These Renters Had to Get Creative to Furnish Their Apartment

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Name: Lindsay Varley and husband
Location: Oakland, California
Type of home: Loft Aparment
Size: 780 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months, renting

Fabulous white Belgium linen IKEA couch cover.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband and I moved to Oakland, California from Boston in February 2020. We put a down payment on a brand new apartment complex being built and ready March 2020. Well then COVID happened and we were given no possible move-in date. At this point, we were moving from Airbnb to Airbnb with a car full of belongings. Finally, we found a charming, unique, loft-style apartment that was ready for move in ASAP! We were able to see the apartment (face masked and six feet apart) and immediately I knew I didn’t have to do much to this eclectic, historical, sublime apartment to make it feel like home.

One of my lockdown painting projects

We moved in two days later, but I quickly realized that furnishing an entire apartment with NO stores open would be a challenge. I ended up finding ALL of the furnishings in my apartment online and through Craigslist. I loved using Craigslist because that meant we didn’t have to wait two to three weeks for delivery and we could just go pick up the furniture that day! My favorite and most prideful project was a set of vintage lockers I bought from Craigslist. I painted them white and found a bookcase (on Craigslist as well!) to put in between. And there are absolutely no closets in our apartment, so we had to get creative and build our own closet with brass pipes.

My proudest lockdown project!

I am a traveling nurse and therefore I think that my style has evolved quite a bit over time. But because I’ve traveled so many places and had to pick up and pack up an apartment and find another one quickly, I think I got very good at having an “eye” for my style. I love all the little pieces I have that remind me of where I’ve been and traveled to. And I love mixing them with the new pieces as well. I love plants and therefore I love mixing the bright green leafy plants with natural tones like browns and whites. In the past year or two, I have incorporated some antique modern pieces (found on Etsy!) with my boho look. I love minimalism as well and usually just use a few colors with the plants as a “pop” of color.

A nice shot of my eldest plant "Harriet"! Haha

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern mixed with boho chic

Morning sunlight on our kitchen table

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the living room. We spend the most time here (especially since lockdown!) but what I really love is my white Belgium linen cover I bought from Bemz Designs. They make custom covers for almost all of the IKEA couches and they are spectacular! The white linen is so crisp and with our floor-to-ceiling windows, the living room is bright and airy and the morning sunlight is just magical.

Vintage video camera floor lamp!

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I absolutely love antiques and flea markets and once stores and businesses started to reopen, I found an Antique Artisan Market in Sacramento, California, called Midtown Bliss Marketplace. I dragged my husband there and found the most incredible floor lamp. I had been searching high and low online for something similar but I knew the minute I saw it, it would be perfect for our apartment. It’s an antique tripod video camera that someone wired up to become a lamp! It’s amazing and I love it so much! I also found a rope lamp made of just a rope and the biggest Edison lightbulb at the end I’ve ever seen! We have very tall ceilings and little light in the apartment at night, so this hanging light works perfect in our kitchen. It gives the apartment warm lighting and an industrial feel.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Create the vision in your head first. Pick a palette of colors that you love and then when you go to the store, focus on ANYTHING with that color palette. Over time, you’ll bring home things that you need but also they’re all going to blend well together since they are all part of the same color palette! One more thing… PLANTS! A home is not a home without plant babies.

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