Downsizing Didn’t Stop This Renter From Styling a Bold, Comfy Blend of Modern and Antique

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Living room with blue velvet couch and two green velvet chairs
Credit: Kate Miles
Living room, dining area, and kitchen

Name: Britt and two rescued greyhounds, Dobby and Nellie
Location: Playhouse Square Neighborhood ⁠— Cleveland, Ohio
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 773 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

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Credit: Kate Miles
Nellie the greyhound enjoying the main seating area

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: This apartment is an external reflection of my internal journey ⁠— I moved here out of necessity (I had gotten divorced and had to sell my 4,000-square-foot house and downsize to a place I could afford ⁠— on an extremely tight timeline, and at the start of the pandemic). This unit fit the bill. After mourning the loss of my large house and its objects (which I did plenty of, at first), I chose to embrace the idea of flying “carry-on,” but in my life. I began to find enjoyment in paring down, which was incredibly freeing. I’m far from a minimalist, but it feels good to have a home that’s truly only filled with items I’m passionate about ⁠— even my toilet brush is pretty!

Credit: Kate Miles
The "dining room"

My home embodies my personality through the use of traditional antiques used in a modern way (an antique china cabinet now houses all my jewelry, for instance, and a dining room hutch designed to hold formal dinnerware is instead the keeper of my computer printer, tools, and picture-hanging supplies. A Victorian tea trolley doubles as my nightstand). Moreover, I have a great love of classical portraiture, prints, and an appreciation of iconic furniture and wallpaper; but I also love trendy pieces that wink at the audience and let them in on the joke.

Credit: Kate Miles
Additional view of the main seating area

Above all else, I’m incredibly decisive and on the whole, so is my apartment. There’s nothing half-done or accidentally chosen ⁠— it’s all intentional.

Credit: Kate Miles

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Curated, bold, comfortable, luxurious, fresh

Credit: Kate Miles
View from the entryway

What is your favorite room and why? I love my hallway! Specifically, the view of it upon first entering the front door; the space showcases a ton of art in what would otherwise be an unremarkable space. It was one of the things that drew me to the apartment, actually. I go wild for a decorated hallway.

Credit: Kate Miles
Vanity station in the bathroom

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I recently purchased a canvas from Society6 called “So Extra” from an art collective named Side Dimes (created by art director Mikayla Lapierre). The mash-up of irreverence and tradition is incredibly appealing to me.

Credit: Kate Miles
View from the kitchen sink

Any advice for creating a home you love? You can’t love your space if it’s being haunted —by gifts you didn’t love but feel too guilty to give away, cast-offs from relatives, or that chair your ex-spouse insisted on purchasing and that you’re now stuck with. I only started loving my home once I had exorcised it. I also highly recommend hanging mirrors, mirrors, MORE mirrors, plus meaningful photographs and artwork. It makes such an impact!

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