Name: Amy Kuntz
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 18 months, renting
Why stick with one living room when you can have ten? Amy Kuntz loves to change up her first-floor flat in St. Louis whenever she feels inspired, giving her Instagram followers a new, stylish look every few weeks. The Midwest native has had a thing for rearranging furniture ever since she was a kid, "I would move the furniture at my parents' when my mom was at work," Amy says. "There are so many ways to make your space feel new without having to go and spend a lot of money, and that's one of my favorite things when my friends ask me to go help them design their space."
Advising others how to make their rooms, restaurants, or banquet halls look and feel beautiful was what she liked most about her job when she had an event planning business. "But that's not what event planning is," she says. She has since moved on to channeling her energy into the things she finds more creatively rewarding, like building her social media presence, hosting cozy dinner parties, and baking. In fact, she loves making pies, cakes, and other goodies so much that she once bought a double wide mirror for her future bakery, just in case. That mirror, framed by what appears to be silver buttercream frosting, has traveled with her over her many moves around the U.S., and now will hang in her dining room until the day comes — if it ever does. "I bake here and people sit by the mirror and it's almost the same," Amy says. "I have a bucket list of jobs I want to do!"
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Whatever word you would use to describe a hodgepodge of styles. Let's go with "whimsy." I really lean towards mid-century modern furniture, but I also love Scandinavian and industrial elements. I would describe my favorite space as bright, clean yet still cozy, with pops of color, texture and details.
Inspiration: I am inspired by beauty, and that takes so many forms. Traveling the world, standing on the ocean's shore, climbing a mountain, setting a beautiful table and then filling it with friends, visiting a gorgeous new restaurant, walking through a garden, reading stories of design history, and shopping at Target ;).
Favorite Element: Paint. That may seem silly in the grand scheme of what makes a space, but painting the walls, or even a piece of furniture or mirror, automatically transforms something from old to new. It is the simplest, most dramatic form of design transformation there is in my opinion. Nothing makes a room feel new and fresh quite like a fresh coat of paint.
Biggest Challenge: Renting property. You don't have full control over what happens in the space, and sometimes it's not as motivating to invest a ton in something that you'll leave in a year or two. Over the last five years, I have moved a lot. It's not very economical to change all of my stuff every time I land in a new place, so making my belongings work in multiple spaces — and turn it into a place I love — is always a challenge. But it's pretty darn fun too.
What Friends Say: My friends always say, "When can you come over to my house?" I always love this because I get most passionate about taking what already exists and turning it into something new. And that's attainable for everyone, no matter their design budget.
Biggest Embarrassment: I am kind of obsessed with hanging things from the ceiling. Gads of paper lanterns, Edison bulb string lights, flowers, terrariums — you name it. Well, one time, I hung lights with glass terrariums, candles, and flowers over a room full of tables for a dinner. And about 30 minutes before the guests arrived the string of lights snapped and everything came crashing down. We had to clear all of the tables and start over. It was so sad. The space looked gorgeous and nobody ever got to see it. But don't worry, that's only happened once, so no need to fear for your life or anything at one of my events. Promise! I learned my lesson.
Proudest DIY: My dining room buffet. I wish you could see the before pictures. It was a pretty rough $20 purchase. I wasn't actually sure if paint would even stick to the surface. But the black and white paint transformed it incredibly and then gold hardware really put it over the top.
Biggest Indulgence: I bought the mirror in my dining room for a bakery I didn't yet own. I saw it and knew it would work perfectly for my dream to one day open a bakery. Life's gone in some different directions since then, and I don't think I'll actually open a bakery. But that mirror has traveled across state lines and followed me to six homes. She's like a part of me. And everyone I have over says the silver frame looks just like icing. So somehow it was all meant to be. Come over for baked goods any time. It might not be a business, but it's still a passion.
Best Advice: There are fewer design rules than you think. Don't get stuck. If you want to add an element to your space and you aren't sure if it goes then just make sure it's not the only thing like it in the room. For instance if you add something teal to a room that has no teal then throw a couple other elements in a room so the color doesn't just land but instead floats around the space. The bottom line is to make it a space you love, in which you enjoy spending time. Don't overthink it too much.
Dream Sources: Anthropologie for sure. They can just take my whole paycheck already. I want it all. I also love Williams-Sonoma, but that's probably because I'm of the belief that a copper KitchenAid mixer makes a mighty fine design accessory.
I also really love HomeGoods. I design entire rooms in my head just walking through the aisles. Society6 is my go-to for art. West Elm is my place for dishes and rugs. And my dream sofa that I do not yet own, would definitely come from Article. Flowers are the perfect addition to any room, and nobody beats the price and seasonal selections at Trader Joes.
I could go on and on.
Mid-Century sofa — West Elm
Pillows — HomeGoods/IKEA
Emerald throw — IKEA
Coffee table — Urban Outfitters
Candles — Anthropologie
Mid-Century High Boy Dresser — Etsy
Audio Tehnica Turntable — Amazon
Edifier Speakers — Amazon
Plants — Flowers and Weeds, St. Louis
'Do What You Love' Print — Ugmonk / Frame Hobby Lobby
Light blue chair — World Market
Mid-Century Wood/Navy Chair — Etsy
Teal pouf — Target
Art pieces — Chad Schoonmaker
Blue antique table – Cherokee Antique Row, St. Louis
Fireplace mantel art/tassels — Target
Navy/gold lamp — Target
Floor lamp — Pottery Barn
Project62 Brass Mirror — Target
Blanket basket — HomeGoods
Wooden farm table — Local furniture store in Houston, Texas
Mirror — Local furniture store in Houston, Texas
Table runner — Anthropologie
End chairs — Home Goods
Side chairs — Pottery Barn
Wood and Brass Finish Bar Cart — Target
Buffet — Goodwill, refinished it myself
Gather light sign — Target
Rolling hostess cart — IKEA
Gold silverware — Target
Napkins — Anthropologie
ALIVINE RUTA flat woven rug — IKEA
Plants — IKEA
Drink dispenser — IKEA
Black iron candle holders — Pottery Barn / Candlesticks — IKEA
Breville Grind Control Coffee maker — Amazon
Breville Smart Oven — Amazon
Cake stand — HomeGoods
Circle Shelf by Pillowfort — Target
Short Stacks — Lemon Gem
Mugs — Anthropologie/Target
Blue and White salt and pepper shakers — Target
Shelf plants — Home Depot
GRUNDTAL kitchen cart — IKEA
Rug — Tasdemir Rugs and Island Ambiance, Bainbridge Island, WA
'Grow Your Neighborhood Print' — Firecracker Press, St, Louis
LEIRVIK bed frame — IKEA
GASER rug, high pile — IKEA
Pom tassel curtains in grey — Anthropologie
Duvet cover — Pottery Barn
Printed pillow cases by Threshold for Target — Target
Rivulets Sham in light grey — Anthropologie
Textured Chevron Euro Sham in white — Anthropologie
VAGMALA throw, blue — IKEA
Scarf on bed — The Loft
Mid-Century 9-Drawer Dresser — Etsy
Grand Teton National Park print — Type Hike
'Heart of My Heart/So Far From Home' edit print (above bed) — Society6
Right: Emerson Print — Red Lettered Goods
Framed abstract wall canvas — Target
Bicycle Bookends — Target
Plant stand — Target
Vintage wooded mirror — The Heirloom Room, Cherokee Street St. Louis
Gold bedside table — Home Goods
Glass table lamp with shade — Target
Tripod floor lamp — Target
Blush tufted chair — Goodwill
SANELA cushion cover, dark green with down inserts — IKEA
Rugs — Anthropologie
Shower Curtain — Target
Art — Hobby Lobby
Plants — Flowers & Weeds, St. Louis
Candle — Anthropologie
Jewelry Tray — Target