The Dog Gallery Wall in This Apartment Helps Alleviate Seasonal Depression

published Oct 3, 2023

The Dog Gallery Wall in This Apartment Helps Alleviate Seasonal Depression

published Oct 3, 2023
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Sometimes, the right apartment is just floors away — at least that’s designer and illustrator Alaina Johnson’s experience. By 2020, she (and her 10-year-old pup, Susie) had lived in a Renton, Washington, apartment for two years. However, she wanted to make a change. 

“At the peak of the pandemic, I decided to downsize and move into a smaller unit,” Johnson says. “Every two years, I crave a change, which is why I’ve moved around so much.”

So, Johnson moved into a one-bedroom rental apartment in the same building. And, as a self-proclaimed “homebody” and someone who works from home, she likely enjoyed decorating her space for the first three years of living there. 

However, almost as if an automatic timer went off, she felt that familiar itch after three years to make some changes. This time, she stayed in the same apartment but swapped out some furniture and a rug, painted the walls, and moved items around. 

“I thrive best in bold, colorful, and creative spaces, and I’m happiest when surrounded by art and plants (and my dog, of course),” Johnson writes. “Overall, my style is nostalgic and eclectic but heavily art-driven with a layer of humor and irreverence. I don’t take myself too seriously, and I make sure my home reflects that.” 

A colorful space helps with the lack of natural light — especially during winter. Johnson says that she’s experienced seasonal depression as she’s gotten older, and having a playful interior (which includes a DIY mural in the dining room and a dog gallery wall) has helped.



Dining area mural:

  • Country Squire (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Emotional (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Nappery (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Cheery (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Liquid Blue (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Eros Pink (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Curry (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Butterscotch (Sherwin-Williams)
  • Dog Gallery wall/entry — “Cheery” (Sherwin-Williams)



  • Sleeper sofa — Joybird
  • Peacock side table — Anthropologie
  • Danish stoneware lamp — By Jette Helleroe, vintage
  • Wall shelves — IKEA
  • Coffee table — CB2
  • Rug — Moroccan, vintage
  • Glass tray — Vintage
  • Floor lamp — Target
  • Faux Eames chair — Vintage
  • Orange floor lamp — Interior Icons
  • Maps — Vintage
  • Credenza — West Elm
  • Wooden chest — Vintage
  • Curtains — CB2



  • Bed — West Elm
  • Linens — Bed Threads
  • Comforter — West Elm
  • Pink pillow — West Elm
  • Bedside table — Haussman
  • Table lamp — Anthropologie
  • They were here all along print — Society6
  • Console table — Overstock
  • Dresser — Vintage
  • Mirror — Vintage

Thanks, Alaina!

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