Name: Adian & Dave
Location: Adams Morgan — Washington DC
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 2
With the addition of their upright piano, Adian and Dave finally finished decorating their first grown-up home. Even though their design goals might be mature, they have an irrepressible sense of humor that is scattered throughout their Adams Morgan apartment. There is an R2D2 in the dining room, a Kit-Cat clock in the kitchen and, of course, Elvis is in their bedroom. This young couple might be settling into adulthood, but their home is still filled with childlike whimsy.
There is a quaint intimacy to Dave and Adian's home, even though it is decidedly modern. Bits of pop culture and sci-fi are confidently mixed in with more traditional pieces. Adian's own observation best explains the unique aesthetic of her home. She says, "it hints at something without being too hipster or artsy." Almost everything in their home has a story or a purpose. For example, the dining room is full of posters from the shows Dave and Adian went to when they were dating. It's this personalization that creates a warm charming environment. Throughout the apartment there are little nooks created by chairs near books, games and light sources. These areas are set-up to encourage guests to sit and visit and for Adian and Dave to take time to read. These little spaces are in the dining room, bedroom and the office.
Through resourcefulness and good taste, Adian and Dave created a lovely home even with some serious budgetary limitations. Adian is the first to point out that much of her decor was purchased at Target. She explains that her relationship with Target was a marriage of convenience. Their first apartment was located less than a block away from the store in Columbia Heights. Without a car, she and Dave took advantage of the proximity. Adian says, "I would get inspiration from tons of different places, and then go buy everything at Target. It was so easy!"
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Overall, Modern American, with a bit of whimsy, but each room is a little bit different. We like a lot of different styles so I did each room in a separate style, to satisfy my schizo tendencies.
Inspiration: We love the look of Mad Men but it's too serious at the end of a long day. Our inspiration is a mix of shopping websites and blogs like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, West Elm, old Domino shots, Vintage Mint and DC shops like RCK CNDY, Reincarnations, and Miss Pixies.
Favorite Element: We love the piece of art in the front room. We were at El Tamarindo in Adams Morgan and the art in the restaurant was for sale. By the end of dinner, Adian says, "I had to have her." It's from a local artist David Amoroso, and is very dramatic in such a small space. We love how pop art she is, simple and striking, but then there's this retro ice blue velvet couch. It's the juxtaposition that's interesting.
Biggest Indulgence: The painting was my biggest indulgence. I love it, but it was completely unnecessary.
What Friends Say: They say our apartment is very relaxing and airy. It encourages lingering over a few bottles of wine, which is a feat because it's only about 900 square feet.
Biggest Embarrassment: Adian says, "the kitchen kills me." I really don't know what to do with it, especially with all the open space above the cabinets. And god, we hate the cabinets but as a rental, there's not much you can do. She says, "I've mulled covering them in contact paper, but can't commit to the idea."
Proudest DIY: Adian sanded a piece of junk furniture and painted it and lined the drawers. The piece is now use it as a lingerie cabinet and perfume stand. She says, "I think it would surprise my friends to know I did that."
Best Advice: Buy what you love, and incorporate later, but for everything you buy, think about removing one thing in exchange. Even in the cute kitschy houses with adorable knick knacks everywhere, it's hard to imagine anyone who actually wants to live in those spaces. There is something soothing about a clutter free home.
Dream Source: Anthropologie kitchen, a West Elm office, a World Market Bedroom, and then a shopping spree in Eastern Market for the front room.
RESOURCES OF NOTE:
Images: Susan Mitchell Blavin
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