Treasures & Color Fill the Home of Three Roomies in St. Louis

Treasures & Color Fill the Home of Three Roomies in St. Louis

Jessica Rapp
Dec 5, 2017

Name: Elsie Tuttle, Leslie Salisbury, Tierney Furlong
Location: Tower Grove South — St. Louis, Missouri
Size: 1,626 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

Elsie's home has made something of a name for itself. Called the "Humphrey Homestead," after its street address in St. Louis's Tower Grove South neighborhood, the two-story space is often occupied by not only three roommates (Elsie, Leslie and Tierney), a cat, a dog, and an oversized painting of a man, but also a number of neighbors and community members who have lent a hand in shaping its colorful existence.

"We'll put a request up on Facebook and people will come through and offer their skills to help out," Leslie explains, of the home's community helpers. "We've made and kept a lot of friends through bringing people around and a lot of community has been connected through projects in this space."

"I just know that I can't do it all by myself!" Elsie says. When she bought the historic home, the previous owners had already done a lot of remodeling, including opening up the stairs in the dining room and completely revamping the kitchen, adding new floors and cabinets. Soon after the purchase, Elsie acquired a rainscaping grant and gathered friends to help remove sod in her yard and plant native grasses to help manage storm water. She is currently working on maintaining a community garden, in addition to other indoor projects.

The home also came with a bonus: a carriage house that now serves as a studio where Elsie teaches art classes for kids and as a guest bedroom for visitors. With so much square footage to work with, the girls have still managed to decorate on a budget, acquiring most of their furniture secondhand, collecting art from friends and family, and keeping things simple; "We like to have space to dance and move around!"

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Found objects + vintage

Inspiration: Treasures from family and friends

Favorite Element: Main House: Hardwood floors, tall ceilings. Carriage House: Openness, great light all day

Biggest Challenge: Keeping up with maintenance and repairs that come with an old home, and figuring out what to do with such a big yard.

What Friends Say: I asked on social media what people would tell others about our house. These were the responses: "loving," "extraordinarily good," "homey," "cozy and adorable," "full of the best kind of people." We love our friends!

Biggest Embarrassment:Interior design: Not having painted all the rooms yet! We're really excited to repaint everything!

Ambiance: Booty the Cat shamelessly trying to run out the back door CONSTANTLY and Mia the Dog's hair on everything.

Leslie and Tierney's bedroom is currently being renovated, and there's not even electricity in there yet.

Proudest DIY: Our rainscaping grant outside.

Biggest Indulgence: Having friends come over to help with projects, plants, and locally made art.

Best Advice: Don't be afraid to ask people for help — it achieves goals, helps you learn new skills, and builds community at the same time. Also, always check the alley for treasures!

Dream Sources: My incredible friends and family, and all the incredible visual artists out there — I want to give them my money! And South Jefferson Mid Century Modern.


Living room — Behr Ultra "Cadence" Eggshell: Yellow
Dining room — Three different Valspar Paint mistints
Piano room — BEHR Ultra Eggshell: Carbon
Carriage House — Kilz Original Primer

Globe — From a friend when she moved
Rug — Leslie's

Sofa — Vintage from Elsie's mom
Pillows — Target
Rug — Home Goods
Coffee Table — Craigslist
Table and basket tops — Goodwill
Folding chairs — Elsie's great grandma's
Textile — From friend's travels in India
Green Chair — Saint Vincent DePaul
Blue Chair — Green Shag Market
Driftwood — Collected from Mississippi River
Plant stand — Yard sale
Wooden "I" — From Elsie's great grandfather's desk
Stuffed hand — Emmeline Solomon

Tree — Craigslist
Dining room table and cabinet — From Elsie's mom
Chairs — From Elsie's great-grandma
Table cloth — Thrifted
"Big Face" print — Matt Taber
String art — Green Shag Market
Voodoo wall hangings — Bought at "outsider art" show at SOHA gallery
Pink chairs — Thrifted
Baby chair — From Elsie's mom's side of family
Wooden cabinet — Found in alley
Fabric painting — Anya Lao

Shower curtain — Target
Rug — Goodwill
Plant — Greenscape Gardens
Artwork — Elsie's brother Peter
"Now is the time" print — Bought in Portland
Antique soap dish — From Elsie's friend Emily

Print — Basil Kincaid
Embroidered flowers — Bought at neighbor's yard sale
DIY board — Found wood and nails
Piano — Elsie's grandma's
Side table — Free from neighbor (from Target)
Chairs — Saint Vincent DePaul and Craigslist
Cabinet — Vintage, from Elsie's mom
Mask — From Chinatown, Chicago

Desk — Thrifted
Red stools — Goodwill
Yellow stool — Tierney's
"To Kill a Mockingbird" print — Elsie found it and framed it
Illinois woodcarving — Neighbor's yard sale

Watercolor — By Elsie's brother when he was little
Art cart — Ikea

Red shelving unit — Leslie's, with her plants
Mirror — Yard sale
Posters — Vintage, from Elsie's mom
Jars of sand — From Elsie's kid friend Ithan
Stool — Tierney's childhood stool (with mat from the Dollar Tree on top)

Drum side table — Found in the alley
Desk — Elsie's great-grandpa's
Desk chair — St. Vincent DePaul thrift store
Bed linens — Collected over time
Black chair — Found in the alley
Side "tables" — Found in the alley
Gold floor lamp — Thrifted
Desk lamp — Craigslist
Cork board — Found in the alley
Watercolor flowers — Commissioned work by kid friend Luke
Hands — By Elsie
Poster — Sleepy Kitty Arts

Kitchen Island — Left by previous owners (Ikea)
Butcher block cart — Friend's moving sale
World map puzzles — Goodwill
Table — Left by previous owners
Chalkboard — From Elsie's mom's former home design store
Coffee tables — Thrifted
Sofa — Free from neighbor
Blue rug — Target
Pillows — Ikea
Flower lamp — St Vincent DePaul
Desk — Ikea hack from Elsie's parents
Dresser — From Elsie's childhood
Kid's kitchen — Goodwill
Shag rug — From friends
Little rooster rocker — Made by Elsie's grandpa
Red chair — Vintage, redone by Elsie's mom
Little kid's folding chair — From Tierney's grandparents
White side table — From Tierney's grandparents
Wooden chair — Leslie's
Iron artwork — Left by previous owner
Mark Twain print — Gabe Meyer

Sink — Ikea
Rugs — St Vincent DePaul
Mirror — Gift from Elsie's grandma
Yellow stool — Goodwill
White chair — Hand-me-down from friends
Casablanca poster — Tierney's

Thanks, Elsie, Leslie, and Tierney!

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