Virginia's Multi-Purpose DIY Studio

Creative Workspace Tour

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Name: Virginia Arrisueño, owner and designer of DeNada
Location: Bloomingdale, Washington DC
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5, renting

A few months ago we featured the super industrial loft of DC artists Virginia Arrisueño and her husband Kelly Towles. Well, Virginia has an equally cool and industrial studio space that she uses to operate her collection of beautifully handmade knitware called DeNada.

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Virginia's studio—dubbed 'The Ulyssess Room'—operates as her personal workspace for her company, but it also serves as a multipurpose space used to host events, rent out as a location for photo shoots, and to host a monthly DIY workshop that she co-creates called Topaz + Arrow with fellow DC artist Morgan Hungerford West of Pandahead. There's no artistic endeavor this woman hasn't conquered or hasn't thought of. And I have a feeling she's only getting warmed up.

Located in an old warehouse, called O Street Studios, that houses many artists in various disciplines, Virginia's studio contains similar rustic touches that are found in her loft, only with a more minimal touch. She found a table made of reclaimed wood to compliment the wooden floors, and used reclaimed wood to create the shelves that hold glass jars and terrariums. The black desks are a job that many an IKEA hacker would appreciate. To achieve the look she was going for, Virginia stained the desks in a darker color and used hairpin legs purchased from Hairpin Legs For Less. Adding to the touch of DIY resourcefullness are the self-built clothing racks that Virginia and her husband fashioned out of tools from Home Depot.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style/Inspiration: For my workspace, my whole goal was to somehow visually translate my own personal aesthetic and the image of my brand, DeNada, into the space. Because the workspace is located in an industrial warehouse spot – I decided to pull in natural elements, like plants and drift wood to balance the industrial feel of the space.

Because my workspace is used primarily as my showroom/office space for my knitwear line, but also for hosted events and workshops, I kept my space open with all the furniture easy to move around.

A lot of my inspiration is pulled from Restoration Hardware, but also online.

Favorite Element: I absolutely love the ivy-ringed skylight, located at the center of my space. My workspace only has one tiny window. But with all the natural light that the large skylight brings in, I never think about the absence of windows in the space.

Biggest Challenge: My workspace is located in a very old warehouse spot with no insulation. The ceilings are exposed wood. During the summer it gets very hot in the space. The biggest challenge when I moved in was to somehow figure out how to bring down the temperature of the space. With the help of my husband, we installed two ceiling fans and a/c units, which cool down the space considerably.

What Friends Say: Every person that I have brought to my workspace have said that the space represents my personal style and who I am as a designer.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our skylight tend to make the space very hot during the summer time. When I moved into my workspace, I envisioned ivy/plants lining the sides of it. The first attempt at putting plants up there, failed. No matter how much water I would give the plants, they died. And so, I decided to put faux ivy up there instead. When I tell guests that the ivy is fake, they are surprised.

Proudest DIY: A lot of the elements in our work pace, I did myself with the help of my husband. I think the proudest one was building my clothing racks by myself.

Biggest Indulgence: The biggest indulgence for my workspace was my conference/work table from Restoration Hardware. I needed a conference/work table for my space. Because it would be placed beneath our dramatic skylight at the center of my studio, I needed it to be a "wow factor". When I saw this table in their catalog, I fell in love with it instantaneously – and of course, bought it!

Best Advice: Tackle one DIY project at a time.

Dream Sources: Restoration Hardware.

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Resources of Note:

  • Bar/Storage: Custom built
  • Sink: Ikea
  • Shelves: Reclaimed Wood
  • Glasses and Plants: Ikea
  • Branches: found
  • Jars: Topaz +Arrow
  • Artwork: Kelly Towles
  • Table: Restoration Hardware
  • Clothing Racks: Self built + Home Depot
  • Mirror: Ikea
  • Desks: Ikea tops stained and lacquered
  • Legs: Hairpin Legs For Less
  • Curtains: Movie Theater Cmpany
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Thanks, Virginia!

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
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(Image credits: Nicole Crowder; Courtesy DeNada)