A Chef and DIYer Spice Up Their Home with Color & Culture

A Chef and DIYer Spice Up Their Home with Color & Culture

Esteban Cortez
Apr 23, 2017

Name: Estefania and Chris Palomarez
Location: Cleveland Heights — Oakland, California
Size: 550 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months, rented

Estefania says she had a plain looking apartment a few months before their house tour. But she and her partner Chris pushed themselves to work their way down each room, painting the walls and building pieces that suit their style (and are functional). Almost one year later, their apartment shows off both of their styles beautifully, in a lovely blend of industrial, mid-century and modern.

Though they worked quickly to get their apartment to a state they love, there is still a lot of personality in the space. Estefania is big on DIY, evident in her many creations throughout the apartment — accent tables, shelving, and the cute bistro table in the living room. Chris is a chef, so the kitchen is mainly his territory, where he keeps a Peruvian and a Mexican cookbook nearby at all times.

The couple also proudly display their favorite keepsakes from their wedding, as well as items related to their Latin and Mexican heritages. Estefania was born in Peru, so she hung up a colorful, ornate Peruvian mirror at the entry. Chris is Mexican and Ecuadorian, so art prints by renowned Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamin are placed in the hallway. Around those prints are more framed photos—photos of the couple's travels, as well as their friends and family. Those are reminders of the things and people they love.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: A mix of industrial with mid-century modern with a dash of minimalism

Inspiration: Rustic elements, natural wood, industrial design, clean lines, anything DIY and anything Peruvian, Mexican, or Ecuadorian.

Favorite Element: Our DIY shelves and our dark blue accent wall

Biggest Challenge: Keeping the kitchen clean. Chris loves cooking and he has a habit of touching all the cabinets with greasy hands.

What Friends Say: They always ask us how or where we bought our furniture. Most of the time we answer, "We made it".

Biggest Embarrassment: Our fridge, most of the time things go to die there.

Proudest DIY: Our living room shelves. Chris and I worked really hard to map it out and get the right design. It took us a whole day, but we were so happy when we finished it. Then of course the dark blue wall in our room, it was his present for my birthday. We picked the paint, opened a bottle of rosé and listened to The Smiths and ABBA all night.

Biggest Indulgence: Our bistro table set up. I had been craving a bistro table, but I couldn't find the right one. I looked on Craigslist, eBay, and literally every online store. Finally decided to build my own table.

Best Advice: Really take your time when considering buying key pieces for your place. If it doesn't feel right, wait until it does.

Dream Sources: Home Polish, Apartment Therapy, West Elm, HGTV, CB2


Ralph Lauren — Great Harbour

Frames — Amazon & Framebridge

Grey Sofa — Macy's
Coffee Table — IKEA
Turtle Tank Table — HomeGoods
Bookshelf/Record Stand — IKEA
Bart Cart — HomesGoods
Breakfast Nook Stools —Amazon
Rug — RugsUSA

Bistro Table —Pier 1 / Amazon
Bistro Chairs — AllModern

Rug — RugsUSA

Bedframe – Overtstock
Buffet – Overstock
Sidetables – IKEA
Rug – RugsUSA
Desk Chair – AllModern
Frames – Frambridge & Artifact Uprising

Shower Curtain — Target
Plants - IKEA

Thanks, Estefania and Chris!

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