Hey everyone! I’m super uber excited to be sharing with you this month’s Beautiful Attainable Home Tour because it’s someone I’ve known for a very long time. Meet Kelli. Kelli lived down and up a street from me while we were growing up. I follow her on Instagram and just fell in love with her unique and simplistic style. I could tell she lived in a really charming and interesting place, so when I contacted her to ask if I could feature her space on our blog, well I was in a big surprise. Not only does this bubbly girl live in one of the most historic spots in Downtown Salt Lake City with her bike riding husband, but the apartment complex they live in is over 100 years old! YES, I kid you not. Some might cringe at the thought of living in a 100 year old building, but the great thing about this place is the owners have restored everything down to the original hardwood floors, doors, hardware, tile in the bathrooms, and have tried to keep this place looking like it did 100 years ago.
As I walked up the stairs to Kelli and her husband’s apartment I was greeted by a wool carpet runner down the stairs with exposed wood steps to the side. Seriously guys, who sees wool carpet runners in apartments? This is unheard of. Pretty much as soon as I walked in this 700 square foot apartment I was in LOVE. The big windows, the amazing amount of light this place gets, the original beautiful wood floor, you’ll die when you see the green house room turned bike repair shop, and all of the charm this apartment exudes, I was getting weak at the knees. I don’t want to spill the beans, so I’ll have Kelli tell the rest.
The century old building we live in has been maintained beautifully the last hundred years. It was recently renovated before we moved in but the designers chose to keep the original tile as much as possible, as well as maintaining the original character of the building. The best of both worlds! We moved here last June, so we are coming up on a year in this place. Our unit is a little over 700 square feet, so it’s pretty spacious for a one bedroom. We are lucky enough to have an extra sun room which we have converted into a bicycle work space for Jared.
Finding an affordable and decent apartment in Salt Lake City is surprisingly more difficult than I thought. After searching the city over, I’m convinced this old building is the perfect place for us. We love the original architecture of this building. Every room has high ceilings, crown molding and baseboards, original door handles with skeleton key slots, large windows, and my favorite: hardwood floors and beautiful tile. I also love that they left the walls white, which is easiest to work with when decorating.
I would describe my style as minimal and organic. I am most inspired by the earth. I am influenced by clean Danish lines, vintage and mid-century modern furniture, as well as earthy, Bohemian styles.
I went through a purging period when we moved in last year. I ruthlessly cleaned out our closets and all of our belongings. This may sound weird, but I love the way an apartment looks before anything is moved in. When we moved into this apartment I tried to maintain that clean, minimalistic feel as much as possible. The only thing I didn’t purge were our plants. Never can there be too many plants! They have a big bang for their buck, too, because they are a cheap way to add interesting texture into a room. They also clean the air, which is something for which we don’t give them enough credit. I am big into eating vitalized, organic foods. I have extended that philosophy into the way I created my home. There are other ways to incorporate organic materials into the home, including fresh flowers, sheepskin throws, wool tapestries, jute rugs, and even opting for real wood and metal elements rather than synthetic materials.
It may sound backwards, but if you know the right places to look, small businesses and thrift stores are actually a smart way to find affordable and unique pieces. I might sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I really think big business has tricked us into thinking they have the best deals, when really that’s not always true! Etsy, eBay, and thrift stores are great places to find budget-friendly items. They require more time browsing but it pays off with great prices and unique items. Our Saarinen-inspired vintage tulip chairs I found on Craigslist for $100 for all four.
Our dresser was thrifted for $100 and matches the time period of our building exactly.
Most rooms in our home have a woven basket, which I purchased via Amazon, but the sellers are village artisans in developing countries. They were between $20-30, which to me is a great deal when I know the majority of that is going back into the developing country and not into huge corporate pockets.
I’ve only recently gotten started on this, but I love the idea of buying as much decor as possible from local artisans, small businesses, and thrift stores rather than large corporations. The one exception is our recently purchased sofa. After searching all over the web, I realized buying a sofa from a local artisan or even secondhand via eBay was going to be out of my price range or too risky since I couldn’t return it. We ended up buying this sofa from Overstock, which was within our budget and a safe choice since we could return it and enjoy a warranty. We have a smattering of items from Ikea, Overstock, Urban Outfitters, Target, etc…but in the last year I’ve mostly avoided the big companies because of concerns about sustainability and fair trade labor.
We got our vintage black footstool from eBay for $10.
The vintage green chair is from a thrift store for $15. Basically all knick-knacks around our home are thrifted or secondhand. Our bright yellow Moroccan pouf I found on Etsy for $80, which is about the same price or a bit less than you see from the big corporations, and my purchase improved a local economy. I love that!
Our vintage Turkish kilim throw pillow I found on Etsy for $15.
Our home isn’t perfect or complete, but when does anyone ever say their home is? I love that things are slowly always changing. Check back in a year and it will probably look quite different!
Thanks Kelli for letting me come into your home. Make sure to follow Kelli on her Instagram, she’s truly inspiring.
If you loved this Beautiful Attainable Home Tour (BAHT) make sure to check out last months home tour in this beautiful organic modern and eclectic home nestled along the historic Mill Creek River in Salt Lake City.