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A Sunny Home for Two Free-Spirited Midwesterners

by Garrett Fleming

This 900-square-foot apartment immediately spoke to renters Amber and A.J. Moore. At its core, the home is simple – nothing too flashy or eye-catching – but when they first stepped foot inside, it just felt like the right fit. That feeling may have been destiny intervening, pushing the couple towards the space. Shortly after moving in, the pair described the apartment to A.J.’s father, and he gave a chuckle. As it turns out, he used to rent a unit in the same building in the 1970s!

It’s been a little over six months since the couple set up shop in Kansas City, MO, but they’re already falling in love with the area just as A.J.’s father did 40 years ago. Exploring nearby museums, shops and parks keeps them busy, and entertaining new friends keeps their nights jam-packed. At these little soirées, A.J. often plays bartender while Amber cranks music and busts a move. Even the cats occasionally get into the groove.

The home’s cozy, bohemian style perfectly lends itself to lazy, post-party mornings. It’s not uncommon to find Amber sipping coffee while reading in her favorite chair; colorful pillows and accessories surrounding her. Such naturally layered looks are typically the result of years of curation, but interestingly enough, most of the eclectic pieces are new additions. This apartment is much smaller than their previous house, so many of Amber and A.J.’s well-loved treasures weren’t able to make the move with them. I’m sure it was hard to part ways with some of those mementos, but the beautiful look of their new home is sure to take away some of the sting. Follow the jump to soak up the rest of the home’s inspiring design. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Elise Abigail

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Amber describes the home she shares with A.J. as "colorful, lively, [and] bohemian." The vegan cowhide is from Urban Outfitters.
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Audio engineer A.J. Moore and his wife, business director Amber Moore, moved into this 100-year-old rental a little over six months ago - and it already looks great. Mona just had to star in this family portrait, but the family's other feline, Truman, was simply too squirmy to make the shot.
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This little home sure is big on joy. "When we are not working, we fill our time perusing flea markets and record stores. We love filling our apartment with our favorite music while we dance around or cuddle [with] our two kitties," the Moore family says.
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A.J.'s dad's record player now lives with his son and Amber.
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This colorful IKEA STRANDMON chair was a gift from A.J. to Amber. It's one of her favorite spots to lounge with a cup of coffee in one hand, a book in the other, and the sun's rays streaming in.
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Moving from a home in Springfield, Missouri to an apartment in Kansas City meant that downsizing was a must. Many of their plants didn't make the cut, but overall the family is happy with how they've set up their new, simpler space.
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"I've named all of my plants – big and small," Amber says. Her greenery, like Figgy Stardust here, thrives thanks to the abundance of windows in the living room – the brightest room in the home. These pillows were collected from Target and Etsy.
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The two "like the idea of being surrounded by items that have had another life..." so it took a bit of time to find the layers of vintage adornments that fill the space now. They say, "... the things that mean the most to us are our one-of-a-kind pieces."
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The living room has proven to provide a much-needed respite from challenging work days. "I usually come home, light a few candles and decompress after a long day. We may have a glass of wine and watch some Netflix or listen to our favorite records," Amber says. The colorful rug is from Urban Outfitters, and the couch is from Ashley Furniture.
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I love how Amber and A.J. have juxtaposed the simple design of their home with colorful and eclectic accessories like this dainty mineral collection.
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Amber's sister gave her this tapestry which, much to Amber and A.J.'s chagrin, often doubles as a cat toy.
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A simple, mid-century-inspired armchair in front of the dining room's entrance.
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The couple perfectly fits inside the quaint dining room, but it can get a bit crowded when the two are entertaining. The dining set can be found at Target, and the rug is from Rugs USA.
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Amber and A.J. are music buffs, and their record collection lives here in the dining room.
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Amber explains, "Our hutch is another flea-market find. We use it to house our favorite glassware, including beautiful, gold-and-crystal tumblers that were handed down to us from A.J.'s grandmother."
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They are big on entertaining, and A.J. typically mans the bar cart – a flea-market find.
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"Whenever we are in the kitchen we can always count on finding a cat or two intently, hopefully watching in case we accidentally drop a little treat for them."
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Amber's grandfather, Pa, gave her this little clock above the stove. It belonged to his mother.
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Long, skinny cabinets that are fairly close to the countertop make this kitchen a bit of a challenge. The family's knife block even has to lay on its side. What the room lacks in convenient storage, however, it makes up for in style. Amber and A.J.'s favorite part of it is this checkerboard tile.
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There isn't much space in the bathroom, but that doesn't prevent bursts of light from streaming in through the large, in-shower window. The curtain is from Target.
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A.J. has been sleeping on this bed since he was a child.
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As Amber shares, there's a pretty funny story behind the bedroom's tapestry. "One time, when we first started dating, A.J. had strep throat. I went over to his house to bring him soup and found him wearing this tapestry with wooden clogs. It was weird and hilarious. I guess he was doing whatever he could to make himself feel better!"
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Amber shares her favorite things about her home...
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A.J. and Amber love the touch of whimsy and magic that twinkle lights and plants can add to a bedroom – especially their bohemian one.
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The couple's dresser – a $40 flea-market find – sits below Amber's grandfather's old clock. "I'm not quite sure how he came across it, but it is very old, German, and still works!" she says.
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The Kansas City rental's floor plan.

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