This Couple Transformed Their Queens Rental into a Colorful, Creative Space on a Budget

published Jun 8, 2021

This Couple Transformed Their Queens Rental into a Colorful, Creative Space on a Budget

published Jun 8, 2021
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Location: Ridgewood — Queens, New York
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

Inspired by the beauty of tropical nature and the vibrancy of Mexican culture, these renters pulled pops of orange, blue, yellow, and green into their apartment. 

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Plants dot the corners of each room and artworks line almost every wall.

Beluga, one curious kitten, brings playfulness to the home and rules over all from atop her giant scratching post.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-century modern with vibrant colors

Inspiration: Trips to Mexico, especially the cenotes

Favorite Element: Accent walls and plants

Biggest Challenge: The railroad design of this New York apartment


Proudest DIY: The kitchen chalkboard and kitchen planters

Biggest Embarrassment: Our office chair… yikes! We’ve had this bad boy since college and it is TIME for a new one.

Biggest Indulgence: Our beloved LED “neon” sign and our plants 

Best Advice: Sit down and come up with a plan with themes and colors that bring you joy, make a mood board and if you’re on a budget, like us, take your time to work on one room at a time 

Dream Sources: Joybird. We also get a lot of inspiration from 1970s designs and traveling. 



  • Bedroom — Cypress hardware and paint, “Limeade (119C)” Charisma/GeoShades
  • Living Room — Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Matte, “Teal Motif”
  • Kitchen — Chalkboard DIY paint with grout from a leftover color sample


  • Wasser Coffee Table — AllModern
  • Andrei Beige Area Rug — AllModern
  • Valmy Lounge Chair — AllModern, no longer on website
  • Valmy Standard Sofa — AllModern, no longer on website
  • Record Stand and Crosley record player — Stooped on different occasions, painted with wall paint to match
  • Gersby bookshelves white (painted inside to match wall) — IKEA
  • TV stand (oak/aqua) — AllModern
  • Chinese palm plant — Mario’s Flowers Ridgewood
  • Snake Plant — Tony’s Flowers Ridgewood 
  • Mid-century ceramic pots — By Haymarket (bought on
  • Painting — Bloozchicken (Black Bronx artist) “Beach”
  • Talking Heads and New Order posters — Swissted
  • Neon Sign “ Don’t Fuck it Up” (LED) — Garbage Humans
  • Mexican blankets — (From Mexico street market)
  • Found mirror — Painted yellow to match armchair 
  • woven basket — TJ Maxx
  • Yoga matts (in basket) — Jade Yoga


  • Blue Dutch oven — Le Creuset
  • Kitchen aid standing mixer ice blue — Williams-Sonoma
  • Handmade Ecuadorian baskets — From Bushwick maker
  • Hand-painted Mexican bowls — From Mexico market
  • Handmade cheeseboard — By friend nonbinary woodworker Kit Jirls (they/them )
  • DIY planters from found wooden scraps and table legs from random stoops + IKEA
  • “Drinking Milk Tonight” Poster by Ravi Zupa
  • Aeroflot poster Classic Vintage Posters
  • Portrait — by friend + make-up artist Nichole Hernandez (they/them)
  • Kitchen Island Tornviken — IKEA
  • Barstools bough off Let Go App, not sure who is original maker
  • DIY chalk board for notes, calendar, recipes, etc
  • Wedding sign (wood + chalkboard) — From a wedding back in 2010, unchanged since, reads “Moscow mule -> Vodka Bar <-” 
  • Mini tortilla press — Made in Mexico, gift from local woman in Playa del Carmen after a one-on-one taco cooking class


  • Sweater Wool Area Rug in Oatmeal —  West Elm
  • Plants — Bird of Paradise Little Shop Of Soil Ridgewood 
  • Chinese Evergreen — Tony’s Flowers
  • Solid Wood Lexington platform bed — KD frames Queen size
  • Hybrid Mattress Zinus Queen Size — Zinus
  • Solid Wood Dressers — IKEA, maybe no longer available?
  • Green reading Lamps FORSA — IKEA (can’t find our color)
  • Large mirror (wood) — Stooped! 
  • Ottoman — Stooped!  

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.