shot by Andrew) of international foods in hyper-color pop without being gaudy because of the white wall and clean frames. A similar approach — albeit with pastel and patterned pillows — can be seen on Erica’s bed. Both roommates are talented at creating tight decorative vignettes made up of objects collected on their travels (whether at a country fair or while backpacking overseas). Proof that homemade interiors are way tastier than anything from a catalog.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: “Bohemian Cupcake”

Inspiration: A fusion between Andrew’s world travels and global collections and Erica’s nostalgic, feminine, vintage style. We both have a unique sense of humour — so wit and shock pepper the space.

Favorite Element: The artwork and many framed pieces throughout the house run as a common thread…each piece is unique and tailored to us — homemade works of art, framed newspaper clippings from our childhood and maps of our favourite destinations fill each room. One particular favourite is the motivational installation piece made by Erica “half full” (as in the cup is always…) hammered into the wall with clear tacks. We’re not afraid of clutter and collections as long as it serves an aesthetic purpose.

Biggest Challenge: We both have A LOT of stuff that’s important to us (Erica’s art supplies and Andrew’s kitchen/mixology accessories). so being creative with space and storage in this small apartment was certainly a challenge. We customized all of our IKEA Lack shelves to fit against their desired walls.

What Friends Say: Friends appreciate that there’s so much to look at. There isn’t a cupboard, corner or shelf that hasn’t been considered from an exploratory angle. Erica is a self proclaimed cupboard snooper so when decorating she makes the same assumption of her guests. The result is guests are always pleased to discover vigniettes and set scenes.

Biggest Embarrassment: Erica is so neurotic about cleaning and so particular about placement that
embarrassment has little room in the space. It’s safe to assume that most choices are deliberate. There is a red wine stain against the baseboard in the kitchen that we sometimes wish would go away…but even that they feel is a great reminder to their first house warming party!

Proudest DIY: The tack installation in the hallway — a simple but interesting art work that doubles as a great conversation piece! Erica also tackled the front and back patios this summer — furnishing and planting both patios on a budget! The old window turned coffee table was a free find turned into a practical place for candles and late night cocktails!

Biggest Indulgence: Aside from Andrew’s Marc Jacob’s bag and Erica’s Hermes Scarf
most pieces in the house are yard sale finds or hand-me-downs from family. “Budget is something that is always at the forefront of our minds.”

Best Advice: Don’t be timid! Fill your walls and change things up often! We design and decorate our
space as though it’s the stage for our ideal lifestyle. young, urban, and social. I think having a space for your ‘dreamself’ helps you play that role on a day to day basis! Also, we read that it’s always nice to have cookies baking as guests arrive”

Dream Sources: An Elton John estate sale.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • The entire space was repainted from a subtle sage green to Benjamin Moore’s Bavarian Cream
    BM OC-123


    • Art (including Animal paintings in Erica’s bedroom) come from Velocity Art and Design
    • The sofa, chairs (and other furniture pieces including kitchen chairs and cart, Erica’s desk were made by her father!)



    • Sheets: Dwell Studio
    • Side table, sleigh bed and dresser are from Aspen Home

    • Erica’s linens and many accessories, Urban Outfitters

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Andrew & Erica!

Images: Troy Seidman