Name: Kerra Michele Huerta
Location: Dupont Circle, Washington, DC
Size: 600 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented
Kerra Michele Huerta is the brains behind the event and interior design business and blog Apartment Envy, based in Washington, DC. She prides herself on the ability to bring a certain flair to small spaces, and nowhere is this more apparent than in her own 600 square feet in Dupont Circle.
One of her most effective moves in this apartment is the strategic application of paint in her bedroom, a space that features a rather improbable nine doors. Kerra did her best to disguise them by painting all the parts and pieces a uniformly dark color, and by hanging artwork on the doors so that they’d blend more seamlessly into the walls.
Elsewhere, color is applied joyously, and décor is inspired by her West Coast childhood and extensive travel. See, for example, her jewel-toned dressing room and the high volume of picture frames throughout, most especially along the staircase.
“Every time I walk up or down the stairs I’m reminded of my travels and everyone I love,” she said. “It truly makes my little rental apartment feel like a home.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Effortless eclectic.
Inspiration: The ease and comfort of the West Coast.
Favorite Element: My staircase gallery. Every time I walk up or down the stairs I’m reminded of my travels and everyone I love. It truly makes my little rental apartment feel like a home.
Biggest Challenge: The bedroom — there are 9 doors and 3 windows! I made them disappear by painting all the doors and trim the same color as the walls, and choosing a darker color to make the walls recede from the eye.
What Friends Say: It looks so much bigger in photos!
Biggest Embarrassment: The vanity and tile and in the bathroom. They’re so yucky and outdated! If I owned this place they’d be the very first thing I'd upgrade.
Proudest DIY: Definitely the kitchen. Adding the graphic contact paper to the fridge and taking the doors off the cabinets completely transformed the space. And everyone thought I was CRAZY when I said I wanted to paint the walls black, but it totally works. It was the worst room in the apartment before I made these simple changes.
Biggest Indulgence: My dressing room, of course! Choosing to sacrifice a closet to create a dressing room (rather than something more practical, like an office) was definitely indulgent, but I don’t regret it one little bit. It’s so much fun to begin and end my days in that little jewel box!
Best Advice: Never have anything in your home that you don’t absolutely love.
Dream Sources: I can never, ever, EVER resist a good flea market. I also get so much inspiration from my travels, and I could probably shop exclusively on Etsy, Craigslist, and Joss & Main for the rest of my life without issue.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
● Kitchen – Walls in Rustoleum black chalkboard paint, cabinet interiors in
● Bedroom – Taos Taupe by Benjamin Moore
● Bathroom – Fern Park by Clark + Kensington
● Dressing Room – Crushed Berries by Benjamin Moore
● Kitchen Cabinet Interior and Campaign Hutch Cabinet – Stardust Memories by True Value Hardware
● Bar Cart – Georgetown Flea Market
● Bar Accessories – Crate & Barrel
● Beard Print – Fab.com
● Suitcase – Vintage from family
● Table – Odyssey white dining table, CB2
● Chairs – Vintage, District Flea
● Pendant Shade – Jara Shade in black, IKEA
● Mirrors – Vintage and spray painted in Rustoleum metallic gold
● Art – Original oil painting purchased in Portland, Oregon
● Sofa – Atwood Sofa by Gus Modern, Homebody DC
● Rug – Bashian cowhide rug, Joss & Main
● Cocktail tables – Overstock.com
● Plycraft chair – Vintage, Craigslist in Seattle
● Side chairs – Vintage, Craigslist in Seattle
● Pillows – Aqua print from Etsy, red/cream and gold print from West Elm, black/white from IKEA
● Floor lamp – Big Dipper Arc Floor Lamp, CB2
● Italian subway stop prints – Fab.com
● Leather floor pouf – Istanbul, Turkey
● Curtains – Custom from fabric on Fabric.com
● Curtain rods - Target
● Small chest of drawers – Rast, IKEA (drawer fronts painted Mustard Seed by Glidden, with glass knobs from Amazon.com)
● Bookcases – Billy, IKEA (with wrapping paper from Paper Source in the backs)
● Art – Sloans & Kenyon in Chevy Chase, Maryland
● Campaign hutch – Vintage, Craigslist in DC
● Contact Paper – Marshall’s
● Apothecary jar – World Market
● Cupcake cookie jar – Vintage from family
● Dishware – Crate & Barrel
● Glassware – Crate & Barrel and CB2
● Fruit Bowl – Crate & Barrel
● Mason jars – Kerr, True Value on 17th Street
● Bed – Custom, vendor on Overstock.com
● Duvet – Chinoiserie print, Dwell Studio
● Coverlet and shams – Joss & Main
● Sheets – IKEA
● Curtains – Amazon.com
● Desk/vanity – Vintage, Craigslist in DC
● Lamps – Crate & Barrel
● Brown chest – Vintage from family
● Dresser – Malm, IKEA
● Small chest – Found in dumpster and refinished to match living room chest
● Wool rug – Overstock.com
● Sheepskin rug – Wayfair.com
● Paper clock – Etsy
● Vanity mirror – Etsy
● Art – Etsy, eBay, travels, and personal photography
● Dresser – Malm, IKEA
● Rug – Wayfair.com
● Mirror – Stave, IKEA
● Chair – Vintage, Craigslist in DC and painted/reupholstered (fabric from fabric.com)
● Curtains – Custom with fabric from fabric.com
● Framed print – art.com
● Small oil painting – Vintage, eBay
● Wall hooks – Curtain tiebacks, Urban Outfitters
● Train case – Vintage, Etsy
● Brass tray – Vintage, Georgetown Flea Market
● Shower Curtain – TJ Maxx
● Rug – Hyderabad, India
● Bath towels – Istanbul, Turkey
● Hand towels and washcloths – Restoration Hardware
● Wood crate (on wall) – Vintage grape crate, Etsy
● Framed postcards – Vintage, San Jose
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(Image credits: Natalie Grasso)