See How Renters Used an IKEA Staple to Show Off Their 400 Records

published Jun 6, 2024

See How Renters Used an IKEA Staple to Show Off Their 400 Records

published Jun 6, 2024
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Bedrooms
Square feet
900
Sq ft
900

When Marysa Corona and her boyfriend, Jake, moved from New York to Richmond, Virginia, so Marysa could pursue a job as a registered nurse, it wasn’t just a daunting 500-mile move.”It was also the furthest from home that either of us had ever lived,” begins Marysa, who shows off her home journey on her Instagram account, @lettucedecorate.

Honey, the rescue pup.

“I toured a dozen apartments with my mom in the span of 24 hours and we instantly knew that this unit was the one, even though the three college girls who were currently leasing the space left much to be desired — and I mean, dirty underwear on the floor and holes in the wall during our initial tour,” Marysa continues. “But the unit had tall ceilings filled with long windows, wood floors throughout, and a charming non-functioning fireplace. The place had character. And the location in The Fan was to die for. And, it had a washer/dryer and dishwasher in unit.”

"Our space is filled with trinkets that call directly to specific points in time or memories of ours," Marysa explains. "A ceramic frog dish, because my parents called me Froggy when I was growing up, and I have a fondness for the little amphibians."

Unfortunately, the home also came without central air and it had a “thick coat of the landlord special on painted doors and windows that barely opened and closed.” But the couple took on the challenge of cleaning up and customizing the rental, switching out the dining room and the living room, using a guest room as an office, and “IKEA-ing the storage problems,” she writes. “Living far from family and working in a stressful healthcare environment, my new apartment needed to be more than just a spot to rest our heads. It needed to become our own getaway. A spot to rest, to host, to work, and, of course, to decorate.”

"A Danish teak table from FB Marketplace that can fit 10 seats, an ode to my time studying abroad in Copenhagen and a place for us to host our friends and family. I have a blue mini fridge that I was gifted for my freshman year of college (eight years ago!), which I spray-painted last year to a buttery cream," Marysa describes.

“The space I’ve created in our apartment allows me to be comfortable, to both host and just relax,” Marysa admits. “Decorating my apartment is truly a creative outlet for me. I am practical; I only need what I use or what I love. But I’m also quirky, so I love a lot of things. My boyfriend plays jazz saxophone and his 400+ record collection spans the wall of our living room. I’ve homed in on a neutral base of jute rugs and wooden furniture, in order to let the colors of our collection of thrifted artwork and coffee table books and glassware shine.”

"The last fun piece of furniture we purchased was a saddle ottoman. I bought it at Circa, which is an amazing antique store in Charlottesville, Virginia. It has a wooden base with brass accents and a light brown, leather seat. Bells hang from the underside and ring every time you move the ottoman. It is both practical and whimsical, so of course I love it," Marysa describes. "I scored a Lou Hodges-style coffee table for $20 at a local thrift store, and we've turned an antique dresser into our TV stand; the drawers are now full of movies and games."

“If I love it and it’s a good deal, then I’ll find a spot for it,” Marysa shares of her own design philosophies. “And this sentiment doesn’t mean, ‘go and buy everything you like.’ But if you do love a piece or something speaks to you, then go for it! You will make it work, you will find a spot for it. When I help decor shop with my friends, they often say, ‘I don’t know where I’d put it.’ And I want to facepalm my head in response. If you are trying to decorate your space, then sometimes you need to take the leap and just try. If it doesn’t work out, then resell it!”

"If someone were to ask me to describe my personal decor style, I would show them the living room," Marysa admits. "I am my most comfortable in this room. My dog, Honey, would agree, as she snoozes on the ottoman or next to me on the couch. I think that I also feel a certain sense of pride when I reflect on the layout issues that we overcame in order to make this room so successful and usable."

Get the same look as this home:

LIVING ROOM

  • Seagrass rug — Rugs USA
  • Antique dresser — Clash & Trash (Richmond, VA)
  • Lou Hodges-style coffee table — Diversity Thrift (Richmond)
  • Saddle ottoman — Circa (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Hand-me-down Pottery Barn couch
  • Record cabinet — IKEA KALLAX
  • Gingham chair and ottoman — FB Marketplace
  • Side table, art, lamps, wrought iron, glass side table, bar cart — Thrifted
  • Red lamp with blue shade — Lamp base free on the sidewalk and spray-painted red; shade from Home Goods
  • Gingham curtains — Thrifty Sisters (Richmond)
  • Large piece of art titled “Evening Ritual” — Chloe Strang (@chloestrang)
  • Embroidered flower canvases — Made by one of my best friends
  • Crayola Clock — Thrifty Sisters (Richmond)
"We relentlessly searched for a set of six vintage chairs and were so lucky to score the yellow vinyl-clad set in the dining room."

DINING ROOM

  • Teak MCM dining table — FB Marketplace
  • Set of 6 Cesca-style chairs — Boho To Go (Richmond)
  • Acrylic wine rack — Mainly Modern (Richmond)
  • MCM hutch — Family heirloom
  • Curtains — Thrifty Sisters (Richmond)
  • Hanging wall clock — Material World (Richmond)
  • Glassware and lamps and art — Thrifted

KITCHEN

  • Spice racks — IKEA
  • Blue crates — HAY brand from the Design Within Reach website
  • Tomato print — Thrifted

PRIMARY BEDROOM

  • Bed frame — IKEA
  • Headboard — $10! West End Thrift (Richmond)
  • Purple-striped duvet cover and throw blanket — H&M home
  • Blue velvet blackout curtains — Home Depot online
  • Bedside lamps and At Home Thomas McKnight print — RVA Antiques (Richmond)

Thanks, Marysa and Jake!

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