A Petite Apartment Shows How to Make a Small Space Cute Without Spending a Ton

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Name: Mary Quandt, my pup, Wes
Location: Tower Grove — St. Louis, Missouri
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 500 square feet
Years lived in: 18 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My pup and I live above the the carriage house-turned-garage of a darling family (landlords whom I’ve saddled with the lazy portmanteau of “land-fam”). The neighborhood is a gem, surrounding the second largest park in St. Louis, Tower Grove Park, which is right across the street! I can walk to the Botanical Gardens, small cafes and restaurants, and even the local dog park within minutes.

What is your favorite room and why? The main room, with its large south-facing windows is my favorite. South-facing windows are the one thing I can’t compromise on—I’ll give up in-unit laundry, a dishwasher, and climb extra flights of stairs so I can get my warm sunlight!

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Books, books, books, plants, books.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My favorite finds have been salvages—the red Persian rug has a hole in it and smelled like a dog when I bought it at a garage sale, but after cleaning it it’s one of my favorite pieces. The $3 nude lady painting came from a basement estate sale; a $5 Goodwill frame and mat later, I have a work of art I love for less than $10. That, and I love my infamous AT peaches shower curtain. Christmas splurge!

Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t be afraid of a project, even if you don’t have a lot of space. I’ve completed many an overhaul in my living room, whether turning thrift store sheets into fabric yarn for baskets or sanding down free curb chairs to repaint.

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

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