Yes Spaces: My Apartment!

This is a semi-regular series in which we peak at my real-life friends’ spaces. But, this time I’m showing you guys around my very own apartment! All photos by Meredith Westin. 

Internet homes:
facebook // twitter // portfolio
Length of time in home: 1.5 years, minus about four months of travel
I share my home with: my cat Putin and his vestWhat are the three things you love most about your space?
1. The light!  I live on the third floor, in a the front corner of the building so I get light all day long.  My sweet little office has huge windows on two walls.
2. The neighborhood!  It’s like the America in movies.  Big, old Victorian houses and sprawling lawns.  Friendly neighbors walking cute dogs.  Pubs + boutiques + cafes.  And everything’s within walking distance!
3.  My three closets.  Honestly, I don’t really have tons of stuff, but
having a closet devoted solely to coats and umbrellas makes me feel like
such a grown up.

What’s the least awesome, must-work-around aspect of your space?
Ummm, does my arch-nemesis neighbor ‘Cocaine Face’ count?  He and his 3am viewings of ‘King of The Hill’ require a certain amount of work-around (re: ear plugs.)

I kid, I kid!  No, I don’t.  My kitchen is teeny tiny.  I try to make the most of the space by using Ikea’s Lamplig cutting board.  It fits perfectly on top of my tiny stove and almost doubles my counter space!

Tell us the story behind one of your favorite pieces in your space!
Nearly everything I own has a story!  I’m really attached to the ‘Takk For Maten’ plaque hanging in my pantry.  It was in my grandparents’ house for years.  It means “Thanks for dinner” in Norwegian – my Scandinavian heritage is really important to me.


What are some of the DIYs you’ve tried here?
These days I’m not particularly crafty!  I recovered the seats on my dining room chairs and re-papered the shelves in my closet.

What’s the strangest place you’ve found stuff for your home?

It might be more effective to ask “where is a normal place that you’ve found stuff.”  Items in my home have come from:
* A friend’s garage
* A million thrift stores
* My grandpa’s clothing store
* A weird second hand display store under the highway
* A mountain village in Vietnam, a floating market in Brazil, many many other corners of the globe
* The side of the road.  Obviously.

What are your top five sources for design inspiration?
1. The Anthropologie stores.  I don’t care how twee and predictable that sounds.  It’s true.
2. Any museum gift shop
3. Ummm, that’s about it?  Mostly I just decorate using things I love!

If you were to name your home ala ‘Tara’ in ‘Gone With The Wind,’ what would you name it?
Every space I ever live in will be called ‘The House of Yes.’

Thanks for visiting, friends!


Marcia (123 blog)

OH man, i love your apartment – it all feels so spacious and yet, not cold.

is there a post somewhere about your office? I'd love to see that – that is the space that quickly becomes a catch-all in my house.

The Dame Intl

I love your apartment and your neighbourhood sounds awesome! Im just wondering tho, why is the picture above your bed so close to your bed? I do a lot of reading/working in bed and it would be right in the way! xo

Feminine 23

Love your book shelf, simply yet elegant. And the closet is so nice with pink paint 🙂 May I ask you what are two little black things you put in front of the books? Because to me they look like the thing when Buddhist go to a pagoda praying and wishing if something comes true, then they throw the little wooden pair on the floor. If one turns up and one turns down, it means your wish come true. If they show the same side, you can continue to pray and throw again (normally 3 times) until one of the pair turns upside down.
I'm not sure if my consumption in this case is correct. But in the picture, they look so alike 🙂


I love everything about your apartment! It makes me want my own apartment! (Well, technically I have one now. But it's temporary and I can't paint or even put much up on the walls.)

lauren claire | rebuild (health + home)

Love the attention you put into your closet. Your clothes deserve to live in a happy place! Also like the cozy couch corner with the petal pendant lamp. Looks like a great spot to curl up with a book. I hear you on how awesome natural light is– we live in a fourth floor corner apartment and on clear days, we don't have to turn on any lights until the sun starts to set. I know that's what I'll miss most when we eventually move out. Also, I don't usually link to my stuff in comments, but Apartment Therapy did a tour of our place last month and I'm still geeked out over it!

Amber-Rose Thomsd

Ah Sarah I just adore your place! I'm jealous of all the light!

Could I ask though, how did you install your ceiling light above your sofa, and is it the only light in your room? I'd love to do that in my lounge. I already know exactly the right place for it… 😉

Sarah Von Bargen

It's just one of those hooks from a hardware store! I think they're usually used for hanging plants? I've got another lamp on the other side of the living room on my dresser and the light from the dining area spreads into the living room as well.


I think I need to copy your chopping board over the oven idea. I just use my stov-top as a work surface as-is, and then it smells like burning whenever I use it because little bits of cereal and things have fallen into the burners.

Lisa Latebloom

I wish I could be as "minimalist" as you,I have wayyyy too much tsotchkes. However, one of my goals for 2013 is to pare down. I too, have a love of thrift store furniture!


Agreed!! This was wonderful inspiration (if only I didn't need to go off to work now).

Amanda Ann

Where did you acquire that gorgeous chair? The gray one, in the picture between the matchbook jar and the book stack? Look at how fantastic it is. I know you see it every day, but look! at! it! I'm assuming it's one of those items that you acquired from a non-duplicable source, but I must ask.

Amanda Ann

Thanks for letting me know – and you've introduced me to a new home store! Even though the chair's been discontinued (as far as I could tell), I find the fact that you didn't find it on the side of the road rather comforting. Sometimes you purchase things at retail stores, like this poor mortal! Clearly, given my choice of superpowers, I'd pick finding gorgeous vintage furniture on the side of the road every time.

Creole Wisdom

coke face sounds scary! King of the Hill? Gross!!!!!

However, this is such a lovely space I could scream. You are right about the light, I'm sure being up that high makes such a difference.

Did you find that dress form at the supply store under the highway? If so, can I have the name/place?


Your windows look so romantic, but also a bit drafty…How do you keep the cold/wind out in Minnesotan winters?


That first picture is perfection! I want to replicate that green wall and flower light now. Your whole apartment looks lovely.

Keep Warm (Danielle)

LOVE IT! It's so beautiful and so you! I love the colours. I just got back from 15 months of travel so, sadly, am back with my parents until I can find a place. I can't wait to make a space of my own!

Rachelia G

I love your sense of design Sarah (I believe you call it fancy/weird?)! Everything just works in your apartment and reflects who you are. I hope I can do that one day!

P.S: love the color of your bedroom wall & closet!!


My sister and I had a version of that petal lamp in our as kids– I totally forgot about that until now. And I've owned your stereo, have the same plants in the same pots, and grew up with my dad saying "takk for maten" (which I thought was "tock for Martin") every night after dinner. Too weird that the author of my favorite life-improving blog also has the same stuff as I do!


You've managed to balance personality and minimalism in a way I'd love to emulate but never seem to grasp. Genius idea with the IKEA chopping board, I could do with more bench space too.

Jenny O

We have a Takk For Maten plaque too! I always wondered what it meant (it was a thrift find – yes, I know I could have asked The Powers of the Internet at any time in the last three years we've had it). Now I know 😀

melina bee

wow! why am I not surprised that your space is ssssssssooo tidy and organized? can you do a post about organizing tips for the home?


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.