Joe's Curiosity Shop Shotgun Apartment

Joe's Curiosity Shop Shotgun Apartment

Name: Joseph Fred Vodicka
Location: Tower Grove South — St. Louis, Missouri
Size: 625 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 — rented

Joe's one bedroom shotgun apartment is a great example of turning a rented place into a home that is unique and interesting. The space itself doesn't scream special (unless you have a penchant for 70s era wall-to-wall carpeting) but Joe has filled it with a lifetime of curiosities and things he holds dear, all artfully arranged. He does a lot with a little.

This is one of those apartments that requires time to walk around and fully explore all the fascinating items and tiny vignettes. Much of what is displayed was found at thrift stores, inherited from others, purchased from local artists, or were gifts from friends. He is constantly moving things around, introducing new bits, or reconfiguring the space to his liking. As two people without the gift of arrangement, we can appreciate the skill with which he handles his small space.

By the time you read this, Joe will be packing all his stuff to move into another, larger apartment in Saint Louis. And we can't wait to see what he does in his new space.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A collection of castoffs, art and mementoes, nostalgic of an imagined grand tour.

Inspiration: My family, friends and city. The central library, museums and botanical garden. Pee-wee's Playhouse. Chichi hotels, shops and restaurants. Time in the country. Colors in the landscape.

Favorite Element: 'Anymore for Denmark' poster, it was my dad's and hung in my room as a kid

Biggest Challenge: Not affording my own taste.

What Friends Say: What's this?

Biggest Embarrassment: Plush sex-van carpeting in bedroom

Proudest DIY: Removing vinyl tiles from front of fireplace mantel

Biggest Indulgence: Professional framing, bed and bath linens

Best Advice: Forgive yourself. Sketch. Have a long-term plan, make do in the meantime. I'm still making do. Encourage exploration. Be party ready. Turn off HGTV.

Dream Sources: An 'Anthropologie' Men's Store

Resources of Note:


    • "Holding On", assemblage sculpture, Christina Vodicka
    • Cityscape painting, MaryAnn Vodicka
    • Antique taxidermy Wood duck,
    • Boxers print 2/5, Eric Woods,The Firecracker Press,
    • Mid-Century textile wall hanging, The Future Antiques,
    • Compton, watercolor reproduction 4/16, Clark Keitel,
    • Mirror, Restoration Hardware


    • generous friends, alleys, estate sales, thrift stores... luck

Thanks, Joe!

Images: Ann Manubay, Dabney Frake

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