Plants and DIY Projects Make This Philly Rental Apartment Cool
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Name: Chelsea Coffey and Warren Creavalle
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Size: 1,336 square feet
Years Lived In: 6 months, renting
Chelsea and Warren’s home—a two-story apartment in the Olde Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia—is perfectly reflective of the merging of their two lives. Chelsea runs a Houston-based nonprofit called Mia’s Closet; they collect clothing donations for kids K-12 from under-served communities and host confidence-building experiences for them where they get a personal stylist to help them “shop.” She’s also a blogger at TheCoffeyBreak.com and a first-time author. “I spent the last year writing it, and the journey has been a labor of love. It’s called ‘Speak Those Things || 52 Affirmations To Build A Life You Love,’ and I’m just so excited that it’s finally finished.”
Warren is the co-founder of CREAVALLE, a lifestyle brand focused on (but not limited to) photography, clothing, and curation. They have various pop-ups and events throughout the year for the projects, with the next two slated for Toronto and Philadelphia this spring/summer. He also plays professionally for the Philadelphia Union.
Chelsea also works from home, so its really important that she had a dedicated space to get work done. “For me, working from home is all about boundaries and discipline so intentional layout techniques have gone a long way.” Their desks, for example, are set up next to windows, so she gets the warm sunshine spilling onto her workspace.
What Chelsea and Warren love most about their neighborhood is that it’s in such close proximity to Center City and cool cafes and hangouts in Fishtown and Northern Liberties, but still feels very much like a family neighborhood.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Urban chic with a modern mix
Inspiration: Chelsea: My favorite pieces from my parents’ house, a blend of bohemian/urban design, and my favorite places and spaces from Pinterest. When I first moved to New York from Houston, I brought several of my most favorite decorative pieces from home. When I moved to Philly, Warren and I merged our styles to create this space. We walked, in, saw the windows, the rooftop, and said to each other, “Where do we sign?” No hesitation. We loved it from the beginning.
Warren: Scandinavian mixed with rustic/vintage aesthetics. I just started collecting a hodgepodge of things that caught my eye in a never-ending effort to turn the apartment into a treehouse by day/dimly lit, cozy, low key lounge by night.
Favorite Element: Our big windows and plants
Biggest Challenge: Committing to using what we have and making what we don’t. There are some things that we had to shop for, but we really wanted to give setting up our place with our current belongings a fair shot before adding anything else.
What Friends Say: “Y’all got a lot of plants.”
Biggest Embarrassment: Warren: Ain’t nobody embarrassed
Chelsea: Haha, but ya no, honestly, no embarrassments over here—I take that back. We have a stack of wooden blocks holding up one of the corners of our bed. I was so nervous about it at first, but it’s holding up just fine haha.
Proudest DIY: Our bar. Warren found the wood at Gravy Studio’s pop-up, brought it to my place in Bed Stuy (Brooklyn), and he and his grandpa installed it in my apartment there and now we have it here. It’s such a sweet memory for me thinking back to watching them try to get through that brick wall and testing out all their different tools. It looked so lovely once it was finished, and we like it just as much here. Hopefully, we’ll always live in spaces that can accommodate it somewhere.
*Close runner-up: Warren hung the center ivy below the stairs to water it one evening, and I melted. I grabbed two more, and now we have such a lovely way to display one of my favorite plants from our collection.
Biggest Indulgence: Chelsea: Buying new plants. We’re kids in a candy store at just about any plant shop. It’s always so exciting bringing a new one home. Just the thought of it puts a twinkle in my eye. We were on a plant-buying freeze this winter, but now that it’s spring, I’d say it’s time to finally get a ZZ plant.
Best Advice: Chelsea: Both of us had our own apartments prior to moving in together. Merging two spaces can be tough, even when you have similar design aesthetics. We both liked the space, and each other’s spaces, so I think we both assumed it would be a seamless transition, but we both had our own visions of how we wanted to use the space that we hadn’t really discussed with the other person. I think it’s really important to discuss how you want to use the space, the vision you have for the space, and so on in advance to make sure you’re on the same page as much as possible.
Oh! And shop smart! Find the sale. Make it yourself. Only buy pieces you love—in my experience, they don’t grow on you, so buy what you like from the get-go or else you might find yourself with unnecessary clutter and double the purchases.
Dream Sources: Chelsea: When I was younger, I would have said Pier One. I remember going in their stores and wanting seemingly everything. Now that we have most of our staple pieces, I look forward to adding new items from around the world as we travel, gifts from friends, family, etc. in the years to come. So much of our home is a compilation of thrifted finds it would be tough to narrow it down to just one place
PAINT & COLORS
- ColorPlace ULTRA Interior Paint & Primer in One, White, Flat
- Dolce Sofa — La-Z-Boy
- KARLSTAD Sofa — IKEA
- Vintage Trunk — Jinxed
- Retro Single Chair – Jinxed
- Blanket — Pendleton
- Lamp – Target
- Milk Crates – Gravy Studios Pop-Up
- Corn Plant – Lowe’s
- Pilea Plant – Trader Joe’s
- Reel Projector – Thrifted
- Cactus – Urban Jungle
- South African Ndebele Doll – “Thiefed” from Brenda Coffey (Mom)
- Vogue Covers Coffee Table Book — Gifted from Bren Valentine’s Day 2018
- Basquiat Print – AGO
- Film Print – Warren
- Cuba Prints – CREAVALLE
- Word Sign – Target
- Bed Throw – IKEA
- Decorative Pillow – Target
- Painted Gold Fans – DIY; by our wedding planner, Brittani
- Nightstand – Target
- Don Quixote Print – College Poster Sale
- Floating Shelves – Target
- Nightstand Lamp – Target
- Macrame Hanging Planters – The Coffey Shop
- Gold Rimmed Mirror – Target
- Park Film Print – CREAVALLE Pop Up
- Inhale / Exhale Canvas Set – The Coffey Shop
- Rug – Jinxed
- Alarm Clock – Target
- Mirror – IKEA
- Fiddle Leaf Fig – Home Depot
- Decorative Pillows – Target
- Coffee Table – Target
- Macrame Wall Art – HomeGoods
- Hanging Pendant Lamp – Target
- Jean Rack – Bed Bath and Beyond
- Clothing Rack – IKEA
- Wall Grid Film Prints – Warren
- Canvas Painting – Brittany Fields