Rachael's Apartment Therapy Inspired Design Lab

House Tour

Name: Rachael & Cassidy (1-year old Doodle, a Dashchund-Poodle mix)
Location: U Street Corridor, Washington, DC
Size: 1,025 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5

My home is a mini-design lab, where I've tried out many of the inspiring ideas shown on Apartment Therapy. I replaced the barn door with sliding bookcases — my version of a secret passageway — and tried out my favorite colors and ideas. It's a work in progress and you can see which AT ideas I tried out and learn from my mistakes.

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Reading (and writing for) Apartment Therapy inspired me to install floor to ceiling drapes as room dividers, a cheaper, homemade version of the bookcase doors, using picture ledges to display artwork, and painting IKEA's ornate frame. The apartment had never been lived in before I moved in and had few light fixtures and no blinds. There was a strange open space to the second room, which I filled in with glass blocks. I wanted to keep the light in the room (to use as a studio) but also make it private when guests visit so I added a curtain behind the glass blocks.

This home is the first place where I chose my own paint colors and light fixtures, and could decide what to do with walls! I had a lot of fun trying out color combinations and bold accents.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: eclectic

Inspiration: color, the space of the apartment

Favorite Element: the huge windows and even having a window in the bathroom

Biggest Challenge: trying to make all my different design ideas and projects work as a whole - I don't think I succeeded.

What Friends Say: when's your next party?

Biggest Embarrassments: so many! Not ordering enough wallpaper for the second bedroom, trying out lots of projects that didn't always work, and not having a sense of cohesiveness throughout the apartment. I'm also over the red couch and some other pieces I've had for while and I plan to slowly replace.

Proudest DIY: Figuring out how to replace the barn door with the sliding bookcases — my version of a secret passageway!

Biggest Indulgence: The painting in the master bedroom.

Best advice: Only have items you really love in your apartment.

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Resources:
Furniture: IKEA bed, brown sleeper sofa from RCKNDY, red leather sofa from a store in Potomac Mills, living room side table, rocking chair, saddle chair, and antique mail sorter from flea market in Raleigh, North Carolina; Pottery Barn Kids green chairs and bases in master bedroom; pick swivel chair and ottoman from Theodore's; gold bamboo tray table from Goodwood; West Elm white bathroom shelves; TV stand trunk from family; Calligaris folding table and chairs

Lighting: IKEA, Urban Essentials, Noguchi lamps, other lamps from RCKNDY

Accessories: black and gold mirror from Goodwood; pillows from RCKNDY, Smith and Hawken, and Anthropologie; shelves from Brocade Home and Pottery Barn

Rugs: Anthropologie

Artwork: painting in bedroom by Ron Livingstone; graffitti art by local artists; the rest is mine - some from as early as high school (some of the landscape paintings in the kitchen) to more recent paintings and sculptures

Window Treatments: Next Day Blinds; Pottery Barn

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Images: Rachael Grad

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• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.

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