Name: Teeny, Pie Baker, and Aaron, Content manager for PBS Kids
Location: Woodley Park, Washington DC
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Renting
You know that really down-to-earth couple in your circle of friends with the gorgeously decorated apartment in the coolest part of the city, full of vintage gems they always seem to have the best luck snagging right off the street? Well, pie baker Teeny Lamothe and her boyfriend Aaron are those friends. Oh, and did we mention they live next door to a zoo, too?
On any given morning, through their top floor apartment window, Teeny and Aaron can hear the sounds of animals from the Woodley Park Zoo rustling about. I was first introduced to Teeny while photographing her home for a separate Workspace Tour (coming soon!). She's a happy pie baker who has gone on her own countrywide tour as an apprentice in various bakeries, and the sweet smell of pies immediately welcomes you to her apartment. The aroma of butter, sugar, and fresh berries is always in the air, and on this particular afternoon so was the hint of vinegar, as Aaron was in the process of some homemade pickling.
Although this is the first “adult” apartment the two have shared together, their design styles are completely in synch with each other, and there is rarely any hesitation when one of them finds a great piece of furniture on the sidewalk (which is how they’ve snagged many of their incredible pieces). The writing desk in the corner of their bedroom (aptly named John Adams) was found on the street in Boston. The same goes for their mirror and bedroom dresser, and many other sundry items.
The couple has an affinity for items with their own history and charm, and a special preference for wood pieces, all of which are woven into the unique fabric of their home. Though they don’t shun manufactured pieces, they have a knack for building their own items if they can’t find them. The coffee table fashioned from an old pallet, and idea Teeny had after seeing a similar table in a catalog. She offhandedly mentioned the idea to her boss, who said she happened to have a spare pallet in her backyard. And the headboard in their bedroom? Aaron buillt that from the ground up! I’m trying to convince them to open a woodshop/bakery mashup. We’ll see how far I get.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: We have a very playful and homey style, with vintage and antique bits and pieces thrown in here and there. We look at a lot of Apartment Therapy (of course) and are constantly inspired by Anthropologie (where Aaron’s sister works) and by the rest of what the internet has to offer.
Favorite Element: All the color in our apartment. There are bright pops of color all over our place, and they never cease to cheer me up. I also really love all of the little whimsical touches around the apartment, like the Pez and the Fisher Price Little People. They are equally humorous and sentimental, and a constant reminder to not take things so seriously.
Biggest Challenge: Not buying every single thing at Miss Pixies. Seriously though, I think it was hard for us to not rush into buying things to fill our apartment in the beginning. The inclination is to find everything right away so it feels complete, but we discovered that we are much more attached to the pieces we waited to find or bought on a whim.
What Friends Say: I think people really enjoy being in our space... that could be because there’s always pie, but I’m pretty sure they also like the vibe of our apartment.
Biggest Embarrassment: The terrible orange color that we painted our chairs the first week we moved in. We quickly realized our mistake and re-painted them a much more pleasant purple... but they were pretty awful for a while there.
Proudest DIY: For me (Teeny) it’s our coffee table! It’s just a re-purposed pallet, and after we made the first one (and by we I mean Aaron) I was convinced we could sell a million of them on Etsy and make a killing. I’ve since realized it’s probably not that realistic, but I am very proud of ours! I think Aaron is probably proudest of his gorgeous headboard, complete with matching side tables. It was one of the first things in our apartment and it totally fits the space.
Biggest Indulgence: The couch. And if you ever want to do a follow-up, man-oh-man do we have a ridiculous furniture story for you!
Best Advice: Don’t rush. We didn’t have a coffee table for the first 6 months of living here because we didn’t want to buy something we didn’t love, and I’m so happy we waited to make what we imagined in our heads. I think it completes the living room while complementing the rest of our stuff. I feel that way about all of our things, and that wouldn’t have happened if we’d just gone to IKEA and picked up the generic essentials. It’s worth the wait.
Dream Sources: Abc Carpet & Home. They have this crazy store in Manhattan where everything is gorgeous and amazing and ridiculously overpriced and it’s fun to go there to get inspired. If someone told us we had an unlimited budget and it had to be spent on our home, that’s where we’d spend it. At the end of the day though, it’s way more satisfying to go there to find a table that they’re selling for thousands of dollars only to come home and recreate it as a DIY for under thirty!
Resources of Note:
- Bench in Foyer - Miss Pixies
- Bike rack stand - Amazon
- Couch: Room & Board
- Bar Cart: Miss Pixies
- Mirror: Boston Street Corner
- Rocking Chair: Made by Teeny's Uncle
- Rug: Target
- Computer Desk: Miss Pixies
- Sewing Table End Table: Garage sale in Boston
- Retro radio on table: Amazon
- Globe: Courtesy Aaron's parents
- London phone booth: Gifted
- Table: Hubs in Ithaca, NY
- Chairs: Salvaged from Harvard University
- Locker: Miss Pixies
- Desk: Found on Boston Street Corner (they've nicknamed it John Adams)
- Chair: from set salvaged from Harvard University
- Dresser: Found on Boston Street Corner
- Plant: John's Florist
- Headboard and Side table: made by Aaron
Thanks, Teeny and Aaron!
(Images: Nicole Crowder)
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