This Transitional Style Missouri Rental Was Furnished on a Budget

published Nov 25, 2020

This Transitional Style Missouri Rental Was Furnished on a Budget

published Nov 25, 2020
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Name: Robbie Ashurst
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Type of Home: Apartment
Size: 800 square feet
Years Lived In: 5 months, renting

Most people appreciate beautiful surroundings, but few actually devote their life’s work to creating them. As an interior designer with a background in set design and architecture, the latter is true for Robbie. He recently moved back to his hometown in Missouri after taking up residence in New York City and then Chicago. But thanks to that sweet low cost of small-city living, he’s now getting to enjoy roommate-free life.

Credit: Tessa Cooper

This transitional-styled 1920s apartment represents the culmination of his creative freedom. The one-bedroom rental features a sunroom with tall windows, which Robbie uses as his home office. The bathroom houses a clawfoot tub, the doors display knobs aged to perfection, and even the original kitchen sink and cabinets remain. With so much character intact, the space serves as an ideal backdrop for both his modern furniture and flea market finds alike. He’s also inherited several antiques, which is fitting since his great-grandmother once lived in a unit in the same building.

Credit: Tessa Cooper

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Transitional

Inspiration: I’m always absorbing inspiration from different designers and sources—I really love the eclectic style of Roman and Williams as well as Colin King’s calming use of negative space. A chalkboard in my kitchen is a reference to R+W’s work on the film “Addicted To Love.”

Credit: Tessa Cooper

Favorite Element: I love multiple features of historic homes but the sunroom is by far my favorite. It lets in so much natural light.

Biggest Challenge: Definitely the budget. I’ve been lucky to inherit some beautiful family heirlooms, so with having limited means, I decorated most of my home around them.

Credit: Tessa Cooper

Proudest DIY: The vintage steel tanker desk in my office once belonged to my grandfather who salvaged it from the basement of a Catholic high school in the 90s. I recently gave it a new gloss black enamel paint job to add a modern touch.

Biggest Indulgence: Quality bed sheets. And my sofa. I bought it off of Facebook Marketplace and considering how costly Chesterfield sofas can go for, buying it used for a fraction of the cost made it worth it.

Credit: Tessa Cooper

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I decided to go more design-forward and made the choice not to get a television. Instead, I placed a large mirror across from the sofa to open up the space. When I do want to watch TV, I just use my laptop as an alternative.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My favorite products in my home are the pot racks and magnetic knife block that I have mounted on my kitchen wall. Space in there is very limited, so having the ability to free up cabinets has made a major difference.

Credit: Tessa Cooper

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space
maximizing and/or organizing tips you have:
My living room isn’t necessarily small nor large but I used a lot of horizontal lines closer to the floor to visually maximize the space while still keeping it intimate and harmonious.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I’m a big advocate for choosing antique and flea market items over mass-produced products simply because they’re unique to you and are of a much higher quality. Plus, they can offer great backstories and talking points with your friends.


Credit: Tessa Cooper


  • Antique Apothecary Cabinet — Found in a vacant retail space
  • Two Ivy League College Lithograph Prints — Passed down from Grandmother
Credit: Tessa Cooper


  • Sofa — Facebook Marketplace
  • Coffee Table — West Elm
  • Armchair —Antique family heirloom
  • Window Curtains — West Elm
  • Lamp — Amazon
  • Artwork — Original, Found, and Antique
  • Mirrors — Antique
  • Floating Shelf — Piece of fireplace mantel salvaged from a renovation
  • Decor — Etsy and Flea Markets
  • Rug — Home Depot
Credit: Tessa Cooper


  • Dining Table — Antique family heirloom dating back to the late nineteenth century
  • Chairs — Amazon
  • Centerpiece Vase — Home Depot
Credit: Tessa Cooper


  • Various Decor — Etsy and Flea Markets
  • Lamp — Target
  • Kitchenware — Local Restaurant Supply Store
  • Accordion Lamp — Urban Outfitters
Credit: Tessa Cooper


  • Headboard and Dresser — Facebook Marketplace
  • Side Tables — IKEA
  • Table Lamps — Ralph Lauren Home
  • Bedding — Brooklinen
  • Decor — Both original Artwork and Flea Market accessories
  • Window Curtains — West Elm
Credit: Tessa Cooper


  • Desk — Vintage Family Heirloom
  • Chair — Facebook Marketplace
  • Lamp — Flea Market
Credit: Tessa Cooper


Thanks Robbie!

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