This Cookbook Author’s Apartment Is a Great Example of How to Adapt Your Rental

published Jun 1, 2020

This Cookbook Author’s Apartment Is a Great Example of How to Adapt Your Rental

published Jun 1, 2020
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Name: Kirsten Buck
Location: Winnipeg — Manitoba, Canada
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

Kirsten Buck‘s Winnipeg apartment is the perfect example of how to make a rental home fit your own needs. Located in a heritage building that’s over 100 years old, her apartment’s character is what sold her on the place, though it does have its quirks. “The layout of my apartment is so unique that even after two years, I can’t make much sense of it. Wonky room shapes and hidden closets and cubbies,” describes Kirsten. “But, I loved the character and charm, and saw tons of potential. I gave the whole apartment a fresh coat of white paint to brighten up the space (plus an impulsive Scandinavian-inspired peach wall in the kitchen to add some personality). Over time I settled in, adding items as I found them thrifted or at HomeSense. And plants, lots of plants.” 

Credit: Kirsten Buck

But adding plants and fresh white paint isn’t the only update she’s made to her rental. When she realized she wasn’t using her living room all that much (she doesn’t own a TV), she switched her bedroom with the living room, turning the old bedroom space into studio and home office to shoot photography. As a cookbook author, holistic nutritionist, and food stylist (her first book, Buck Naked Kitchen, was released in April of this year), she spends a lot of time in the kitchen, and her rental’s formerly drab cook space just wasn’t going to work. With the help of her dad, they DIYed the small space, painting a feature wall, adding more work space, and installing open shelving.

Credit: Kirsten Buck

“I feel as though my apartment has a soft boho feel to it. I like to spend a lot of time alone, so it’s a place that’s sacred to me, where I can just unwind and relax,” Kirsten says. “Much of that boho vibe I think comes from the oversized macrame chandelier that my parents handmade for me. It’s a really special touch and I think of how creative and supportive they are every time I look at it. I think what people like most about my space is that a lot of things that I have are either thrifted, passed down, or found on clearance. There are only a couple of items that I’ve splurged on and will keep forever. I also make the best out of what I already have or find cost effective ways to make a room look completely different, like rearranging furniture/decorative items, or switching decorations from room to room.” 

Credit: Kirsten Buck

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Cozy, boho, hygge. Eclectic.

Inspiration: Danish/German small space/apartment decor

Credit: Kirsten Buck

Favorite Element: I would have to say my favorite element would be the curved archways and ceiling design of the dining room area.

Biggest Challenge: Lack of air conditioning! Although I do get by using a window unit to if the heat is too unbearable in the summer months.

Credit: Kirsten Buck

Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY (with the help of my dad) has to be the before and afters of the mini kitchen reno. It went from being a drab space to having tons of personality with just a few DIY projects and a little elbow grease. We painted a feature wall, my dad built countertops for extra work space, and we put-up open shelving to help fill the space.

Credit: Kirsten Buck

Biggest Indulgence: My hunter green velvet desk chair (HomeSense).

Best Advice: I’m someone who is inspired by the space I live in, and look to embrace it. If I lived in a space that was more modern, my decor would probably look a lot different than it does in this character suite. My best advice would probably be to save a reel of inspiration photos and highlight what you like about each space. Then mould those ideas into something that’s realistic for your own personal space. That way you end up creating a style that’s your own, while honoring the space you live in.


Credit: Kirsten Buck


  • Living Room, Bedroom, Dining room: Benjamin Moore — “White Dove”
  • Kitchen Feature Wall: Behr Marquee — “Scene Stealer”
  • Blue Counter Base : Behr Marquee — “Secret Society”
Credit: Kirsten Buck


  • Macrame Chandelier — DIY handmade Sectional Sofa — Direct Buy circa 2010
  • Green Velvet Chair — HomeSense
  • Grey Desk —Jysk
  • Yellow Lamp & Shade — HomeSense
    Velvet Green pillow — IKEA
  • “Eye” pillow IndabaMacrame Pillow — HomeSense
  • Large White Faux Sheepskin — HomeSense
    Faux Grey Sheepskin  — HomeSense
  • Red Area Rug — HomeSense
  • Faux Skull – HomeSense
  • Palmistry Hand Decor — HomeSense
  • Grey Velvet Coffee Table — HomeSense
  • Wicker Floor Round — IKEA
  • Snake plant pot — HomeSense
  • Lamp & Shade – Target
  • Geometric Copper & Gold Wall Hanging — HomeSense
  • Moon Phase Photo & Frame — IKEA
  • Black & Gold dreamcatcher — Home Sense
  • Birds Of Paradise plant basket — Structube
Credit: Kirsten Buck


  • Large Island/Table — IKEA
  • Stool — Bouclair
  • Pendant Light — IKEA
  • San Fransisco Art — Thrifted
  • Mountain Portrait — Taken by my dad in the ’70s
  • Large Monstera Basket — Walmart
Credit: Kirsten Buck


  • Pendant Light — IKEA
  • Water Filter — BERKEY
  • Art Above Stove — HomeSense
  • Small Art Prints — Society 6
  • Walnut Counter tops — IKEA
  • Floating Shelves — IKEA (spray painted antique brass)
  • Plant Hanger — Handmade
  • Oil and Vinegar Dispensers — Lot 15
  • Speckled Canisters — HomeSense
  • Utensils Holder & Vase — Thrifted
  • Spice containers — IKEA
  • Espresso Machine — Breville Bambino +
  • Coffee Grinder — Breville Dose Control
  • Loose Tea Jars — WECK
Credit: Kirsten Buck


  • Rattan Chair — IKEA
  • Bedframe — EQ3
  • Indigenous art — Gifted
  • Faux Sheepskin RugHomeSense
  • Floor Poof — HomeSense
  • Side Table — Target
  • Round Glass Vase — HomeSense
  • Duvet Cover — IKEA
  • Peach pillow cases — Target
  • Pampas grass — Shop Public
  • Macrame wall hanging — Chapters-Indigo
  • Black and white bird art — Thrifted
  • Mattress — Hamuq
  • Sherpa throw blanket — HomeSense
  • Peach & White Throw Pillow — Target

Thanks Kirsten!

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