This Renter Uses Removable Wallpaper in the Kitchen in a Fresh Way

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Vibrant colors and graphics mixing with all the different seating styles stimulates all the senses in this living room.

Name: Chi-Thien Nguyen
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 1400 square feet
Years lived in: 3 months, renting

Central to the whole open common space of the unit, this double-height wall provides a great opportunity to display the diverse assembly of arts and collectibles. This eccentricity resonates in all the design elements throughout the unit, the graphic wall covering, the mix-match dining chairs, every piece has a story to tell.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I recently moved into this apartment when I accepted the position of Chair of Preservation Design for Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). I decided to rent first to explore the new city. I also enjoy the freedom that comes with a rental, as I love to travel. The apartment is located right in downtown, with great walkability for exploration. With the amount of time spent inside these days, and inspired by the lushness of the Spanish moss-covered oak tree lined streets of Savannah, I have developed quite a green thumb, as I find that bringing nature and the outdoors in adds life and freshness to any space.

A formal buffet-and-side-chair configuration against an exposed concrete wall is the juxtaposition that defines the overall style of this unit. Custom neon sign adds a playful touch.

I consider myself somewhat of a nomad. I was born and raised in Vietnam. I moved to the U.S. in high school and have lived here since. I had a few quick residences in Italy and Argentina, but here in the U.S., I have lived in DC, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and now Georgia. I love to travel and collect. I love to surround myself with all things creative, going to museums and attending live performances. My space is a true reflection of myself, a playful mix of juxtapositions, unapologetically eccentric. From my parents’ cuckoo clock to little figurines collected from my travels, my space is a visual diary of life experiences and findings. There isn’t a primary accent color or graphic, but rather a tapestry of elements that will keep my senses stimulated every day.

A textural rug adds softness to the industrial interior and provides a base for an eclectic mix of seating.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eccentric, playful, organic, graphic, stimulating

Roof terrace with view to downtown and the waterfront provides a lush retreat.

What is your favorite room and why? The roof terrace, with great views to downtown and the waterfront, is a great oasis to get outside during these quarantining times. Previously a bare deck covered in exposed waterproof roofing membrane, an artificial turf floor covering and linear planters add lushness and provide visual boundaries to create a more intimate space.

Removable wallpaper converts the island to a bold graphic gesture, defining the first impression as one enters the unit.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? When I moved down to Savannah, I wanted to add to my collection some works from the talented SCAD students. SCAD Art Sales introduced me to a recent SCAD graduate, Justin Armstrong. I fell in love and bought two pieces from him. His work is a great mix of constraint and freedom, of precision and whimsy, which really resonates with my personal style.

The main bedroom with deeper tones and more streamlined design elements creates a more serene vibe suitable for rest.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t follow trends, be personal. Don’t try to match, let coincidences happen, sometimes miracles come out of accidents. Making a rental unit feel personal sometimes is challenging. I use a lot of arts, color, and graphics. Removable wallpaper allows you to add personality without losing your security deposit. Arts and fabric wrapped panels can travel with you from place to place. These will add your thumb print to a vanilla box rental.

Rich colors and bold patterns, paired with great natural light, delight guests in this suite for a memorable visit. Toile wallpaper, cuckoo clock, velvet drapes, and fringe lampshade add whimsy to an exposed concrete interior.

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