This Renter Spent 2020 Painting Accent Walls in Bright Colors… and the Result Is Beautiful

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Bed with green velvet headboard in room with brick walls
Credit: Jessie Ruane

Name: Jessie Ruane, boyfriend, Ryan, and dog, Dusty
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: This apartment has been a labor of love. Since being trapped inside all of last year, I’ve found solace in painting (and painting…) all my walls and redefining my style. My boyfriend luckily trusts my instincts and lets me do pretty much whatever I want. Dusty doesn’t mind much either but hated the staple gun, ha!

Credit: Jessie Ruane

I’m an actress, and fancy myself a little artsy. I definitely channel my stress through decorating my home. I always knew I loved color, but it wasn’t until this past year of being home that I realized how much. I essentially spent 2020 painting accent walls in bright colors, forcing color combinations to work (even though TikTok made fun of my accidental homage to the Subway logo…). Eat Fresh, I guess! I’ve also always joked that my brain was “organized chaos,” which I think my home pretty obviously mirrors.

Credit: Jessie Ruane

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Colorful, cozy, eclectic, with mid-century accents.

Credit: Jessie Ruane

What is your favorite room and why? My bedroom has and always will be my favorite part of our one-room loft apartment. In June I DIY’d and upholstered my headboard to an olive green velvet.

Credit: Jessie Ruane
My happy place.

That project sparked an entire bedroom re-do! I figured out that rust and olive green look amazing together (Did people know this??), then IKEA hacked my mirror, thrifted vintage nightstands, and did the infamous “puck light” hack with some brass sconces on my exposed brick wall.

Credit: Jessie Ruane
I spent all summer curating my massive frame wall.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last piece of furniture we added is a vintage mid-century dresser that we bought off a friend who was moving. We had been searching for a great vintage piece for a couple years, and it felt like fate!

Credit: Jessie Ruane
This is the first accent wall I painted, and I love how it highlighted the tall ceilings.

Any advice for creating a home you love?
1. Trends are great, but I recommend buying pieces you truly love.

2. When you can, invest in vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces; they will be the ones you cherish the most!

Credit: Jessie Ruane
I had leftover paint from my entryway accent wall and painted some shapes on a whim.

3. When you’re on a budget, there is no shame in a good IKEA hack. Half of my apartment at this point is IKEA hacks!

4. If you live in a big city, keep your eyes peeled for stuff being thrown out. I have found amazing furniture and decor on the street!

Credit: Jessie Ruane

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.