The House of Yes: almost nothing cost more than $150

May 29 | Guest post by Sarah Von Bargen offbeatariel

We have a sneaking suspicion y'all are going to love Sarah from Yes and Yes's colorful and thrifty home in St. Paul, MN …

A couple years ago, I had to disassemble my adorable apartment, passing along my furniture to my students and packing everything else into my car. But before I began the process of getting rid of my worldly possessions, I thought my little flat deserved a bit of a photo shoot.

Even though I left home at 18, this is the first apartment that has been 100% my own — not shared with roommates or a boyfriend or partially furnished when I moved in. I found this apartment. I chose the paint color. I picked out every last thing that's inside these walls. It's a lovely feeling to have a space that is so unequivocally mine.

Any particularly well-composed, well-lit photos were taken by my very talented friend Sam Rapson.

Also! 98% of what you see here is second hand. And with the exception of electronics, nothing cost more than $150!


My tiny, tiny office
Desk: Salvation Army
Chair: Salvation Army
File cabinet: spray painted with
"Hammered Steel Effex" paint, Salavation Army
Lamp: small town thrift store in Wisconsin

Dress dummy: second hand display store
Dress: Salvation Army (I actually go to this particular Salvation Army so frequently, the cashier put aside this dress for me because she knew I'd like it!)

My "entry/dining room"
I painted my front door with chalkboard paint – all the better for list making!

Table: Ikea, via Craigslist
Awesome beaded skull placemat: Target Halloween section

Floating shelves: Ikea, via Craigslist
Takk For Maten plaque: Grandma. (It means "Thank you for the meal" in Norwegian)
Skull: Salvation Army, painted it black with left over chalkboard paint

Fake orchid: Goodwill
Stereo: Target
Frames: Salvation Army and Dollar Tree
Prints: The Internet

My tiny, tiny living room
Oh, but it's wee! Just enough space for a tiny love seat, this crazy banquet and an area rug.

Love seat: Ikea, via Craigslist
Banquet: Salvation Army (for $12!!!) spray painted lime green
Head: Ikea
Clock: Unique Thrift (when you push the button on top, it says the time! [incorrectly])
Light: Ikea

My tiny, tiny kitchen

This is the only photo you get. Because this is pretty much all there is to it – two square feet of counter and a doll-sized stove.

Cow salt-n-pepper shaker: gift
Secret special stove-sized cutting board: Ikea (if you also have a tiny kitchen, I cannot recommend these cutting boards highly enough! No lie, they will revolutionize your life)



My tiny, tiny bathroom

Again with the tiny. I made up for the total lack of storage space by mounting this shelf and storing my beauty bobbles in this decorative box.

Shelf: Salvation Army
Box: Ikea
Bottle: Salvation Army
Tiny voodoo bottles and statue: Brazil
Shower curtain: Target.com

My awesome, awesome lady closet

This closet was a major selling point on this apartment. I am not exagerating when I say that I've been wanting a closet like this since I was 11.

Storage bins: Salvation Army, painted with left over chalk board paint
Funny bottle: Asian grocery story

This is what it looked like after I re-did it! (P.S. I style the sweet bejesus out of this photo. I don't really wear exclusively black, white and turqouise clothing. But it sure looks nice, doesn't it?)

My bedroom

I love having a corner apartment. It's so lovely and bright! Even if my view is only of the neighbor's back yard and the alley.

Frames: Salvation Army
Photos: my friends and me!
Funny shoes: antique store in Taiwan
Elephant chain: Taiwan

Curtains: Ikea
White bedspread: Target
Embroidered blanket: Sapa, Vietnam

Thanks so much for touring my place!

  1. I love it! Especially the closet. I am so stuck about my closet. I just don't know how to best use the space without spending a ton of money.

    3 agree
  2. What a beautiful, happy, sunny place! Thanks for sharing it.

    2 agree
  3. Once again proof that awesome style doesn't cost a lot – a reminder, I confess, I need sometimes. Thank you for sharing!

    3 agree
  4. SO cute–and yay for Minnesota! Whereabouts in St. Paul is this?

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  5. This looks so bright and cheery! Love the thrifty aspects and it still looks fantastic, like you'd never know.

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  6. Lovely little apartment! But, I just have to ask…where do you keep the litter box?? That's always an issue for us. Especially in previous, tiny apartments.

    2 agree
  7. Love, love, love this tour. There's nothing that tickles me more than under $150 furniture!

    2 agree
  8. You are my hero! Your apartment is so bright and lovely. I love your cheap finds and small treasures from world travels.

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  9. What a cute little apartment. I can't wait to get it together and put my home together too! I like how its colorful but not cluttered. Everything has its place. :)

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  10. It was a lovely flat, but I just have to write a little about the Salvation Army. Party pooper, I know, but I'm serious when I say that I would not support their operations in any way. They're a conservative and homophobic organisation that has contributed to lobbying of anti-gay laws in African countries, as well as discriminating against homosexuals within their own ranks. They might do some good things, but remember that their mission is to convert people to Christianity as they believe it with the money they receive. In other words, please don't support these vile actions and attempts that SA do.

    1 agrees

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