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Interiorssneak peeks

This Painter’s Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease

by Garrett Fleming

Having lived in Belarus, New York, Pennsylvania and now Maryland, Daria Souvorova has seen her fair share of apartments. Moving can be tiresome, but it has taught her exactly what a home must have in order for her creativity and happiness to flourish. Her latest move saw her strolling around Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood looking for a new apartment. Checklist in hand, she was eager to find a place with “decorated mantels, parquet floors, huge windows, chandeliers and high ceilings.”

It was another feature, however, that had Daria pining for this 2-bedroom walkup: leaded, glass windows. Every room in the 800-square-foot apartment has them. The windows’ history and beauty immediately caught her eye, but the planner in Daria had to make doubly sure this was the right fit. In the same thoughtful manner in which she approached her apartment search, she crafted a 2D, scale model of the walkup. She even gridded out furniture beforehand so she could know exactly how every item would fit inside! Luckily this exercise proved the home’s worth, and she moved right in.

Since the larger furniture’s location was already planned out, Daria was able to focus on trimming the home with her curated collection of artwork – some by close friends and herself. Daria’s decorating goal is quite evident as you peek around the house. Each ornament works together to create “a meeting place for friends and family,” with a vintage touch and a focus on comfort. Her get-togethers have already become the stuff of legends, and she is incredibly grateful that her friends feel comfortable in her new home. Daria’s multiple fireplaces, furs, rugs and collected charms serve as the perfect backdrop to long, giggly friend-dinners. Can I get an invite next time, Daria? I’d feel right at home in this place. It’s endlessly cozy and effortless. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Rafael Soldi

This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
1/18
Don't worry. Daria says she always wears a helmet in "real life." Her bikes were picked up at Baltimore's own Joe's Bike Shop.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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"The main living space is built around this 19th-century rug that was found for me by my mom. The shelf under the TV I built out of odd bits of barn wood I found on the streets..." The sofa is by World Market.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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"The fireplace makes me happy. It is not functioning but holds my liquor collection, so it occasionally keeps me warm! The stump used to be a beautiful cherry tree behind my house at my residency in Utica, NY. It fell over, and I rescued this chunk before the groundsmen sent it to the chipper." The chair is from Urban Outfitters, and Marie Tosto artwork lives above the fireplace.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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Trace Drury made this quaint bee. It was the first piece of art Daria ever bought.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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Daria has never owned a car so when she started her apartment search she looked "for a place that was bicycle-friendly and in the middle of the city."
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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"The chair to the right is at least 200 years old and one of my favorite finds since moving [to Baltimore]. All of the other chairs and the table were scavenged off the street when I lived in Washington Heights, NY. My mom runs an opera company [Bel Cantanti], and the antique treasure trunk was given to her by someone for a prop." The rug is from Overstock.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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"An old, barnyard ladder holds my collection of copper pots. I love to cook and have been scavenging for these in thrift shops, Salvation Armies, Craigslist and estate sales."
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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Daria's tiny kitchen "seems to be just big enough for five people to cram into and make dinner."
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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The home's entryway.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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The hallway leading to Daria's bedroom.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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An 1800s-era rug from eBay and leaded windows complement found objects in Daria's bedroom.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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"There is a second non-functioning fireplace that I use as a headboard. The bed is the first thing I have ever built. It is a huge piece of live-edge wood that I ordered on eBay and has casters raising it off the ground." Daria also made the patterned pillows from found, vintage fabrics, and the bedding was a gift from a dear friend. Her fellow PAFA classmates' work sits on the fireplace. "The tiny purple and pink painting is by Sarah Colby, the 'Sexy Positions' are by Ashley Wick, and the soft, sculpture heart is by Emily Schnellbacher. The photograph of the couple is by Rafael Soldi. I made the lamp out of a bird cage."
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
14/18
"This old, school desk found in [the streets of] Utica, NY holds all of my jewels. Behind it is a photograph by Rafael Soldi – who was kind enough to photograph my apartment..."
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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"I found this curio cabinet for $100 on Craigslist, and I love it! It holds all of my oldest books and greatest treasures as well as the random dead bugs, abandoned bird nests and rocks I pick up on my travels." Daria's studio sits behind the double doors.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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"This is my studio – more leaded, glass windows! The painting on the easel is called 'Lust and Sloth,' and it is from my 'Seven Deadly Sins' series." Daria's easel is from Blick Art Materials, and the desk is from Craigslist.
This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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This Painter's Baltimore Home Embodies Vintage Ease, Design*Sponge
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The home's floorplan.

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Comments

  • Lovely home! I was curious to know if the bike rack in image 5 is something that Daria made or that she purchased? I’m on the hunt for a good solution to storing my own bike :)

    • Hi Kat,
      Thanks!
      I actually found the rack on Amazon.com. I think I just searched “bike rack” and it was fairly easy to find. It was advertised as a freestanding balancing rack, but it is quite wobly with two bikes on it freestanding. I screwed it to the wall and it works perfectly now.

  • Thank you for the tour! I love Baltimore and enjoyed seeing this space. I have a little question, if it’s not a bother. I too started collecting vintage copper pots but have read you should have them treated or tinned or something before using them? I wonder if the homeowner has any advice or tips on that….? Thank you!

    • Only if the tinning is coming off on the inside (you can see the copper peaking through). Though I’ve been negligent about this with my own 1930s copper kettle.

      On another note… FAVORITE TOUR EVER.

      • Thanks Annabelle!

        PS, you should be totally solid on the kettle – the tinning is only an issue with acidic foods :)

    • Hi Mew,
      Annabelle is right. Most pots already come with either a tin (most likely) or a silver or steel lining. You only need to replace it if there are visible areas of copper. And even tiny ones you can get away with if you do not cook anything acidic like tomatoes (that is how verdigris is made).
      There are several online services that offer retinning. It is not cheap. I think the lowest I have paid is $45 for an 8inch pan.
      I love cooking on the copper! I make jasmine rice in five minutes now! But be careful with tin lined pots as tin’s melting point is around 450.

  • “The shelf under the TV I built out of odd bits of barn wood I found on the streets…” …. wow!! That is incredible! I love that idea of taking something that most people overlook, finding the beauty in it, and then using it to create something wonderful. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    • Thank you Brooke! I am lucky in knowing a lot of sculptors who are patient with me and show me how to use powertools!

  • This is so perfect. I love the crown molding and floors so much. Also the stairs! So much of this place is great “bones” so I’m loving that her decor/life fits into it so well. Beautiful space!

    – Kaitlyn

  • This comment is utterly besides the point, but my friend wore that exact dress to her wedding and I’ve been obsessed with it since (but too shy to ask cause I don’t want to come away from a wedding say “yeah, nice wedding – where’d you get that dress?!”)

    Does anyone recognize the designer?

  • I’m in love. I just want to curl up on the couch with a scotch and become best friends with Daria. What great taste! What a home!

  • What a lovely home with so much creativity. Thank you for sharing how materials can be sourced and re-purposed. Love your studio!

  • Live in an old home myself with lots of natural woodwork and hardwood floors…it is hard to find the perfect white for the walls…what white paint did you use?…it seems very soft~

  • Oh my gosh, what a lovely place! I, too, live in a historic row house in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. I am loving your windows and decor style… everything works so well with your vintage space. We should basically just be friends so I can be one of those lucky people who get to gather at your place for get-togethers.

    • Hi Wendy! You should definitely come hang out! We are always looking for more people to join and a few of our dinner party folks are moving so chairs are even available :) just find me on Facebook

  • Beautiful home Daria! I went on Overstock looking for your rug but so many rugs! I would be grateful if you could share the name or link.

  • Nice! I usually don’t comment on DS but had to this time, because I’m a Carver alum (from before you were teaching there) and recognized the name. Pretty house, pretty dress, will check out your work.

  • Daria! Of all the people I know, you are the one I would have picked to be featured on a design blog. Thanks for sharing your innate and wonderful sense of style. Greetings from Boston (no longer PAFA).

  • Love this space ! Reminds me of my old apartment in Mt.Vernon. There are a lot of really large beautiful apartments like theses in Baltimore, I miss that !

  • This is the loveliest comment thread I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for showing us your home, and I love your artwork!

  • Adorable home! Since we don’t have many flea markets here in Alaska, I love to peruse Craigslist for vintage finds. The pillows, on your bed, you made from old fabric are lovely. I love to use antique European textiles to create beautiful pillows also. Repurposing, reusing, redesigning, and renewing are important. Thanks for the home tour!

  • So beautiful and soothing! I’m constantly on the lookout for rugs like that. They make all the difference! And what a superb house to begin with. Yum!

  • Hello Daria,
    Lovely space and delightful taste! Thank you so much for sharing — makes me want to sit at home and read. You say the rug in image #6 is from Overstock — any further information on it? I’m in love with it, and am currently on a grande search for a rug just like it.
    Thank you!

  • Hello! Beautiful home. The rug from overstock that is underneath your dining table…is it still available or do you have a name/manufacturer for it?

    Thank you kindly.

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