This Small But Bright Garage Apartment Is a Photographer’s Dream Rental

This Small But Bright Garage Apartment Is a Photographer’s Dream Rental

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Name: Tami Keehn
Location: Saint Petersburg, Florida
Size: 560 square feet
Years Lived In: 3 years, renting

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As a portrait photographer, I tend to gravitate towards spaces that offer lots of natural light in them and when I found this garage apartment up for rent in my favorite neighborhood of St. Pete, Florida, I was sold on the spot! This place had all the checks marked for me when it came to what I was looking for. It was within a 10-minute walk to the bayfront (where I spend most of my mornings starting my day) and about a 20-minute walk to downtown St. Pete (where I enjoy going out for drinks with friends and checking out the local indie markets).

While it might be one of the smallest places I’ve ever rented, it has a full washer and drawer unit included, a private parking spot, small porch, hardwood floors, and all the windows to let in the beautiful light! It’s truly a dream rental!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Organic, modern, mid-century, and minimal. I adore a neutral palette of browns, grays, blacks, white, and creams, with pops of green (plants). I’m also a sucker for creating an environment that evokes all the senses from textures with wood, metals, and soft blankets/pillows, to also always having a yummy candle lit and some calming acoustic music playing on my Google Home Mini. I also will usually serve up a craft cocktail or wine to guests from my mini bar tray.

Inspiration: I love the vibe of a trendy, hipster cafe. They offer such a warm and inviting vibe to them, which is exactly what I was going for when creating my space. I’m especially partial to the ones that have big windows to let the light in, and elements of wood, leather, and metals incorporated into the decor.

As a portrait photography entrepreneur, I also spend a majority of my time working from home, so I wanted a space that keeps the creative vibes flowing and also feels calm and comforting when I have my clients over for image reveals… exactly like you’d hope to find from a cozy cafe.

Favorite Element: My photo gallery wall. I love to travel the world and document my journeys so there’s a constant rotation of images within the frames, which leads to great conversations and stories.

Biggest Challenge: Minimal storage space. I tend to do multiple decluttering sprees a few times of year to get rid of the old and unused to make room for the new.

Proudest DIY: N/A—unless putting together IKEA pieces counts towards that!

Biggest Indulgence: My West Elm Bliss Sofa.

Best Advice: Be intentional with your design. Over the years I’ve realized what design and decor elements that I gravitated towards and created Pinterest boards with those ideas. Then when it’s time for me to move or do updates to my space, I will reference these boards and see what it is that is drawing me towards certain pins and then I will use those ideas to intentionally make choices on elements that I want to add to my own space that work well with the layout, space available, and my budget.

I also realize that I love lots of different styles of design, but that doesn’t mean I have to include all of them into my space. So I’m more inclined to look at my space to decide what elements I need to make the space cohesive and then go shopping for it, rather than make a rash purchase only to bring it home and realize it isn’t quite working.

What’s your best home secret? You don’t need to fill up every last inch of space! Choose elements to add to your space that truly add function and happiness, and then still leave room to breathe. This leads to a more calming and relaxing vibe at home.


Behr — Chocolate Froth

ÄPPLARÖ Outdoor Furniture Set — IKEA
Artificial Turf Runner — Amazon
Mullbacka LED Table Lamp — IKEA
Outdoor Throw Pillow — Target
Potted Snake Plant — IKEA
Nypon Plant Pot — IKEA

Besta Storage Series — IKEA
Lacquer Gold Tray — West Elm
Streamline Hook — Anthropologie
Magnet Wall Mount Key Hanger — Etsy — WayneWorks
Mosaic Doormat — Target
Wooden Clad Round Mirror — Target (no longer available)

(Image credit: Tami Keehn)

Find gently used Bliss Sofas in the BAZAAR

Bliss Sofa — West Elm
Project62 Pink Throw Blanket — Target
Sliding Top Coffee Table — West Elm (no longer available)
Lill Lace Curtains — IKEA
Mongolian Lamb Fur Pillow Cases — West Elm
Carpe Throw Pillow — Society6
Life Throw Pillow — Dot & Bo
Modern Ash Rocker in Cream — Dot & Bo
Hearth & Hand Gold Trim and Mirror Tray — Target
Mahogany Teakwood Candle — Bath and Bodyworks
Custom Softcover Photo Albums — Artifact Uprising
Copper Outlet Covers — Home Depot
VILTO Black Stool — IKEA
Fadis Seagrass Basket — IKEA
Potted Snake Plant — Wild Roots St Pete
Faux Stem Philodendron — Target
Selenite Tealight Holder — Target
Watercolor Art — Make It Max
Prints — Tami Keehn

(Image credit: Tami Keehn)


Felix Side Chair in Espresso — Crate & Barrel (no longer available)
Reclaimed Wood and Metal Desk — Custom design from Susie Frazier
Sawyer Leaning Bookcase — Crate & Barrel
Camera Shadow Boxes — Dot & Bo
Polaroid Piggy Bank — Target (no longer available)
Camera Pencil Sharpener — Dot & Bo
Threshold Desktop Storage — Target
Handmade Boob Plant Pot — Etsy by Bored Architect
Wall Art — By Tami Keehn
Snapshot Flask — World Market

Milk Crate Bins with Chalkboard Fronts — Target

Under Cabinet Wine Rack — Bed, Bath and Beyond
Vurm Wine Rack — IKEA
Utensil Holder — IKEA

(Image credit: Tami Keehn)


Threshold Mid-century One-Drawer Accent Table — Target (no longer available)
Antique 3-drawer Mid-century Dresser — Brocante Market, unique piece
Gray Ottoman — Target (no longer available)
Fresh Flowers — Trader Joe’s
Hudson Industrial Lamp (antique brass) — Target
Essentials Book — The Minimalists
Chunky Cream Throw — IKEA (no longer available)
Flannel Gray Pillow Shams — West Elm
Decorative Pillow — Crate & Barrel (no longer available)
Sheep skin rug — IKEA

Slater Jacquard Shower Curtain — Crate & Barrel (no longer available)
Luxury Fieldcrest Towels in Molten — Target
Ribba Frame with Art by Tami KeehnIKEA
Amber Bottles — Amazon

Thanks, Tami!

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