A 599-Square-Foot Studio Apartment Was Personalized With DIY Washi Tape Murals
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Name: John Connor and Maryana, my long-time partner
Location: Navy Yard District — Washington, D.C.
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 599 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Our space was very much inspired by our apartment building. There are murals everywhere, which inspired us to create some bespoke pieces of our own. The building itself drew inspiration from the Bauhaus movement and we actually both attended the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, which was led by Mies van der Rohe, a former director of the Bauhaus. We knew instantly when we walked through the lobby that this was the perfect place for us!
Having no furniture at the time, we scoured Maryana’s parent’s house for interesting finds. We were able to get a majority of the furniture from their garage or basement. We re-purposed old bricks to create a TV stand, we spray-painted a white wicker sofa and ottoman black, turned an old door and sawhorse legs into a dining table, and found an unused copper trough in the garden that we thought would make the perfect planter. The loft-like feel of the apartment with exposed concrete and 10’ ceilings inspired us to get creative and add our own designer stamp to it.
We selected colorful fabrics from IKEA and sewed our own sofa cushion, table runner, and seat covers. We hung modern prints reminiscent of tapestry and being inspired by Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings, we created our own full wall murals out of Washi tape.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Colorful, modern, creative, re-purposed, abstract.
What is your favorite room and why? We’re in a studio and the great thing about it is that it’s all one space; everything is connected yet we curated separate zones within. We love that it overlooks a courtyard and the floor-to-ceiling windows allow a lot of light to come through.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Washi tape from Amazon to create the murals.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Go for it! Let the space speak to you about what to add. Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you can’t decorate for fear of damaging walls. Also, a well-designed space doesn’t have to cost a lot! You just need some creativity. That is why we used Washi Tape; it’s easy to use, affordable, and temporary.
This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.