Stefanie & Taylor's Black and White Luxury DC Loft

House Tour

Name: Stefanie Truman and Taylor Swindle
Location: Northeast DC
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: Three months; renting

Stefanie and Taylor's black and white loft is an open and breezy tribute to their affinity for a comfortable version of modern minimalism. "It's really hard to find a loft-style apartment in D.C, so this was nice surprise." An added bonus was that as two of the first tenants in the newly constructed building, conveniently located right across from the metro in an up-and-coming neighborhood, both had first dibs on the layouts and amenities as well.

As two of the first people in their building, Stefanie and Taylor were able to choose not only the floor they wanted to live on, but also the view, the type of flooring and window treatments. The open floor plan allows them to cook and entertain in the kitchen while enjoying conversation in the living room as well. Stefanie and Taylor's love for cities (D.C pride all the way!), structure, and clean lines is on full display with black and white artwork with views of New York and D.C, and typographic shout outs to Naples, Florida and Detroit, Michigan. Large windows welcome sunlight to spill over their white couch and wood floors.

Like their relationship, Stefanie and Taylor's black/white loft has a little yin and yang to create a balanced harmony. "We're opposite in every way, but have fundamental things we both agree on. Taylor is a Republican; I used to work for the Democratic National Convention. I like things that are "funny and tongue-in-cheek like the deer head or the Zebra head in the bedroom. Taylor doesn't really like things like that." But compromise has become a key factor. When the two moved in together, Stefanie brought along her cat and, while Taylor is not big on cats, he said his love for Stefanie is.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

OUR Style: Layered modern with a tiny sense of humor

Inspiration: Roger Sterling's office on the latest seasons of Mad Men, Oya Restaurant in downtown DC, the Swedish Embassy in DC

Favorite Element: Stefanie: The feeling our place has when it is filled with all of our friends on a Friday night.

Taylor: My 55 inch flatscreen tv.

Biggest Challenge: Stefanie: Meshing our two styles. Though we have fundamentally similar likes and dislikes, I prefer things that are a little too out there and perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek which Taylor would prefer a more formal household. And we always argue on whether or not to put our Roomba vacuum in the closet. Taylor thinks it adds something to the room, and I think it is an eyesore. Also having patience is a big challenge. I think we intended to move in and have everything look perfect in the first week, but our home is a work in progress. Decorating is a challenge for impatient people like us.

Taylor: Decorating is a challenge for impatient people on a budget, you mean. Our entire apartment from silverware to furniture has probably had about at $5,000 budget.

What Friends Say: "When can I move in?" Our friends say we have the "cool" house and they feel like they are going out when really they are just staying in with us.

Biggest Embarrassment: Stefanie: Our bathroom! No matter how hard we try, at the end of the day we still share our bathroom with our cat, Liz Taylor, and that means you will occasionally find leftover kitty treats or litter on the floor.

Taylor: There's a scuff on the paint of the trim by our bedroom doors. It really bugs me.

Proudest DIY: Without a doubt our 20 gallon aquarium. Taylor is from Florida and loves aquatic life, so when he went on a trip for a week I hunted down the perfect tank and designed the tank landscape myself. I recruited all of our friends to help me since I know nothing about fish or water (I just learned to swim this summer!). I made about five trips to the fish store because our fish kept dying during that first week. Who knew keeping a fish tank requires such great attention to the chemical composition of the water and the tank ecosystem.

Biggest Indulgence: Stefanie: Just living in this building feels like a big indulgence. We looked at these apartments for months before they were finished hoping we would be able to live here and sure enough here we are. Our Roomba is an indulgence too. Is it necessary to have a robotic vacuum? Absolutely not. Does it make living with a cat and someone like myself who "sheds" a lot easier? Of Course.

Taylor: My television. By far.

Best Advice: Have patience and have fun. A house is only a home when you let people in it. So what if the couch gets something spilled on it? That's why it has a washable cover.

Taylor: Truly everything you need to know in life you can learn in three seasons of Mad Men- how to host a good party, develop a great wardrobe, and decorate your city apartment.

Dream Sources: Allmodern.com, Philip Starke, Alessi, Room & Board, CB2

Resources of Note:

ENTRY

• Detroit factory photos- Jan Kaulins photography

LIVING ROOM

• Couch- Ikea
• Coffee Table- Ikea
• Side Table- Ikea
• Liquor decanters- vintage
• Deer bust- Home Goods
• Television stand- Ikea
• Smart TV- Samsung
• Vase- first gift to Stefanie from Taylor- source unknown
• Vaccuum- Roomba
• Silver bowl- Ikea
• Glass Bubbles- CB2
• Pillows- CB2
• Canvas- Ikea
• Lamp- Target
• Rug- Ikea
• Mirror- Ikea
• Fish Tank- Fluval Edge

KITCHEN

• Stools- Ikea
• Silver barware (tray, jigger, coasters, shaker)- CB2
• Wine racks- Ikea
• Appliances- Whirlpool
• Bamboo Vase- Mikasa
• Maps of DC, Detroit, Naples- Mr. City Printing via Etsy

BEDROOM

• Furniture- Ikea
• Canvas- Ikea
• Teapot- TJ Maxx
• Skyscraper sculpture- CB2
• Linens- Macy's
• Lamp- Target
• Pendant light- Home Depot
• Donkey and Elephant Pillows- CB2
• Clock- Ikea
• Picture frames- TJ Maxx
• Silver military case- vintage

GUEST BEDROOM

• Furniture- Ikea
• Rug- Ikea
• Overhead light- Ikea
• Canvas- Ikea
• Candlesticks- CB2
• Mirrors- You guessed it...Ikea
• Linens- Macy's
• Desk lamp- Target

Thanks, Stefanie and Taylor!

(Images: Nicole Crowder)

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