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Morgan Vaca; her boyfriend, Landry; and their beta fish, Winston, have rented this apartment for three years: Our 1950s home is a one-bedroom mother-in-law basement apartment in Utah. The one bedroom is tiny so we converted our space into a studio and use the bedroom as an office! Both college students, we moved in together in the fall of 2020. I love color and patterns, and my boyfriend loves me, so I decorated how I wanted. Because we’re both in our early 20s, loads of our furniture comes from Facebook Marketplace, IKEA, and Target, or comes home with us whenever we visit our parents. Our landlords live upstairs and shockingly have become our best friends. It helps that their cute one-eyed cat, Rummy, comes and pays us visits down here sometimes. I think that even though I’m young and on a budget, I shouldn’t have to live in a dingy college apartment.
I’m a graphic design student and I think the principles of design have really helped how I mapped out our space and made sure that I had all the colors and patterns without the chaos. As a Latina woman I have never shied away from bright colors, and I don’t see that ever changing.
Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: College kid gen-Z IKEA chic.
If you rent, what is your rent per month? $1400 (split with partner, so $700 each).
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room might actually be the tiny bedroom. It was the first room I asked if it was OK to paint and didn’t have any furniture or ideas for at all. It became not only our office, but also my closet and dressing room and gallery wall. All my best ideas began in that room.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Strawberry pillow from Target.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Trying not to rush to fill the space and being intentional about what I buy and how it works with everything else in here. Sometimes it’s worth the wait!
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.