Alexandra & Mike's Bright and Colorful Family Nest

Alexandra & Mike's Bright and Colorful Family Nest

Nicole Crowder
Oct 19, 2015

Name: Alexandra, Michael and baby Ripton
Location: Logan Circle, Washington DC
Size: 742 square feet
Years lived in: 7; Owned

Alexandra and Michael's Logan Circle home is what house tour dreams are made of. Alexandra first purchased the apartment that sits right along the beautiful Logan Circle in D.C. seven years ago. Today, she and her husband Mike make their nest there with their adorable baby boy Ripton.

Upon entering the couple's home, you immediately notice the abundance of sunlight. (It amplifies their already sunny personalities.) Seven years ago, when she was moving from San Francisco to D.C. for a new job, Alexandra found the apartment during a whirlwind 24-hour trip. The apartment was initially in pretty bad shape, but Alexandra, being a very orderly planner and decorator, immediately set about gutting the place and remodeling.

The kitchen is completely new, with bright white lacquer cabinets (which I'm currently obsessed with), a light pink ceramic backsplash, a bright red accent wall, and new stainless steel appliances. The previous owners had covered the floors in a purple shag-like carpet, which Alexandra quickly removed, revealing beautiful wood floors in mint condition underneath. The one fixture that she and Michael were not able to change from the previous owners was the stone slab that is part of the window nook in their bedroom.

When I first met Alexandra a few years ago, she was a contributing writer for a D.C. website, covering the arts and culture beat. It's no wonder art still has such a prominent role in her home today. Colorful posters, original prints and photographs are carefully displayed in each room, adding to the room's overall balance. A large print of a naked woman lying across a bed of magazines is situated prominently in the living room, as opposed to the bedroom.

What's equally beautiful about the home is the balance of one-of-a-kind vintage items found at outdoor bazaars and more modern items found via online shopping. When she lived in San Francisco, Alexandra nabbed stunning pieces like the hand carved wooden dining room table, the large mirror in the living room ,and those two beautiful antique chairs, which she had reupholstered. I not-so-secretly wanted to run away with them.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style/Inspiration: We're drawn to a mostly eclectic style, a mix of new and old that somehow cohesively comes together into our own unique taste. Whether wall space, tabletop, entryway, or hallway, everything in a home can always use an extra layer. We love color highlights and patterns combined with wood accents that hopefully translate into an exuberant space.

Favorite Element: The quirks that come with living in a 113 year old building. And the fact that we live on a corner and can enjoy huge, old windows in every room, making the space bright and airy with lots of views of trees — a luxury for apartment living in the middle of DC. Mike has an appetite for houseplants and the outdoors so in a small way, this helps make up for our lack of yard.

Biggest Challenge: Style is obviously very important, but did you notice that we live in 742 square feet? Equally important (and challenging) is utilizing the space efficiently, especially with the little one in home. Multifunctional space are also key: the kitchen floor is for many hours of standing and cooking, as well as spreading out toys.

What Friends Say: "Can you come decorate my place?" But mostly compliments that we are grateful for, and that it's clean. The best compliment is when people come over and don't want to leave!

Biggest Embarrassment: Spots here and there that need a little love and attention, and a washing machine that sounds like an ailing lawnmower. Oh, and those accordion front closet doors.

Proudest DIY: Does being thrifty and creative and choosing every single piece of furniture, etc. on our own count? I'm too much of a perfectionist for DIY, while Mike is a DIY pro.

Biggest Indulgence: Freshly cut flowers, our cleaning lady, and framing artwork!

Best Advice: Don't be a hoarder. Edit, edit, and edit more. It's true, babies do grow quickly. We're constantly changing our son's clothes out for new ones, and the same mantra goes for a small space as well. Keep it constant. Find original, timeless pieces and be selective. Trust yourself and your taste (after all, you know best what you love and how you use your space) and the end product will be you.

Dream Sources: Corey Arnold. Designers Guild. abc carpet & home. Flea markets. Josef Frank.

Resources of Note:


  • Benjamin Moore Burnt Red


  • Runnner: Dwell Studio
  • Table: Eastern Market


  • Toy basket: Ferm Living
  • White and Wood Credenza & desk: yliving
  • Small black table: Eames; Herman miller
  • Naked Girl Print: Alix Smith
  • Birds print: Corey Arnold (Corey Arnold Photography)
  • Girl print above lamp: Casey O'Connell
  • Planters: Pottery Barn
  • Couch: Room & Board
  • Chair: Crate and Barrel
  • Pillow: Designer's guild
  • Shades next day blinds
  • Red speaker: Geneva brand // online
  • Rug:
  • Lamps: Thrift store in SF
  • Wool blanket: Pendleton
  • Couch pillows: Timothy Paul
  • Ottoman: Owned since college
  • Glass desk: yliving
  • Wood desk chair: Handed down from Gandparent's
  • Mirror: Thrift store in SF
  • Gold upholstered chairs: Thrift store in SF


  • Chairs: Room & Board
  • Table: Thrifted from San Francisco
  • Carpet: Timothy Paul Carpets + Textiles
  • Wood bowl: Pottery Barn


  • Custom Cabinets and shelves


  • Window seat cushions: Ferm Living
  • Bedspread: Dwell Studio
  • Bed: Antique store in VA
  • Componibili storage units: Hive Modern
  • Bureau: Hive Modern
  • Dresser: West Elm


  • Toy bins: Mika Tolvanen (Design Within Reach)
  • Bookshelf & dresser: Oeuf NYC
  • Tapestry: Bobo Choses
  • Mint Rocker: Herman Miller
  • Crib:

Thanks, Alexandra and Mike!

(Images: Nicole Crowder)

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