Sometimes house tours are simply fun to look at — they’re sneak peeks into the idiosyncrasies of other people’s homes, lives, and styles. Other times, though, a house tour has the unique ability to become a catalyst for creativity.
That’s exactly what happened to medical student Natasha Natarajan when she saw the tour of graphic designer Chanae Richards’ Philadelphia apartment. One particular aspect of Richards’ home jumped out at her — so much, in fact, that she wanted to recreate it in her own space.
“On a snowy day, she decided to stay in and create a mural on her bedroom wall with only a sample can of paint and a ketchup bottle,” Natarajan says. “I was so inspired by her creativity, I decided to do the same.”
Because Richards owns her apartment, she was able to paint directly on the walls. Natarajan, however, was renting her 500-square-foot Manhattan apartment at the time, and her landlord didn’t allow painting, so she decided to try painting the mural on canvas instead.
“I undertook the project with my partner and it was actually a Valentine’s Day activity for the two of us!” Natarajan says. They started their arts-and-crafts date night by heading to an art supply store to purchase an unstretched canvas and some paint. The next step was to paint the entire canvas black, which ended up being the most time-consuming part of the project.
“After we did that portion, we used mini ketchup bottles and alternated different colors to create the streaks,” Natarajan says.
One challenge the couple faced was that because they used canvas instead of painting directly on the wall, the lines started to curve as they dripped downward. “So our lines aren’t as straight as the inspiration we used. But turns out we loved it that way!”
The project took about three hours and cost $40 for the supplies. “It was worth it for how much of a glow-up it gave our small bedroom,” says Natarajan, who often turns to home projects as a way to tap into her artistic side. “I find that interior design provides me a creative outlet outside of my more scientific and regimented career.”
Natarajan’s mural is a great reminder that Apartment Therapy house tours aren’t just meant to be ogled — they’re meant to offer inspiration and serve as a jumping off point for new ideas.
“This was a great example of how the AT community inspires one another to use creativity to design our homes no matter what restrictions we have!” Natarajan says.