A Small Seattle Condo Was Designed to Be a Cozy DIY Art-Filled Haven

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Name: Pin-ya Tseng
Location: Seattle, Washington
Type of home: Condo
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I bought my place about a year ago, and it was the first time I’d lived without roommates in five years, so I was really looking forward to having full creative control over what the space looked like. I’d been renting the last five years as well, and there wasn’t much I could do in terms of painting or installing during that time. In the past, I’ve been more into monochromatic, minimalist design, but during the first two years of the pandemic, I felt so under stimulated. When I moved into my current place, I knew that I wanted to use colors, textures, and art to make it feel warm, cozy, and inviting. I also wanted each room to feel distinctive, so every room in my home is painted or wallpapered a different color.

I’m a Taiwanese-American woman who grew up in Ohio, and there are bits and pieces of those parts of me all around my home. Much of the art that I’ve bought is by Asian and Asian-American artists, I have pieces made by friends from back in the Midwest, and other pieces that feature Ohio (such as my Skyline Chili and Ohio State Parks prints). One of my favorite pieces is a colorful risograph art print of a box of Botan rice candy, a treat my parents would buy for me at the Asian grocery store when I was growing up.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Cozy DIY art-filled haven

What is your favorite room and why? The living/dining room is my favorite room — I spend a ton of time on my gold velvet couch (which is also a sofa bed, so the room doubles as a guest room sometimes). It’s the warmest room, color-wise, and it’s so cozy even during the cold, dark Seattle winters. It’s also where most of my plants live, and I love to be surrounded by all the green life, velvet pillows, and cushy blankets. It’s also the largest room in the apartment, so it’s multi-purpose: part of the room is the dining nook, where I painted a mural in the corner of abstract shapes and plants, and a reading corner with a chair and bookcase, where my record player sits.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? One of the last things I bought was a wooden bead chandelier from an Etsy seller in Indonesia — it gives the room a bohemian twist and the wood fits in with the warmth of the space.

Any advice for creating a home you love? My advice is to take your time! I had two-three months after I bought my place before I could move in, so I used that time to plan out what I wanted to do with it. There was a lot of browsing Apartment Therapy and Instagram, and creating vision boards in PowerPoint — I’d start with a base color or focal piece of furniture for a room, and build out from there. It really helped me feel more confident buying bolder, brighter decor without worrying whether things wouldn’t tie in to the other colors and pieces.

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