Name: Natalie Slyman and Nate Bethel
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented
Natalie and Nate are one of those couples whose styles go together so effortlessly. They met while working at the same resale shop, and they've been together over six years. When they moved in together two years ago, Natalie had plenty of decor from her previous apartments, while Nate didn't have a whole lot of stuff (besides his killer VHS collection); together, they made this space into a home.
Nate worked at a thrift store, St. Vincent De Paul, for years, and he brought home interesting pieces all the time. Nate says that he would often wish that something specific would show up in the store—and then it would. This knack, combined with the fact that both he and Natalie are bursting at the seams with style and creativity, helped the place come together. And if the apartment looks a little familiar, it's because Natalie submitted a House Call last year.
What really ties the space together is the character of the 100-year-old apartment itself. There are so many amazing old details that have, luckily, been kept intact throughout the years. Natalie and Nate especially love the stained glass windows and the gold radiators.
Nate is a self-taught furniture maker, and he always has projects for the apartment in mind. He made the dining room table and the coffee table in the bedroom; currently, he's working on building a new bed. Natalie is a habitual thrifter/antique store peruser, and she loves photography. You can follow her St. Louis adventures on her her blog.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Western meets log cabin meets tribal
Inspiration: I tend to gravitate towards intricate items that look like they have a story behind them, as if acquiring them and surrounding myself with them will give me the knowledge and story they contain. I’d say that Nate’s inspiration has always been anything odd or that has a dated yet under-appreciated feel. Nate used to work at a thrift store, so he would find items daily that stuck out and he really has a great eye for items we both can appreciate. We love spotting old items that are totally non-traditional and we don’t really care if they match or “go” with anything in our place. If we like it, we’ll find a place for it and it will make sense to us.
Favorite Element: There’s so much natural character inside this apartment. We’re very lucky that all the previous inhabitants took really great care of it, which has allowed it to retain its natural character. Little to nothing has been updated in the 100 years this building has been around, so I’d say the elements we love the most are the pieces that make it truly unique: the original light fixtures, gold radiators, woodwork, stained glass windows, brick fireplace, and the large front balcony. Buildings just aren’t made like this anymore. We’re very lucky we found this place.
Biggest Challenge: When we first moved in together, I had a ton of stuff and Nate had very little. The biggest obstacle was finding items to fill this giant space while still making it representative of each other’s style. I think we’ve done a good job of compromising and in the areas we haven’t, (bathroom) Nate luckily hasn’t caused a huge stir :)
What Friends Say: “NO WAY. How much is your rent?”
Biggest Embarrassment: We have one room we have yet to decide what to do with. It’s the room right off the balcony and it could be amazing if only we could get our acts together. Also, we can’t manage to keep our plants alive for longer than a few weeks.
Proudest DIY: Nate is a very talented, self-taught furniture maker. He made our dining room table and our coffee table in our bedroom. He’s currently making us a brand-new bed that I’m really bummed wasn’t ready in time for this shoot.
Biggest Indulgence: The ridiculously giant TV in our bedroom. I tried my darnedest to convince Nate a TV in the bedroom was not necessary, but that is one battle I lost.
Best Advice: The best way to avoid completely redoing a room or aesthetic is to not give in to trends that are “too trendy.” Trends, by definition, come and go and are constantly changing. Instead, find items that speak to you, that are unique, and that you see as treasures. Surround yourself with things you find beauty in and that are pleasant to look at and you’ll find that you’ll be happier with your space longer.
Dream Sources: Treasure Aisles, The Green Shag, Mo Modern, Flowers and Weeds, estate sales, and thrift stores
- Brass coffee tray table: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Couch: Roy’s Furniture
- Sofa chair: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Blue ottoman: Treasure Aisles
- Pillows: World Market, Urban Outfitters
- Blue side table: Treasure Aisles
- Green shelf: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Jagged shelf: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Poufs: World Market, The Home Store
- Rug: Rugs.com
- Blanket: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Green bench: originally belonged to my friend’s grandma
- Lamp: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Table: handmade by Nate
- Metal bucket chairs: Overstock.com
- Yellow chair: Quintessential Antiques
- Gold and black chair: Treasure Aisles
- Red metal locker: IKEA
- Lamp: Value Village Thrift Store
- Little metal stool: Treasure Aisles
- Green shelf: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Pillows: The Home Store, West Elm, Urban Outfitters
- Record player: Urban Outfitters
- Record player stand: Treasure Aisles
- Typewriter: typewriter store in Maplewood that has since gone out of business
- “Bob Slyman” name plaque: belonged to my father
- Rug: Arearugs.com
- Museum of the Rockies picture: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Table: belonged to my grandmother and grandfather
- Chairs: Nate found them at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and they magically matched the table.
- Shelf: IKEA via a thrift store
- Plant pots: Flowers & Weeds
- Pink side table: Treasure Aisles
- Cookie jar: Value Village
- Red, yellow, and orange wall mirrors: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Futon: sofa store in the UCity Loop that has since closed
- Pillows: World Market, Mod Modern
- Blankets: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Blue chest: Treasure Aisles
- Cushion on chest: Treasure Aisles
- Vanity: Quintessential Antiques
- Metal locker: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Green drawers: garage sale
- Coffee table: handmade by Nate
- Orange table: Treasure Aisles
- Green side tables: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Charley Harper picture: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Orange triangle wall decoration: handmade by Nate
- Blue rug: World Market
- Geometric rug: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Yellowstone picture: Savers Thrift Store
- Curtain: World Market
- Blue desk: Treasure Aisles
- Brown desk: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
- Green chair: Treasure Aisles
- Tree clock: St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
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