Adriana's Earthy City Escape

Adriana's Earthy City Escape

Chloe Berk
Oct 8, 2015
(Image credit: Chloe Berk)

Name: Adriana Neumann
Location: Italian Market; Philadelphia, PA
Size: 500 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented

We all strive to create a home that is highly personal, and Adriana’s small one-bedroom apartment is exactly that. Filled with hand-me-down furniture from family members, collected items from her travels across the country, and unique pieces that Adriana has made herself, this home is packed with memories and meaning.

(Image credit: Chloe Berk)

Adriana has found a way to turn a “plain, normal rental” into a home filled with character using natural yet contrasting materials and pops of turquoise. Located in the heart of the bustling Italian Market neighborhood of Philadelphia, Adriana’s apartment is a welcome, peaceful retreat from busy city life.

(Image credit: Chloe Berk)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I would say my style is a mix of rustic and industrial. I love using wood and metal in earth tones with a pop of turquoise and teal. Filling my home with meaningful objects is very important to me. As long as there is a story behind something, it doesn’t quite matter if it fits a particular style.

Inspiration: I love hiking, camping, and just being in nature. I think my love of the outdoors has influenced me to include a lot of earth tones and wood furniture. I also gain inspiration from creative friends, design blogs, and visually beautiful books.

Favorite Element: I feel like everything in my apartment has a story, whether it's been made by me, passed down from my family, or found at a local thrift store. It makes me feel like I'm not imitating anyone else’s style.

Biggest Challenge: I like the idea of living simply and am always trying to find ways to reduce clutter. My apartment is small, so it’s a constant challenge to stay de-cluttered. The space itself doesn't have much character so adding personal elements has really helped to make this place feel like home.

What Friends Say: I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the pieces that I built or altered, specifically the island table in the kitchen (totally built from scratch!) and the crate coffee table in the living room (made with the help of Pinterest).

Biggest Embarrassment: There are some holes in the floorboards, which aren’t very attractive. When I moved in, the cabinets above the sink had doors and were a harsh orange wood color. I removed the doors, but since I rent I couldn’t paint the cabinets. Instead, I painstakingly covered the open cabinets with white contact paper. It isn’t perfect and you can see air bubbles and cracks in the paper, but you have to look pretty close to see them. And now the kitchen looks a lot better!

Proudest DIY: The island table separating the kitchen and the living room. I made this table with the help of my uncle without any sort of instructions. I had seen pictures of tables online using gas pipes for legs, so I went to the hardware store and figured out how to put them together to make the right table for me. I then spray painted the pipes a darker metallic color. I wanted to make sure the table top had no particular pattern, so I used four types of wood, all cut to different lengths. I then stained the wood, which is held together by pegs and wood glue. After the top was complete, we screwed the legs in and it was finished!

Biggest Indulgence: The couch is my biggest indulgence. It's from Ikea, so not very expensive in the scheme of things, but it was expensive for me!

Best Advice: Make it your own. Figure out what's important to you and make sure to incorporate that personal element to your home. My mom always said, "choose what speaks to you." That advice has helped me really curate a home that feels special to me.

Dream Sources: Eventually I would love to be able to furnish my home entirely with work by local makers.


(Image credit: Chloe Berk)


  • All came with the apartment
(Image credit: Chloe Berk)


  • Plant containers: Goodwill, local thrift stores
  • TV stand: a repurposed table that was passed down from her parents — it originally was a glass top with brass legs. Adriana adhered stained wood to the top and spray painted the legs a dark color.
  • Chair: donated from her father — the first piece of furniture he ever bought over 20 years ago!
  • Pillows: West Elm, Ikea, a local vintage store, a present from her dad
  • Floor lamp with shade: World Market
  • Naked light stand with a connected table: a local thrift store (it's one of her favorite finds!)
  • Futon: This piece was in Adriana’s room growing up and was passed down from her parents.
  • Couch: Ikea
  • Coffee table: made by Adriana
  • Metal movie reel used to display photos above the TV: a vintage store in Virginia
  • Throw blanket on couch: a local shop in a small town in West Virginia
  • Basket under TV stand: Target
  • Suitcases under couch: local thrift store — she uses them to store all of her board games for game nights.
  • All other accessories: collected during her travels throughout the country!
(Image credit: Chloe Berk)


  • Table : handmade by Adriana and her uncle
  • Stools: Goodwill, a local furniture thrift store
  • Butcher block counter: found on the street (she think it's Ikea)
  • Dishware: thrifted, collected — the mug hanging on the top rung of the alcove is by Melissa Weiss, a potter based in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Glass storage jars: Ikea, Target, a local kitchen store
  • Tension rods: Target, hand-painted by Adriana
  • Refrigerator handles: wrapped in thin leather strips from Amazon
  • Silverware buckets: Ikea
  • S-hooks: Ikea
  • Towels: Target
  • Gooseneck kettle: Amazon
  • Shelving unit above table: thrifted wood, metal brackets from Lowe's spray painted by Adriana
  • Copper measuring cups: Target
(Image credit: Chloe Berk)


  • Duvet: Restoration Hardware
  • Sheets: Marshall's
  • Throw: a Target curtain she uses for a pretty decorative element
  • Bedside table to the left of bed: Adriana bought the hairpin legs from a local maker and the wooden top was found at a local resource center. She then screwed the pieces together to make a custom table.
  • Floating bedside table: wooden file folder from Ikea that was stained and screwed into the wall
  • Bare lamp on bedside table: World Market
  • Hanging ceramic planter next to bed: local garden center
  • Wooden window frame: local resource center
  • Hanging light: local thrift store
  • Wooden ladder: antique furniture store in Virginia
  • Desk: This is actually a bedside table that she uses as a desk; it was a gift from her mom.
  • Chair: from her dad — this chair matches the one in the living room.
  • Ceramic planter above desk: by Jo Boyer from Rare Device in San Francisco
  • Hamper: Marshall's
  • Metal crate: local flea market

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Thanks, Adriana!

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