Two Best Friends (& Two Adorable Dogs!) Share a Comfy Minneapolis Home

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Name: Amy Gustafson, Stephanie Ingold and their dogs, Lenny and Marvel
Location: Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years owned for Amy; 2 years rented for Stephanie

Amy and Steph have been friends for over a decade. They’ve shared apartments, jobs, friends, and siblings (Amy’s sister is married to Steph’s brother), so it’s only fitting that after one of them bought their first house, the other would occupy the bedroom down the hall. Due in part to their strong and longstanding friendship, their home doesn’t feel like a typical twenty-something roommate situation—it’s comfortable, thoughtful and full of personal touches and memories.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

When Amy started looking for houses, she knew exactly where she wanted to be: a cozy little corner of northeast Minneapolis. She peered into the windows of this home, looked past its unsightly siding, and fell in love. Over the past four years—during which Steph traveled overseas for a while and another roommate lived in the house—Amy has filled her home with friends, dinner parties, handmade art and, of course, a couple of dogs.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Amy and Steph have kept things simple but with a cool vintage flair. Their bedrooms are bright and speak to their own personalities (as well as the personalities of their dogs). The first floor has exciting, boldly colored walls, family heirlooms, and a couple of really awesome gallery walls. Amy and Steph don’t necessarily label their styles—they just do what they want and what feels right. They’re investing in their home and their belongings, and it really shows.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style:

Amy: I’m not quite sure how to describe my style, but I do find it interesting that my room matches my dog (brown and white), and Steph’s room matches her dog (white… and clean)!! My style is “Lenny” and Steph’s style is “Marvel.” Lenny might be a bit more eclectic and doesn’t mind if things get a little messy, while Marvel likes clean and classic. Also, we’re obsessed with our dogs.


Amy: I’m always inspired looking at other house tours, particularly the MCM or Southwest-inspired homes. It’s important to me to incorporate elements of my family, where I’ve lived, and where I’ve been as well.

Steph: I’m inspired by feelings more than anything. How does this room make me feel? Cozy? Perfect!

Favorite Element:

Amy: The wood trim is my favorite element of the house itself, and in the spring/summer/fall, I love the front porch. I also love all the plants I’ve managed to keep alive, the ways I’ve represented my family around my home, and the color of the recently painted dining room. Most importantly, I love the fact that I get to live with my best friend and our dogs!

Steph: For the house, I love that it has enough space to host parties. I love having people over and being able to hangout all within the same space. And yes, living with my best friend and our dogs!

Biggest Challenge:

Amy: Talking on the phone to get any work done on the house. I wonder how many items from my house to-do list would be completed if I didn’t psych myself out every time I need to make a call!

What Friends Say:

Both: They said a lot of things when we asked them this question. They think they’re pretty funny. “It’s really starting to come together.”

Biggest Embarrassment:

Amy: I have a pretty long list of home improvements that I still haven’t completed (see “fear of phone calls” under Biggest Challenge). There are a number of odd cosmetic issues: an old, broken door that goes out to the garage roof in the guest room (covered by a curtain right now), a random strip of carpet in the middle of Steph’s room, and a bizarre patch of destroyed floorboards in front of the upstairs bathroom. I recently had the horrid exterior siding replaced thanks to a hail storm insurance claim, which took care of my ultimate embarrassment!

Proudest DIY:

Amy: We are blessed with super-talented friends and family who have made some really cool things. Our friend Kelsey painted the portraits of each of us with our pups and her sister, Amy, hand-lettered the lyric in the living room. My friend Casey made the wizard illustration for my birthday a few years back, and my friend Jason made me my wand for Christmas a couple years ago. My mom created the gorgeous crewel art (featured in my bedroom and dining room) back in the ’70s. My only DIY was when a friend and I took two hours to make that super-simple shelf above my bed!

Biggest Indulgence:

Amy: I’m slowly starting to upgrade items that we had previously just bought at a thrift store or gotten for free. I bought the IKEA couch last year when my old roommate moved out with her nice couch. I couldn’t bear to return the thrifted couch being stored in the garage to the living room. I recently bought the chairs in the dining room to replace some poorly recovered chairs I DIYed (not my proudest DIY) that Steph got free with the dining table and I’m so happy with them!

Best Advice:

Amy: If you are able, get things fixed sooner rather than later, so you can actually enjoy them! It would be such a bummer to hold off on repairs or upgrades until you need to move, and you don’t ever get to enjoy the new and improved house! (Now, take your own advice, Amy!). Also, wall art from old calendars!

Dream Sources:

Amy: I would prefer to be buying all my furniture from Find Furnish in Northeast Minneapolis, and it would be cool to have a rug that I just “casually picked up on a trip to Morocco.” I would also love to source myself for handmade ceramics, however, I would first have to learn how to make handmade ceramics.


(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Dining room (above): BEHR Tropical Skies
  • Steph’s room: BEHR Polar Bear
  • Bathroom: BEHR Tropical Skies
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Chalkboard: IKEA
  • Coat rack: IKEA
  • Maps: from a calendar found at Bibelot
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Couch: IKEA
  • Striped pillows: IKEA
  • Patterned pillows: HomeGoods
  • Side table: IKEA
  • Blue chair: IKEA
  • Basket: IKEA
  • Speaker side table: Goodwill
  • Red chair: Goodwill
  • Lamp: IKEA
  • Weaving: secondhand from Jerome, Arizona
  • Crewel art: thrifted
  • Mega Betta poster: made by Amy and Steph’s friends Aaron and Kelsey
  • Portrait of the pups: Blush and Honey Paper
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Table: free!
  • Chairs:
  • Candleholders: gifts, Goodwill
  • Taper candles: Cost Plus World Market
  • Piano: Amy’s family
  • Vase: Mister Rob
  • Cube shelves: Target
  • Set list on the wall: personally handed to Steph by Paolo Nutini
  • Paint-by-number painting: Tandem Vintage at Find Furnish
  • Crewel art: handmade by Amy’s mom
  • Willie Nelson tour print: bought when Amy saw Willie Nelson at the Corn Palace in South Dakota
  • Frames: Target
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Curtains: thrifted
  • Pineapple shakers: Cost Plus World Market
  • Hand towels: Wit & Delight for Target
  • Calendar: Erin Vaughan
  • Minneapolis and Phoenix prints: Albie Designs
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Quilt: handmade by Amy’s mom; holes by her dog, Lenny
  • Blue striped blanket: Fairbault Wollen Mills warehouse sale!
  • Side table: Goodwill
  • Lamp: IKEA
  • Mirror: IKEA
  • Dog candle: Nelli Designs
  • Shelf: neighbor’s front lawn
  • Whale and geometric thing: CB2
  • Hexagon shelf: Goodwill
  • Eye test chart: Paper Source
  • Curtains: CB2
  • Wand: Amy’s friend Jason
  • “Always” wood postcard: No Coast Craft-o-Rama
  • Crewel wall hanging: handmade by Amy’s mom
  • Custom portrait: Amy’s friend Kelsey of Speerface Design
  • Lake Michigan print: Crafterall
  • Wizard print: Amy’s friend Casey Anderson
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Bed frame: IKEA
  • Vintage typewriter bedside table: Hill Valley Cafe in NE Minneapolis
  • London map pillow: HomeGoods
  • Desk: hand-me-over from Amy
  • Bedding: Target Threshold
  • Floral hat box: Tandem Vintage
  • “Love is Beautiful” embroidered art: Tandem Vintage
  • Bible verse print: She Reads Truth
  • Girl in Snow print: Catherine Campbell
  • Star chart poster: it’s actually wrapping paper from Paper Source!
  • Marceline the Vampire print: Nan Lawson
  • Amelia print: Nan Lawson
  • Sailboat print: Heidi Mae Niska
  • Framed Batgirl, Bear Disguise, and Bear prints: The Black Apple via Goodwill
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Bedspread: flea market
  • Window frame on wall: found outside
(Image credit: Emma Fiala)


  • Shower curtain: Target
  • Storage cart: IKEA
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Steph and Amy with their dogs, Marvel and Lenny (Image credit: Emma Fiala)

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Thanks, Amy & Steph!