Sweet, Functional Style in a Small 1950s Asheville Home

Sweet, Functional Style in a Small 1950s Asheville Home

Tamara Gavin
Jul 12, 2016
(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Name: Morgan Fender, Owner of Bomisch, Brandon and Ed (the dog)
Location: Montford — Asheville, North Carolina
Size: 842 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 1 year, 2 months

While the couple was living in a downtown Asheville loft, they signed the lease immediately when they noticed a house on a corner lot in a desirable neighborhood pop up on Craigslist. Brandon liked the simple details and Morgan loved the large windows in the living room, not to mention the yard—perfect for gardening and for their dog. With some fresh white paint on the walls and the heavy wood blinds removed from the windows, the house was ready to receive Morgan's furnishings and accessories, many of which are organic and locally-sourced and available through her home goods shop, Bomisch.

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Other pieces throughout the home are vintage and one-of-a-kind. Morgan, originally from Detroit, experienced many childhood trips to flea markets and yard sales with her parents. At only 840 square feet, the home is certainly cozy, but the maximized natural light, careful placement of objects, and blend of new and vintage wares help the small footprint feel open, airy, and fresh.

Brandon took on a number of DIY projects, such as making curtain rods out of copper plumbing pipe and a compost tumbler in the backyard. At night, they curl up on the sofa with Ed to watch a movie on their vintage tripod projector screen. And Morgan dreams daily of ways to improve the kitchen in the event that they purchase the home.

Get the look! → Sweet Minimalism in Asheville

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: A curated mix of functional, simple wares—vintage, found and new pieces.

Inspiration: Minimal and functional living. Scandinavian homes. Pieces that have a purpose, and if they also have a story, that is even better.

Favorite Element: The original multi-paned square window in the living room. The morning light shines through this window first, and my fiddle leaf fig is thriving in front of it.

Biggest Challenge: The plaster walls. Makes hanging shelves and art difficult, and I like to change the decor around from time to time. Takes some muscle, the right drill bit and patience.

What Friends Say: Friends are usually impressed with how we optimized the space and say that it feels much bigger and more open than the square footage suggests.

(Image credit: Morgan Fender)

Biggest Embarrassment: We have visitors quite often and having to all share the one tiny bathroom is less than ideal.

Proudest DIY: We took down all the brown blinds (some wood, some plastic) and Brandon made curtain rods from copper plumber’s pipe to hang the Turkish natural linen towels that I repurposed as curtains. We couldn’t find copper curtain clips, so we bought white ones and spray painted them copper.

Biggest Indulgence: Vintage rugs. I have one in just about every room and I always want to buy more.

Best Advice: Change what you can in your rental to make it feel like your own space, even if you don’t plan on being there long term. Most projects will take some time and energy but not a lot of money—and the end result will be that you feel at home in your space.

Dream Sources: Filling my home with all locally made or found pieces. I have many of these elements in my home currently, but still have a few items from the bigger stores.


Get the look! → Sweet Minimalism in Asheville

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Thanks, Morgan and Brandon!

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