Dragan & Elissa’s Eclectic Energy

published Nov 1, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Dragan & Elissa
Location: Dallas, Texas
Size: 1,100 square feet — 2 bedrooms, 1 bath
Years lived in: 4 years — rented

The creative energy that flows through Dragan and Elissa’s home is invigorating. As your eyes dart from one piece to the next, they will tell you that many of the items in their home are original, handcrafted by them or members of their family. Then, the envy for their creative genes ensues.

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

Elissa is the first to admit that she lives a somewhat cluttered life, but that’s what she prefers. When you hear the stories on the origination of the items in the home, I understand why she would have a difficult time paring it down. Handcrafted wood wall art from Dragan’s family in Bosnia and items salvaged from a condemned home in an East Texas town, are just a couple of the tales I was told.

The constraints of a rental hasn’t stopped their eclectic individuality, and after four years of renting the same duplex, they are hoping to update the kitchen and carpet. I can only imagine what the creative end-result would be — maybe, we will have to check in on the couple again!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: eclectic — cozy

Inspiration: Places we’ve traveled, vintage textiles.

Favorite Element: Dragan: the collection of objects/art from my family in Bosnia and Croatia. Elissa: a hand stitched quilt made by my grandmother from the 30’s.

Biggest Challenge: The layout of the house and the limited storage.

What Friends Say: It’s a place to relax!

Biggest Embarrassment: The carpet and outdated fixtures.

Proudest DIY: The dresser in our bedroom, it was a beast to sand down and refinish. Also, the 2 bedside tables and TV table in our bedroom: Dragan made all 3 with wood from some old shelves.

Biggest Indulgence: The couch,even that it was second-hand! We purchased it from a friend who was moving and couldn’t keep it.

Best Advice: Re-invent what you have, and be creative. Don’t try to duplicate what someone else’s house looks like. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have great pieces!

Dream Sources: An estate sale of an old wealthy collector/hoarder/packrat.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:



    • Sofa: Pietro Arosio for Design Within Reach
    • Red chair: estate sale, $60
    • Wooden artwork on walls: Dragan’s grandfather
    • Lamp and lampshade: Anthropologie
    • Corner shelf: Walmart, painted in Martha Stewart, Crevecouer
    • Black and white photography: Elissa
    • Buffet: estate sale, $20
    • Frames above TV: 2 vintage windows that were removed from a condemned house in Beaumont, Texas whitewashed with ‘oops’ paint, yellow
    • Artwork in window frames: drawer liner paper


    • Vintage Mason jars: White Elephant, Dallas
    • Wine rack: estate sale
    • Mirror: from Elissa’s childhood dresser set, white-washed with ‘oops’ color yellow
    • Carved wooden bird: Roost


    • Side tables/TV stand: handmade by Dragan from old shelves
    • Dresser: estate sale
    • Artwork: estate sales, ebay, White Elephant
    • Antique red ‘beetle box’ on dresser: Alan Knight
    • Candelabra (used as necklace holder): estate sale, $1!


    • Bed frame: Again and Again, $50
    • Bedding: West Elm
    • Throw: Elissa’s grandmother
    • Pillows: Anthropologie
    • Side table: handmade by Dragan out of recycled wood and metal
    • Desk: second-hand from a friend, white-washed with ‘oops’ paint
    • Branch: picked up off the side of the road, nailed hooks on the back
    • Collage artwork on desk: Elissa


    • Shower curtain: Anthropologie
    • Wooden house: estate sale
    • Shelves: estate sale
    • Red painting: Marela Jakovlejevic (Dragan’s mother)

Thanks, Dragan and Elissa!

Images: Micki Howl

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