A Mini “Modern Bohemian” Philadelphia Apartment

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Mini “Modern Bohemian” Philadelphia Apartment

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Square feet
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Name: Breanne Furlong
Location: Pennsport — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 550 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years, renting

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Bre lives in one of those mythic apartments with rent so reasonable, you wonder if the landlord is independently wealthy. A red brick wall and big working fireplace will give you architecture envy. The house next door has an outdoor cat named “Mista Don’t Play” that will invite himself inside if you open a window on a summer day. I’m not from Philly, but Bre’s apartment is in a neighborhood that seems pretty common in mid-Atlantic cities: blocks of humble historic brick row houses mixed with newer buildings, indicating that the neighborhood’s dynamic might soon be changing. Parking on the street will be scarce in a few years, but for now it’s a breeze. And one thing’s for sure, Bre is making the most of her time while she’s here.

It might be on the smaller side, but Bre’s healthy collection of house plants and adventurous-but-collected personal style give the apartment a vibrant energy that feels bigger than 550 square feet.

You enter into the living space, which then opens into the small kitchen (that is welcoming despite being small and relatively dark). The bedroom is at the end of the hallway, past the bathroom, and opens onto the outdoor space (which is less usable outdoor space and more a part of the seemingly-endless labyrinth of private alley space in the city).

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I’m not very good at staying inside the lines, so my personal tastes tend to be a bit all over the place. Perhaps “modern bohemian.”

Inspiration: I find inspiration from the places I visit and the people I meet. Every surface in my home is occupied by small treasures I’ve collected from travels around the world and the works of artists that I’ve met and loved.

Favorite Element: The fireplace. I have spent a humiliating amount of time on my couch because of it.

Biggest Challenge: The shoe box kitchen. I love cooking, so it can be a struggle working in such a tiny space. However, I have painted the cabinets, added storage, and installed a little chopping station, which has definitely helped to brighten the space and make it more functional.

What Friends Say: Oh I have a full bar, so they have nothing but kind things to say when they’re here!

Biggest Embarrassment: The backyard. It’s kind of a lost cause. Regardless of how many times I’ve tried to give it life, it always reverts back into a sad slab of cement.

Proudest DIY: This entire place has really been one big DIY. It was a considerable mess when I moved in — a true hobbit hole with red light bulbs and everything! Over the years I’ve painted, installed shelving, finished woodwork, and even did a little low-budget bathroom remodel with my pop.

Biggest Indulgence: Definitely plants. It’s not that they’re very expensive, I just buy them too often. I bet you I could walk into a candy store and somehow leave with a plant.

Best Advice: Have patience! It’s tempting to quickly fill a space with a few trips to IKEA, but I think the best interiors are made up of pieces that have been carefully picked and collected over time.

Dream Sources: Since many of my most cherished trinkets come from foreign places, my dream source would have to be my dream trip: Morocco!


Desk — IKEA (purchased 7 years ago)
Desk Chair — Vintage from Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse
Macrame Planters — Retrospect Vintage
Still life painting — Lauren Orscheln
Gold Mirror — Vintage from Jinxed
Colored Planters — City Planter (w ww. cityplanter .com )

Sofa — West Elm Monroe Mid-Century Sofa
Collaged Majida Throw Blanket — Anthropologie
Jute Shag Rug — Pottery Barn
Cobbler Bench Coffee Table — Vintage from Jinxed
Reading Chair — Vintage
Tapestry — Peru, South America
Canvas painting — Lauren Orscheln

Dining table — West Elm’s Reeve Mid-Century Bistro Table
Candle Sitcks — West Elm
Dining chairs — IKEA PS 2012
Canvas painting — Colin Holloway
Wooden Fruit Bowl – Chile
Wicker Decanters – Vintage from Spain
Cabinet — IKEA PS cabinet
Bar Shelves – Made from wood cuts and old industrial spools
Decanter & Oil Painting – Peru

Amber Tumblers — Sur La Table
Leather Decanter — Vintage from Spain
Wooden Bowls – Target
Pay Phone Sign – Found at Powerhouse Antiques

Textured pillow — Anthropologie’s Collaged Majida Pillow
Bed legs — IKEA BÅTSFJORD legs
Rug — West Elm’s Torres Wool Kilim
Wooden Chair – Vintage
Tapestry – Chile
Leather Handbags – Africa
Street Posters from Paris Rebellion – Vintage

Shower Curtain — Target
Torso Dish — Handmade by Stephanie Scott
Cold Picnic Torso Bathmat — Yowie
Mask — Eyes Art Gallery
Double Chin Prints — Vintage
Letter Board — Three Potato Four.
Kachina Doll — Vintage
Gold mirror — Vintage

Thanks, Bre!

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