Hunter’s First Home: An Exercise in DIY

published Feb 4, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Hunter Territo
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Size: 1,100 Square Feet
Years lived in: 5 Months

Hunter purchased his first home in September of 2009. For two months, he spent nights and weekends scraping, painting, sanding, refinishing and more. Featured as a House Call — Hunter’s Dramatic DIY — in November, we were so impressed we asked if he would be interested in a full House Tour— and Hunter threw a party.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

From Hunter: “Here she is, after a lot a lot of work, a little bit of money, and a whole lot of help from the greatest group of family members and friends you could ever ask for.

It took about two months with lots of shipments, a bunch of returns, a whole lot of opinions, and quite a few irritated friends to finally decide on the floor lamp in the living room.”

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Young Professional + Bachelor + Graphic Designer

Inspiration: Apartment Therapy, Dwell, ReadyMade, random blogs from friends, Metropolis, Sam Grawe’s Editor’s Note in the April 2009 issue of Dwell that talks about the dream of owning a home, (it’s torn out, framed, and hangs in my living room — it’s well worth the read) and my great friends Lindsay and Kurt’s house, sometimes the best ideas aren’t even yours at all.

Favorite Element: The artwork

Biggest Challenge: Working with small bedrooms and a budget.

What Friends Say: To people who have never seen the place… “This is very Hunter”. To those who have…”Can I get a dirty vodka martini on the rocks?”

Biggest Embarrassment: The previous owner “touched up” the exterior with a darker tan color than the original coat giving me a lovely two-tone home at no extra cost. At a glance you wouldn’t notice it, but now that I told you, you won’t be able to miss it.

Proudest DIY: The headboard and bench seat covers in the breakfast area. Materials: an old duvet, plywood, foam, and batting. A few hours and a few bucks later I had a custom headboard and bench seat covers. A close second — the three liquor decanters. Materials: 3 glass water bottles, bottle pourers, a stencil, spray paint, and 15 minutes of your time. They get a lot of compliments, and have lasted for years.

Biggest Indulgence: I don’t own anything that is super expensive. However, I spent the most time and effort on finding perfect lighting. I try not to use any of the overhead lights unless it’s absolutely necessary. Thus I spent a massive amount of time and effort, and only a little bit of coin, to get the best lamps that look as good turned off as they do on.

Best advice: First and foremost have patience and be prepared. (I only possess one of those qualities) — not only in design but also in purchasing your home. I was set that I was going to buy a condo. I even made an offer on one — luckily, that offer was rejected. Within 24 hours of this garden home being listed I had signed a purchase agreement on it. I was ready to buy, I knew what I could afford, I had all the necessary loan apps ready, and I was in a position to move quickly when a good deal came along. Buying a home is a frustrating process, stay calm. When you walk in the front door of a potential purchase you will know if it’s right or not. Be ready to buy it.

Secondly, I have filled my home with pieces of myself that tell the story of my life, when someone walks in and says “This is very Hunter” It is the best compliment I can receive. A home should be a reflection of who you are and what you love. It’s where you spend time with your family and friends; it’s where you go after a stressful day. It’s where you throw that party that may (hopefully) get out of hand. It’s going to be a place where a lot of memories are made, so make it great.

Last thing. It’s pretty simple. It takes longer than a weekend to paint an entire house. I thought differently, I was wrong.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:

The interior is only two different colors (both in semi-gloss):

    • Valspar Chromium 335A-2 (the lighter)
    • Valspar Pewter 335A-4 (the darker)


    • Table and Chairs: Bought from a college friend
    • Placemats: Target
    • Walk / Don’t Walk Light: gift from a friend
    • Wine Rack: CB2
    • Wire “H”: Urban Outfitters


    • Door Mat: SUCK UK
    • Piece above couch: Collage I made
    • 3 Piece Mural: Stereophonic Silkscreens by Paul Dean: Local artist, DJ, and Louisiana State University Graphic Design Professor
    • Frames on end table and mantle: Laville Frames, made of reclaimed wood from old southern houses. Purchased at the Red Stick Farmers Market. You can find them online:
    • End table lamp: IKEA
    • Metal Floor lamp: West Elm
    • Big ‘Ole Clock: CB2
    • Bookends: Crate and Barrel
    • Woodblock ampersand: local antique shop: Circa 1857
    • The sofa, chairs, end table, and coffee table came with the house. I refinished the coffee and end tables and painted them black. The throw pillows are from IKEA
    • The glass vases on the mantle are filled with woodchips you would use to grill, and my shredded bank statements (thanks Lindsay)
    • Record coasters: local eco-friendly store
    • Magazine Rack: Urban Outfitters
    • Mercury Vases on tables: CB2


    • Lamp: Home Depot
    • Photographs: From my LSU photography class
    • Woodblock “H’s” and “T’s”: Circa 1857
    • Silk Screen Print: The Hold Steady @ Chelsea’s Cafe Baton Rouge
    • Headboard: DIY


    • Locker Baskets for Towels: Thrift store
    • Glass Containers: West Elm and CB2


    • Bob Dylan Print: Milton Glaser, 1967, original print that was packaged with Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits LP
    • Desk: IKEA
    • Dresser: IKEA
    • Bookshelves: Office Depot
    • Desk Lamp: CB2
    • Globe Lamp: IKEA
    • Setlists: From the stage or sound booth of the many concerts I have been fortunate to attend
    • Records: The Compact Disc Store in Baton Rouge
    • Eames Shell Chair: Found outside of a dumpster
    • Print Far left: Radiohead from when I saw them in Houston
    • Print Far Right: Thievery Corporations “Versions” album promo, signed by the designers
    • Two silk screens in the middle: Jason Munn in Oakland, California
    • NYC Sewer Art: Original tracing of a New York Sewer done by Mark Nilsen
    • Locker Basket for Records: Thrift Store

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Hunter!

Images: Eric Cantrelle of Xdesign, Inc.

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