Name: Amy Zeller and Jeremy
Location: Capitol Hill; Washington, D.C.
Size: 520 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Renting
To say this cool couple knows how to maximize space would be an understatement. Amy and Jeremy may very well be the champions of resourcefulness, tidiness, and organization, while maintaining a charming and minimalism about their home.
Stepping into the space initially, one might mistake it for a long foyer leading to the bedroom. But the couple have done a beautiful job breaking up the space and creating perfectly shaped rooms and making it feel open, not to mention vignettes that complement their aesthetic.
No round corners here. A square dining table fits perfectly into a nook near the entrance to the couple's home. Look up or you'll miss the beautiful (and neat!) cluster of vintage wicker baskets mixed in with vintage suitcases tucked inside a built in nook. Further down the narrow hallway, you slide past the couple's tidy kitchen and slip into their bright bedroom filled with vintage wood dressers, cabinets with brass hardware, and a sweet Craigslist find: a wooden file cabinet from Washington's own Department of Labor. The bedroom leads out the back patio where the couple store their bikes and a super crafty display of floppy disks that Jeremy created. Just one more example of how this cool, resourceful pair lets nothing or any space go to waste.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style/Inspiration: We are outdoorsy people, so we love things with a natural look. Whether that is hardwood floors or a vase full of fresh flowers, it’s fun to bring the outside elements into your home. We also like to use pieces for something other than their primary purpose – for example, Jeremy uses an old wooden filing cabinet as his dresser.
Favorite Element: Since we love the outdoors and natural light, our living room skylight is probably our favorite element. It creates an illusion of much more space with all of the height in our apartment, but it also acts as another window. Natural light is a hot commodity for row homes, so we’re happy to have that extra boost.
Biggest Challenge: Space! We both came from 4 bedroom houses where we lived with friends and accumulated any and everything you could want, just because we could. When we moved in together, there was a lot of purging, brainstorming of furniture pieces we could use for storage, and compromises in who would get what percentage of the closet.
What Friends Say: So cute! In the way that your friend’s girlfriend is 4’4” and she’s really sweet but so tiny. Some of our friends and family were shocked that we were able to fit all of our things into the apartment, but I think once we finished fully unpacking and decorating, they were able to see the charm that we envisioned when we signed the lease.
Biggest Embarrassment: I wouldn’t say we’re embarrassed about any element of the apartment – we really have tried to make everything work and look great. However, our storage is very strategic, so when we need something that’s hidden away, sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get it out. For example, our loft is great for extra storage, but we have a ladder to access it that is under the couch. Needless to say, we try to minimize the number of times we go up the ladder to get things because it is an involved process.
Proudest DIY: Our coat and boot rack near the front door. It took multiple days and a few minor injuries to craft, but it is really unique and what we envisioned. It’s locally sourced (from one of our favorites – Community Forklift), a great conversation piece (cost about $20 total), and it is super convenient!
Biggest Indulgence: Our dressers – both the filing cabinet and the wardrobe were Craigslist finds and a little bit of an investment. However, they are some of our favorite and most useful pieces. They are both solid wood so we know they’ll last forever.
Best Advice: Once you’re at a point in your life when you want to love everything about your home, invest in the inputs. We only buy things when we know we want them and they can withstand the test of time. Sometimes that requires you to pay more money, but you use these things every day. It’s an investment!
Dream Sources: West Elm, and local spot GoodWood.
Resources of Note:
- Dining table - Family hand me down
- Dining chairs - Goodwill
- Vintage suitcases - Eastern Market in (Capitol Hill)
- Couch - Goodwill
- IKEA shoe rack - Homemade with a pallet and supplies from Community Forklift
- Entertainment system - IKEA
- Rug - World Market
- Coffee table - Trunk from Goodwill
- Bed - Family hand me down
- Dresser - IKEA, but painted by Amy's mom
- Stand next to your dresser - Home goods
- "Department of Labor" cabinet - Craigslist find
- Patio set - IKEA
- Floppy Disk artwork - Jeremy's handiwork made from old floppy disks and a piece of plywood
Thanks, Amy and Jeremy!
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