Alli & Kristen's Family Affair

Alli & Kristen's Family Affair

Nicole Crowder
Mar 11, 2013

Name: Kristen Dore, Talent director at The New Organizing Institute, and Alli Sosna, Founder of MicroGreens and Alli Sosna Group.
Location: Columbia Heights, Washington DC
Size: 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years; Renting

The first thing you will notice about Kristen and Alli's home may not be the handmade decor, or the beautiful sunlight streaming across the living room and dining nook, or even the girls themselves. It's their beautiful Corgis! Let's face it: pets are the true stars of house tours. But once you get past the cuteness, you realize you're standing in the gorgeous home of one of D.C's rising chefs and game changers of the food culture and her beautiful fiancé.

Kristen and Alli also have another star who's a big part of their home's aesthetic: Alli's mom. Her artistic touch can be found throughout the couple's 1200 square foot home in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of D.C. She reupholstered the seat cushions for the dining room table, and hand-sewed the bedroom drapes. She even replicated a chandelier painting the couple found while visiting Art Basel in Miami. The original painting was pricey, but having fallen in love with it, Kristen and Alli asked Alli's mom to recreate it using a projector and tracing the form onto paper. Even Alli's father got in on the action, creating the frame and adhering the pieces together.

Alli's non-profit works to help children prepare and enjoy healthy meals wherever they are. A great selling point for the house was the sealed car garage and large, private backyard, an ideal feature for someone who operates a business based around fresh produce and sustainability. The couple enjoy opening up their home to friends and family for dinner parties out back, and a little birdie told me they may even open their home to visitors during D.C's popular Cherry Blossom Festival this year.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: If Room & Board and Anthropologie had a baby and then that store became a discount outlet, you would arrive at our style inspiration. We love clean modern lines contrasted with rustic ruffles. If the piece of furniture has a story, even better.

Favorite Element: Definitely the porch and the backyard. We love to entertain during the summer months, inviting friends for a BBQ or late night smore's making party.

Biggest Challenge: Storage wars! We only have one drawer in the entire kitchen, which has required us to utilize baskets and other storage bins. We hate clutter, so that is a constant challenge.

What Friends Say: "YOU HAVE CORGIS!?!" Honestly, they overshadow our décor on most occasions. We blame the Queen.

Biggest Embarrassment: Uneven paint lines. We rarely tape off a wall when we paint, and it's pretty obvious in some rooms.

Proudest DIY: The chandelier painting above the fireplace. During a trip to Art Basel last year, we fell in love with a painting way out of our budget. We snapped a shot for inspiration and created a version for ourselves. Well, we can't take much credit — it was a family affair. Alli's mother, a teacher in NJ and secret interior designer, created it using an old school projector. She projected the image onto the wall, traced and delicately cut out the image, and attached it to fabric. Then her father built the frame and assembled the piece.

Biggest Indulgence: Our Tempurpedic bed and the custom roman shades throughout.

Best Advice: Find a mother-in-law who is a secret interior designer and a sewing ninja! No, but really. We both grew up with moms that love a deal, so when we see something in an admired store, we first search Ebay or head to Homegoods, Marshalls or Craigslist to find something similar at a fraction of the cost. Our advice would be to invest in a few staple items like a quality couch, a few pieces of art, area rugs and custom drapery, and leave all the rest for scavenged goods.

Dream Sources: Vintage finds from antique stores found on a road trip.

Resources of Note:

• Valspar, Misty Surf


• Rug-Homegoods
• Dining Room Table- found on Craigslist, seats recovered with Dwell Studio fabric (Bella Porte Citrine)
• Fish Vase- Marshalls
• Roman shades- Handmade by my mother-in-law using Dwell Studio fabric
• Floor Lamp-Target
• Lamp above the table- Home Depot
• Couch- West Elm
• Pillows- Urban Outfitters, Target, CB2
• Coffee table- Found at an antique store driving through Virginia
• Sticks & Vase- Ikea
• Bookshelf- family heirloom
• Mirror- Crate & Barrel
• Prints: Ikea frames with paper from The Papersource
• Chandelier art: DIY


• Bedding: Ikea
• Desk: Craigslist find
• Lamp: CB2
• Bookcase: Target
• Chalkboard Organizational boxes: CB2


• Painting above bar cart: DIY; alcohol is Green Hat Gin
• Island: Ikea
•"China" cabinet: Family heirloom
• Bookshelf turned bar: Target
• Painting: DIY
• Wedding cake toppers from Ready Go


• Bedding: Anthropologie
•Pillows: Ikea & Anthropologie
• Black dresser: Craigslist
• White pictureframes: Marshalls
• Painting: by artist Katherine Mann
• IF" print: CB2
• Dressmaker form: Vintage family piece

Thanks, Kristen and Alli!

(Images: Nicole Crowder)

Originally published 3.11.13 - JL

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