My First Apartment: Rachael's DC Daydream

Location: Washington, DC
Size/Type: One bedroom, around 600 square feet
Length of Residence: One year

My first apartment was at The Chastleton at 16th and R Streets in DC. I was starting my first job after graduate school and wanted to live in the heart of the city where I could take the metro or walk to work. I loved the historic building, its location and the natural light in the apartment. Years later, I happened to be in the building for an AT House Tour when my apartment (since turned into a condo) was open for a showing. I was able to visit my first home and take a few photos of the renovated space.

After stumbling into my first home, I surveyed AT readers asking: Have You Revisited Your Past Homes? Since I had moved out, the apartment building had converted into condos and been nicely renovated. Images 1-7 show the building's exterior and common areas, including the rooftop deck and the view from the roof. Images 8-10 show the renovated and staged apartment that was once my home. I was impressed by the upgraded appliances (washer and dryer, which I didn't have!), open kitchen and dining area (when I lived there it was a galley kitchen) and expanded bathroom.

What I loved about this home: The light, the building and the location. I loved the look of the gothic building and its history, the high ceilings and the big windows. The common areas (shown in the images) were beautiful. For a newcomer to DC, the Dupont Circle location was ideal. I loved being close to the metro and the 16th Street bus.

What changed when I moved on to my next home: I moved to a brand new apartment building that had newer appliances, faster elevators and was even closer to the metro.

Best bit of advice for people moving into their first home: If you're moving to a new city and don't think you'll be there for long, pick a fun and convenient location that's close to the places you want to explore. Having a shorter commute to work is worth paying a little extra in rent, even if it means having a smaller apartment that needs some work.

Images: Rachael Grad

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Style, Decorating

Rachael is a fine artist and writer and when not obsessing about home decor she works in hospitality, spa and art events (galleryreinvented.com).

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