Emily's Well-Appointed Apartment

Emily's Well-Appointed Apartment

Lindsey Roberts
Jul 15, 2010

Name: Emily Prugar
Location: Old Town — Alexandria, Virginia
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 2

Like many of our own home tours would be, Emily Prugar's is short and sweet. Although it's a small house, it's full of furniture and fabric appointments that took considered thought, including subtle details such as miniature patterns and warm touches such as pastel accessories. Emily started designing her space two years ago, and enjoyed nesting alongside her other pursuits: raising a toddler, attending the Corcoran College of Art + Design, and starting her own interiors business, M House Designs.

Some apartments look thrown together: a trip to IKEA here, raiding of parents' stash there, and maybe some framed prints from college. But Emily's apartment looks genuinely adult and well thought-out. She sets a warm foundation in all rooms that never tips over into being too cutesy or girly. With a heather-taupe sofa, brown leather chairs, and an Odegard rug in her living room, the stage is set for the details: a unique piece of art, a textured lampshade, and the reflective nature of the mirrors and glass coffee table. In the dining room, an antique dining table and custom shades are relaxed, and contrast a twisty chandelier and dramatic black chairs perfectly.

The only place she lets herself get girly is in her daughter's nursery. Pink walls and pink toile window treatments let you know that a girl lives there, but maybe not a gaggle of girls.

If anything, though, what's truly impressive about this apartment is Emily's restraint, both in her design choices, and in the lack of clutter. She admits that it's difficult, when having lots of children's toys and lots of paperwork from working at home, but she manages with class &mdash and lots of baskets.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My/ Style: Southern Modern

Inspiration: My childhood in the South and an appreciation for art and the natural world. I worked in several art galleries throughout undergrad and I am now finishing my masters at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. I love surrounding myself with beautiful things and I will usually go to an art exhibit for inspiration for a client's space [as part of her business, M House Designs]. I also try to substitute environmentally friendly products whenever I can; most of the manufacturers I spec. for clients are green. I also try to find functional objects to hang on the walls as my art. The pitch forks in my dining room are 100 years old from Turkey and the tapestry in our bedroom was literally crumbling when I had it framed.

Favorite Element: My butterfly artwork from Butterfly People. It is incredibly beautiful and it helps support conservation of the rain forest.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping out clutter. It is especially hard when you are running a business from home and you have a toddler. I find that big chunky baskets are great for hiding my daughters toys and my papers. Since we live in a 1,200-square-foot apartment we have be creative with our storage solutions and we have to edit our displays and surface clutter. I try to rotate artwork and my daughter's toys. Mirrors, lighting and drapes help to make our living room and dining room appear larger. I try to keep our bedroom especially clean so I can relax at the end of a long day.

What Friends Say: Our house is always very welcoming and they always stay longer than they planned.

Proudest DIY: Most of my photo gallery on the staircase are paper clippings and old photos that I framed to look like priceless art.

Biggest Indulgence: My chandelier from International Ironware and my "big girl bed" from France.

Best advice: Buy what you love and what will make you happy every single day you see it. You will find room for it.

Dream source:I loved Domino magazine and kept all my old copies. I also watch certain designers to see what they are working on. Right now I really love Darryl Carter, Thomas O'Brien, Kerry Joyce and Suzanne Rheinstein.

Resources of Note:


    Farrow and Ball Middleton Pink in the Nursery (clay based environmentally friendly paints)





    • Nursery window fabric is a Ralph Lauren Folia fabric carried by Kravet Showroom in DC


Thanks, Emily!

Images: Al Peasley

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