Pamela's Blank Canvas Goes Bold

House Tour

Name: Pamela Beecroft
Location: Washington, DC
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months (at the time of the tour); Rented

When the owner of her rental apartment suddenly decided to move back in, Pam found herself scrambling to find a new place to live. With few options (it was winter...not a lot of available apartments) and very little time to search, she was forced to move from a smaller space with plenty of soul and character to a larger and more impersonal place.

Finding herself confronted with a larger "blank canvas" than she was accustomed to when it came to apartment set-up and decorating, she says for her that the big challenge was to infuse as much comfort and personality into her new apartment as she had in her old one. I would say she succeeded, and then some.

The apartment is full of colors and patterns and objects, but manages to avoid feeling cluttered or busy. Instead it feels warm and welcoming. Everywhere you look there are beautiful or cool or funny things to see. She has traveled a lot since childhood (her father was a diplomat) and she weaves international objects into the decor without it ever getting too folk art-y or museum-like. The grey, yellow and orange that you find throughout the rooms hold everything together.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style/Inspiration: Comfortable modern, with Scandinavian and other international influences. I don't know about any one inspiration, but I'm drawn to texture, bright colors and clean lines. I also love images and art, and have filled my apartment with them. I like to keep things light and made sure certain colors carry through spaces without it looking too designed.

Favorite Element: The light, and the flow of the whole floor plan.

Biggest Challenge: Figuring out what to do with the space between the living room and kitchen. (I eventually got an orange storage bench.)

What Friends Say: "It's so nice! Do you think you can come over and help me pull my place together?"

Biggest Embarrassment: Not much so far (but I'm only four months in!).

Proudest DIY: My "media center," which I made by converting the middle of my three bookshelves into a space to hold my TV, stereo and cable. Not very complicated to do, since it just needed a circular drill to allow wires to go through, but it makes such a difference to have all that equipment "embedded" among my by books and other things, instead of standing out.

Biggest Indulgence: One of my chairs in the living room. Most of my things look nice but are not expensive, but I bought the chair at Room and Board. Not cheap, but I love the fabric and the lines, and it's so comfortable. Worth every penny!

Best Advice: Affordable fantastic art is everywhere, and don't be afraid to mix high and low, serious and silly. Same with furniture and everything else — you can do a lot surrounding very basic and cheap furniture with great accents and images. If it's fun, if you like it, then it's right!

Dream Sources: Blu Dot, Miss Pixie's (a used furniture place in DC), Goodwood (ditto), Room And Board

Resources of Note:

LIVING ROOM

    • Sofa: I can't actually remember anymore! Some European import site. The sofa opens up flat into a bed.
    • Coffee table: Overstock.com
    • Throw blanket: West Elm
    • Striped blanket: Kenya
    • Pillows (on couch and armchairs): Ikea fabric, home-sewn, as well as Target
    • Floor and side-table lamps: Target
    • Grey armchair: Overstock.com
    • Pair of armchairs: family hand-me-down, reupholstered with fabric from Fishman's
    • Side table: CB2
    • Bookshelves: IKEA Billy
    • Art: Etsy, wood block art from Minimumwageart, photos are my own, as is the collage and the black and while drawning, masks from the Democratic Republic of Congo
    • Mirror with tiles: Tunisia
    • Elongated wood sculpture people: Burundi

DINING ROOM

    • Dining table and chairs: IKEA
    • Tablecloth: Target
    • Pendant lamp: CB2
    • Sideboard: IKEA
    • Lamp: China
    • Photos: mine

HALLWAY

    • Rugs: from Bosnia and Jordan
    • Small white bookshelves: Staples
    • Lamps: IKEA and Target
    • Orange storage bench: Target
    • Throw pillows: Target and IKEA
    • Standing lamp: West Elm
    • Art: a mix of Etsy, an image I picked up at a rock concert (Dorothy being searched by a riot cop), a gift from Vietnam (the woman with the gun and the baby), my photo of NYC, and the felt polar bear was made by my cousin in Norway - it's for sitting on when you go hiking :)

BEDROOM

    • Bed: On-line store - just a plain old metal frame
    • Bed linens: West Elm
    • Bedside table: Target
    • Desk: Container Store
    • Green shag rug: K-Mart and it's Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen dorm-room series, of all things!
    • Photos: mine

Thanks, Pamela!

(Images: Chris Beecroft)

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— Chris Beecroft