Name: Bj Stadelman and dog Kai
Location: Downtown Charleston, South Carolina
Size: 1723 square feet
Years Lived In: less than 2, renting
Finding this rental house was a fluke for Bj: "The homeowner was looking for a tenant to rent and I moved in two months later. Our styles are completely different to say the least, but we both believe in energies and that I belonged here. Where you'll see my scheme is generally simplistic, this place was like an episode of F R I E N D S—every room was a different color." It took a lot of primer and many coats of paint, but Bj was finally able to reveal the house's architectural character—and he fell in love in the process.
"The sun beams through my bedroom windows every morning, allowing me to kind of wake with the house," he says. "I fall in love with each little detail from the carrara doors and their crystal knobs to the archways separating each living space, the exposed rafters in the kitchen, from the original tile and hardwood throughout to the windows and their views of gardens and palms making this place more than a home to me."
Bj is the owner of Hægur, Charleston's original mobile plant shop, which he runs out of a charming vintage van. Its minimal and modern aesthetic mirrors that of the house he rents, which is bursting with lively green plants inside and out. It's energetic and inviting.
"Front to back, my house is wide open. Working from home and out of a vintage GMC Value Van, I find myself turning the yard into my office. When you ring the bell, you can see Kai running from the backyard with myself in tow. Friends usually know to let themselves in as I'm mostly likely in the porch studio or out in the greenhouse."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: My style is constantly evolving, but right now I'd say I'm delicately balancing mid-century influences and Scandinavian simplicity with muted folky boho and thrifted finds.
Inspiration: I find myself constantly obsessing over different arboretums and conservatories. I'm basically trying to live in a tree house.
Favorite Element: The open floor plan of the house really fosters an invitation through the kitchen and out into the yard. Everyone seems to land there.
Biggest Challenge: The ideal light for plants is that coming from the south. My windows face north and west. That afternoon light is super harsh and can be a challenge to certain interior plants. I purchased sheer curtains to aid in diffusing light mid to late afternoon, but styling with those plants that like the late afternoon sun is more manageable than remembering to draw the shades before leaving the house. That being said, finding plants to do well in shaded corners can also be tricky. I recently tried some rhipsalis potted in the shower. It's totally thriving.
Proudest DIY: An Apartment Therapy alumnus created a wall against a bright window to propagate his house plants. Drawing inspiration from Hilton Carter, I found myself at Michael's after Halloween and picked up what chemistry sets they had on post-holiday clearance. I stained them with some English Chestnut left over from refinishing a coffee table I found dumped on the curb in my neighborhood—sprayed with some poly and I had my own propagation station. The layout on the wall mirrors the panes on my front door. It's definitely what people see first and definitely my proudest project.
Biggest Indulgence: One for you, one for me. For every variety of plant I purchase to sell on the truck, I grab one for myself.
Best Advice: A beautiful home is so easily attainable. I find my friends and guests ask most about pieces I refinished, thrifted, or found over pieces I style from big box stores. Those "cheap finds" are worth way more when you spend some time with them, making them perfect. Most of my plant knowledge has come from trial and error. Don't be discouraged by loss—shit happens.
PAINT & COLORS
All rooms minus the guest bed were painted with Sherwin-Williams — Ceiling Bright White
All hypertufa planters — Myself /Hægur
Couch — World Market
TV shelf — Ikea "Kallax" in high gloss
White wire legged coffee table — Home Goods
Black plant stand — Hausful "Peggy Side Table" by EQ3
Plant wall — DIY project - Michael's Craft Stores chemistry set stained in English Chestnut by Minwax
White texture pillow — Proud Mary Textiles
Tub chairs — street find
Bar cabinet — HomeGoods
Coffee table — street find, sanded and refinished in English Chestnut
Swiss cross pillow — Hausful
Clock — grandfather's antique Swiss clock
Area rug — HomeGoods
MASTER BED & BATH
Linens — West Elm, H&M Home, Hausful
Shower curtain — Target
Bed — Ikea "Tarva"
Pendant light — Ikea
Bedside tables — HomeGoods
Bedside lamps — West Elm
Rug — gifted
Antique chest — grandmother's LANE circa 1950s
GUEST BED & BATH
Shower curtain — Target
Artist installation — "Boobie Bath" Carrie Beth Waghorn
Linens — Target, H&M Home
Bed — Ikea "Tarva" Day-bed
End table — Whim Studios - LANE CIRCA 1960s
Wall installation — street find