A Renter Updated This Apartment by Getting Rid of Boob Lights, Adding Peel-and-Stick Tiles, and More
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Name: Reed Van Dyck, Pitbull Mix, Murphy, and Orange Cat, Umi
Location: Denver, Colorado
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I loved making this apartment my own! I changed every flush-mount light fixture with approval from my landlord (bye-bye boob lights), and added subway peel-and-stick backsplash tiles in the kitchen. I also gave the entire two-bedroom house a full fresh coat of white paint, and really took my time curating pieces. I found most of my furniture on Facebook Marketplace or in vintage stores, and sourced things for myself while running my own shop (good chance goods on Instagram).
I like to keep things pretty minimal as far as clutter goes, but I try to keep things funky at the same time. So I do that by collecting items from small businesses, including the stained-glass hanging in my bedroom from Hannah Hazel Glass in Boulder, Colorado and the wall hanging in the dining room from a maker on Etsy.
This apartment was my sanctuary through the second year of Covid. My cat and dog (who are best friends) and I spent so many nights staying in with candles lit and smart lightbulbs on orange hues. There was nowhere else I’d rather be.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Minimalist, eclectic, thrifted, cozy, and vintage.
What is your favorite room and why? My office was my favorite project. I flipped a huge corner desk I found on FB marketplace by spray painting the massive countertops and the file cabinets. I was so happy with how my gallery wall turned out, and it made for the ideal WFH space. The afternoon light in the office always gets me through the day (with help from window prism stickers and disco balls). I also have plenty of room in my office to store my inventory for @goodchancegoods, and there’s lots of counter space to prep and pack orders.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I have too many! When I’m not buying thrifted items, I love accessories and bedding from H&M Home — there are awesome dupes of high-end decor at great prices. I also love looking at Etsy and Society6 for art prints.
Any advice for creating a home you love? I think it can be hard to narrow things down, especially when you’re online shopping. I have a ton of tricks I use when sourcing for my own space, like creating a specific “database” of items you’re interested in so you have a quick way to review them. Sometimes our taste changes (like when I’m looking at home decor at midnight and then look at those links the next day wondering why I bookmarked them at all). So my advice would be to go ahead and change things. Create a bookmark folder in your browser and don’t think too hard about it! Then, go back through those items. Take a look at them every day and see what you choose to remove from the list and what you still feel drawn to. Make it like a tournament — whatever is still linked in the list at the end of the week or month is probably something you’ll feel confident about buying. This also helps you stay on budget, because furnishing a home is expensive!
Also, of course, check out estate sales, community thrift stores, garage sales, and Facebook Marketplace. I typically check Marketplace every hour or so during the work day — you’d be surprised how much you’ll see new things pop up! I also create moodboards on Canva for every room in my house. This year, I’ll be offering virtual moodboard and product sourcing services, and I can’t wait to help more people create beautiful spaces.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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