Name: Mike and Lea of The Casa Pino
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; renting
Creative husband and wife duo Mike and Lea Pino met in New York several years ago, and have been working together and designing up beautiful modern textiles with their business The Casa Pino ever since. So it comes as no surprise the same fun aesthetic they put into their collection is reflected in their equally stylish home.
Lea and Mike's home is a true South-by-Southwest experience, where they mix the vibe of cozy southern charm with trinkets and artwork they've collected from time spent in New Mexico. And even though the couple is currently renting, the generous wiggle room provided by their landlord (who is, incidentally, Lea's mother-in-law) has allowed them to renovate and re imagine their home—particularly the kitchen— to make it more open and bright. But what didn't have to change were the original bones of the living and dining room. One of the perks of renting an older home outside all the new condos in DC is that the architecture often has original charming features like secret nooks and arcs as doorways, in addition to an abundance of storage space. And though Lea and Matt added fresh counter tops, cabinets and new back splash to their kitchen, the original fold-down ironing board is still intact and still gets used.
Lea is a lover of all things vintage and thrifted, and she's an ace at nabbing deals that even the best thrift seekers hope to find. Those sweet mid century modern living room chairs, for example? $5 each from a yard sale! And the other living room chair? Found right off the street in mint condition. I've already scheduled myself to tag along for the next joyride the couple plans to take through their neighborhood. You know, just in case?
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: My style is a total mix, its modern, a little edgy, a bit traditional, and totally livable. I really love the energy of a space that has things that are old and new, shiny and worn, something unexpected and something timeless. My whole life, I've had this need to make everything pretty. As the Casa Pino textile designer and decorator, I find that I'm inspired by everything around me, my life experiences and travels. My Southern grandmothers have been a wealth of inspiration, so has our family ranch in beautiful New Mexico, and my time spent living and exploring in two of the greatest cities in the world, NYC and Paris. I'm also so inspired by nature and the amazing colors and beauty that is just outside the door. Thank goodness my husband is also creative and easy going and allows me to try out anything in our home!
Favorite Element: My favorite element, oh that's hard, because I really love everything in my home. If I had to pick just one thing, it would probably be my inherited antique drafting table that I use as a desk or the cross hanging in my dining room that was created for us for our wedding.
Biggest Challenge: Furniture placement, this house has tons of charm… and windows, and radiators, and doorways! Creating a livable flow was certainly a challenge.
What Friends Say: That our home is warm and welcoming. I'm from the South, where hospitality is really valued and instilled from an early age. I like that our friends feel that here.
Biggest Embarrassment: Probably the linoleum floors. I want to replace them, eventually.
Proudest DIY: The dining room chandelier! It's made from a kit. I love it!
Biggest Indulgence: The updated kitchen, it is where we've spent the most money, but it was so worth it. It's still a tiny space, but now it's totally functional and pretty.
Best Advice: Surround yourself with things you love, don't follow trends.
Dream Sources: First Dibs, ABC Carpet & Home, Jayson Home, Design Within Reach, Casamidy
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
Thanks, Lea and Mike!
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