Name: Seth and Ali Rongkawit
Location: Ballard — Seattle, Washington
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 2+ years
When Seth and Ali moved into this Seattle space, they faced the same design dilemma that many renters come across: How to create distinct areas when your apartment is wide open. After two years of living here, they've found a layout that functions well. And they've added their personality to create a bright and sweet home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Bright and airy with pops of color and natural elements
Inspiration: Living in the Pacific Northwest, our travels, and nature. We are also inspired by the spaces created by our friends and family and the items in our home that have been handed down and gifted to us from those we love.
Favorite Element: That’s difficult to choose because I have a favorite thing in every room. We worked hard to find curtains for our window wall and are pleased with how they really pull our spaces together. But I’d have to say my very favorite element is our family photo wall. At our wedding, we displayed portraits from our parents' and grandparents' wedding days. Ever since, we've had a gallery wall of these family photos in our home. In our current apartment, the gallery fits perfectly in the entry hallway and makes a great statement piece. My sister was married in the last year, so we have another photo to add ASAP!
Biggest Challenge: Having an open-concept living space is wonderful, but at first we weren't sure how to make each "room" its own. Being intentional about choosing furniture and how to position it was important. Getting a kitchen island really defined that space and—bonus— gave us more kitchen storage!
What Friends Say: We’ve had lots of people compliment our color scheme. Our base in each room is neutrals, specifically white, grey, and navy (which is so common in our home we consider it a neutral). Because there is so much white on the walls, we are able to mix in different colors without it being overwhelming.
Biggest Embarrassment: When our home is messy from everyday living and we have guests coming! The only downfall to the openness of our space is that there is no door to close and hide a mess. I’ve gotten better about cleaning up daily to keep the mess to a minimum, but our bedroom closet has been filled with its fair share of junk right before we have people over!
Proudest DIY: Probably keeping my houseplants alive! My mom never had a green thumb with indoor plants, but I decided to try my luck with a few since we have no outdoor space of our own. The fiddle leaf fig has given me the most trouble but it's still alive and has even grown over the last year and a half.
Find shopping sources for all the furniture and accessories in this charming home.
Biggest Indulgence: Our couch! We knew that being far away from family meant we would have visitors throughout the year. With no extra bedroom, we needed a solution that we loved for our living room but that also had a pull out for our guests. West Elm’s sleeper sofa collection definitely fit the bill! Everyone who stays with us comments on how comfortable the pull out is and we’ve even tested it out ourselves for a few late movie nights in front of the TV.
Best Advice: We really enjoy living in a smaller home. Initially, when we moved from the Midwest to the coast, we were overwhelmed with the idea of having a small space, but it has forced us to be intentional. Our advice to anyone is to keep only the things that you love and that you use. It makes your space more meaningful and you’ve got less to clean!
Dream Sources: We love supporting artists and small businesses; there are so many great local boutiques here in Seattle. We also shop at Anthropologie, West Elm, and have some great furniture from Crate & Barrel. Schoolhouse Electric is one of our favorites! We can’t wait to own a place and use more of their fixtures.
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