A D.C. Home Inspired by Family, Photography and Frida Kahlo

A D.C. Home Inspired by Family, Photography and Frida Kahlo

Liz Calka
May 20, 2018

Name: Gina Martin
Location: Washington, D.C.
Size: 870 square feet
Years lived in: 16 years, owned

Gina knows exactly where everything is in her 870 square foot Washington, D.C. condo. She's impeccably organized, and fiercely loves every item in her space. She's custom designed this home to house all her treasures.

Gina's lived in her colorful home for 16 years, approximately the same amount of time that she's been working at National Geographic. (She's currently the Managing Account Executive in editorial sales for National Geographic Creative). She has a great appreciation for photography and is a big supporter of photographers, whether she's collecting their books or hosting them in her home (she has quite the guest book!). The selection of photography on display in her apartment is, quite simply, magnificent. In fact, each year when National Geographic celebrates its annual Photo Seminar in D.C., the after party is always at Gina's.

"Yes, I color coordinate my books. I like the aesthetic and it makes it a little easier for me to find one of my 800 photo books."

Her home is also very much an homage to her parents, Bob and Diane, for whom she created the Bob and Diane Fund, a grant for visual storytelling about Alzheimer's and dementia. Gina has a wonderful eye for antiques, and has incorporated family heirlooms and vintage furniture into her space. From items she found in her father's and grandfather's workshops to the torch her mother carried in the 1984 Olympics, Gina honors their legacy while also representing her own adventurous and independent spirit.

Reader challenge: How many Frida Kahlo references can you spot?

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Vintage meets photography.

Inspiration: My mother.

Favorite Element: Mixture of family antiques with my love of photography.

Biggest Challenge: Lack of wall space.

What Friends Say: "Where are you going to fit that?"

Biggest Embarrassment: How organized I am!

Proudest DIY: Kitchen design and my coat rack.

Biggest Indulgence: Jonathan Adler chair.

Best Advice: Surround yourself with things you love.


Coat rack – custom made with hooks found in my father's tool shop
Ceiling light fixture – my grandparent's
Bench – my father made this bench in 1957 when he was in wood class. I have the original plans he drew for class. One of my prized possessions.
Paint color – green

Brown Sofa – Crate & Barrel
Yellow chair – Crate & Barrel Citron Grayson Chair (SKU: 270517)
Orange Chair - Jonathan Adler Whitaker Swivel Chair & Ottoman
Coffee Table/Ottoman - Anthropology
Camel back trunk – family antique
Old school desk – family antique
Medicine cabinet – Good Wood
Olympic Torch – My mother was a torch carrier in the 1984 Olympics
Book shelf – custom made book shelf to hold my 800 photography books
Brown rug - Lilah Solid Shag Brown Area Rug by Andover Mills from Wayfair
Paint colors – Moroccan yellow and green

Cabinets, Cubbies and kitchen table/island – custom made
Orange Fridge & Stove – Big Chill
Hutch – family antique
Kitchen light fixtures – Home Depot
Grocery scale – family antique
Large format camera stand — family antique

Antique dress – family antique
Field desk – antique desk found online and drove to Philly to buy it

Vintage sink – salvage store
Vintage medicine cabinet — salvage store
Shelf — custom made

Thanks, Gina!

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