Interiorssneak peeks

A Student’s Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer

by Garrett Fleming

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

It’s only fitting that an architecture student live in a home rich in history and character, right? Wrong! That’s a mere pipe dream for most young adults. Dylan Tibbetts of Eugene, OR, however, got extremely lucky. Three years ago, one of his classmates happened to be moving out of this vintage apartment near campus right as Dylan was leaving dorm life behind. Much to his astonishment, Dylan had landed the apartment he’d always wanted much sooner than he ever thought possible.

Hexagonal bathroom tiles, ornamental casework and leaded glass are just a few of the space’s early-20th-century details. And each is further amplified by Dylan’s distinct style, a look that’s a little sentimental and a lot vintage. A handsome Steelcase desk, for example, graces his home office and pennants from Dylan’s favorite destinations tie a bow on the bedroom’s design. If that weren’t enough, his kitchen gets a personal touch thanks to a dining table he’s lovingly cobbled together with a basic pine topper and $10 base.

Without a doubt, outfitting the space was easy and enjoyable for decor enthusiast Dylan. Working with its unique layout, on the other hand, was much more challenging. Immobile radiators and half walls interrupt the apartment’s flow and presented Dylan with an odd task: create dedicated rooms within a pretty open space. Dylan isn’t one to back down, though. Keep scrolling to check out how he’s risen to the challenge, and enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Brad A. Phillips

Image above: The credenza to the left of frame is the first of two ways Dylan uses furniture to distinguish different areas of his home from one another. The pennants hanging above his bed represent places particularly important to him.

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A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

The dining space is Dylan’s favorite room. Oftentimes, he sits here on the bench watching the sunset with a cocktail.

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

Dylan at the Tulip table he put together with inexpensive finds.

Since spaces like this can be hard to come by, I want to really make it shine and [highlight] how special it really is.

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

Vintage finds complement the retro dining set.

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

“I love the kitchen because of all the vintage character it retains: the huge Standard cast iron sink and drain board, the ice boxes built into the wall of cabinets, and the electrical box, etc. It’s just the right size for me to make a meal for myself in the evening or brew some coffee in the morning,” Dylan says.

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

“I designed and built this chair in Denmark this last summer (while studying furniture design), and it’s one of my most prized possessions. It’s heavily influenced by many Danish furniture designers, particularly Børge Mogensen. The frame is of solid maple with a seat and back of Irish canvas held to the frame with tanned leather belts and brass buckles. I designed it specifically for my small apartment.” – Dylan Tibbetts

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

Just like his credenza did for the bedroom, this desk helps distinguish the office from the rest of Dylan’s home. Its throwback style fits perfectly with the architectural details of the space.

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

Dylan greatly admires design with symmetry, so this display case was a natural fit for his home.

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

“What I love most about my home is the historic character I was able to build my own style upon.” – Dylan Tibbitts

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

An old valet chair and mirror make getting ready a breeze.

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

Beyond the closet lies Dylan’s bathroom, a space with some of the most interesting features in the apartment. The towel rack conveniently hangs just above the radiator so towels are warm when guests need them, and the enviable hardware is milk glass.

A Student's Well-Maintained Vintage Charmer, Design*Sponge

The apartment’s floor plan.


Bedding – Target

Rug – Urban Outfitters

Living Room
Waste bin – Schoolhouse Electric Co.
Wall boxes – Target
Large painting, seagull watercolor – Tom Allen
Leaf print – Isabella Media
NYC cityscape – Yuri
Amsterdam print – Typique
Pathos print – Martha Wassweiler
Tree print – Josh Krute
Telephone wire print – Brittney West

Storage pouf, shower curtain – Target
All paintings in photo – Dylan Tibbetts

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