Yes Spaces: Katie of ‘Creole Wisdom’

This is one of many Yes Spaces home tours in which we get a peek at my friends’ spaces and how normal people with normal income decorate.

Internet homes: 
Length of time in home:
1.5 years, and believe me it has flown by!



Who do you share your home with? 
I live alone and really love it. I’ve made friends with another fellow Katie who lives across the hall. She is awesome and we’re taking a quilt class together. We are kindred spirits and call each other “roommates.” Maybe I will get a pet fish, but it’s just a few plants for now.
What are the three things you love most about your space?

I love the layout (bedroom is close to bathroom), the open kitchen and how much of a blank slate it is.



What’s the least awesome, must-work-around aspect of your space? 
For an apartment in Minneapolis my place is pretty new-ish. I think it was built in the 60s or 70s. It doesn’t have that “old-Minneapolis apartment” feel that I love. I have lived in those places and they certainly have their drawbacks (scary bathtubs.) Most of the places in my price range that are older, just aren’t in the best shape—someday!
Tell us the story behind one of your favorite pieces in your space? 
I can’t pick one! When I moved in I had very few pieces of furniture, I was perusing Craigslist one day and noticed these beautiful, tufted chairs. I had to have them. My step dad and I went to pick them up and I made a bit of conversation with the man who was selling them. Turns out he was selling them for his girlfriend who is a photographer (I’m a photographer as well) before they both moved out of town for her new job out west. Very cool moment. It turns out the chairs were custom made at one of the old department stores in Minneapolis that no longer exists. I painted the legs gray.The other piece is this colorful trunk. I wanted to find a trunk, but usually they are pretty dark and my style is lighter with a lot of whites and pastels. I about screamed when I found this and for less than $30 on a rainy, but happy day in Stockholm, Wisconsin just a few miles from Red Wing (both places are a must if you enjoy antiquing and finding good deals.) I have no idea who the trunk belonged to, but I imagine it might be Scandinavian in origin because of the colors. It is an excellent piece for storage.


What are some of the DIYs you’ve tried here?
Basically everything is DIY, the only “new” piece of furniture I own is the couch and my bed frame. I’ve had some successes and failures; I think it’s learning what works for you and where your skills lie (spray painting, furniture building, sewing?).
I needed a dining table and don’t like much of the modern or IKEA options out there. One day while driving through the industrial part of Edina I noticed this table with a “free” sign on top. I loved the shape and when I turned it over noticed a “Gabberts” stamp. That is the story of how I ended up with a Gabberts table for free. To brighten it up a bit I painted the legs a jadeite green (I collect Fireking jadeite) and added mismatched chairs in the same hue. I recovered the chair seats in fabric from an old Target curtain panel.


What’s the strangest place you’ve found stuff for your home?
Maybe not strangest, but in my bottle collection I’ve got a pretty piece from Ireland. Most everything I have is from the side of the road, antique shops or someone’s hand-me-down. I guess I’m still trying to figure out why someone would put out a Gabbert’s table with a “free” sign on it 😉
What are your top five sources for design inspiration?
3. Old school, Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic books

Thanks so much for sharing, Katie!



Sarah G

Cute photos, but not a single photo of any of the pieces that were talked about in length – the trunk, the tufted chairs, the dining table and chairs. It would be so much more fun to hear the story if we could see what you were talking about!

Creole Wisdom

Hi Rachel, thank you! I found them all around: Ireland, Red Wing, Stillwater… They are very easy to find, and don't pay more than a dollar for them. You also might try online or etsy 🙂


Love your style, Katie. And I love that you re-purpose items. That bread box is fantastic. And finding the Gabberts table in Edina, for free, doesn't surprise me at all. It's just the kind of place that would do that.

Creole Wisdom

Thank you, Kate. I love that you popped over here 😀 I still cannot believe I got a table for free that probably originally cost more than my brand new couch. Talk about good luck!


Your blue desk is AWESOME! As is the brightness/lightness of your space! The antlers & bottles are fun too!

I think the most beautiful element by far though ~ is the graciously humble merger of creativity, frugality and optimism in your attitude : )

"Most everything I have is from the side of the road, antique shops or someones hand-me-downs."

Creole Wisdom

Thanks Andi. I like them, too. The only catch is they are $$$ because they are trendy now. I refuse to pay $40 for a globe from 1950. Say what!? These two were pretty affordable, both from flea markets.

Alicia Jay

I love that vibrant blue dresser! It's also really inspiring to read about someone who has DIYed so many pieces of their apartment. I feel like I always have a list of DIY projects the length of my arm that could be used to spruce up my space, and I hesitate to get started. This post is a gentle push in the right direction for reupholstering my chair and repainting an old table. Thanks for sharing.

Creole Wisdom

I so know what you mean. I pick really easy things, like paint. I can paint. Reupholstering a chair? Oh my gosh I wish! Can you post a tutorial when you're done? Good luck on your future projects, I'm glad I could inspire you a bit.


Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established
blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I'm thinking about setting up my own but
I'm not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? With thanks

Also visit my page – additional reading


Love it – going to check out your house tour to see pictures of this mysterious table (I have no idea what Gabberts is, but now I want to…)

Glad to find another Minneapolis blogger!


Leave a comment

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