House Tour: Alex’s Granny Chic

published Jul 23, 2009
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Alex
Occupation: owner of dog-walking company Loyal Company
Location: U Street Corridor, Washington DC
Size: 1,200 square feet
Lived in: rented for 4 years
Other Occupants: Louis, a 4-year old Italian greyhound


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Each room of Alex’s shotgun apartment has its own decor theme: the Diane Vreeland-inspired red living room; the green room; the calm bedroom; and the “bruised” hallway. The long, shotgun apartment layout lends itself well to different decor in each room. Almost every item in Alex’s apartment is vintage or was found, including the oil paintings and sofas. Nothing cost him more than $300…

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Alex uses bold colors and prints to make his home a cozy and welcoming but visually exciting place. He’s not afraid to pair IKEA sconces with high-end Baker shades. He daringly pairs traditional furniture pieces with trendy pillows and rugs.


My Style: traditional, granny chic

Inspiration: so many things! I’m inspired by Tony Duquette, Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler, and a bit of a lodge feel.

Favorite Element: the way the apartment flows on one level, almost like a shotgun-style house. It’s bigger than it looks from the outside.

Biggest Challenge: I feel like I’m decorating for the old woman who lived here for 20 years.

What Friends Say: it feels cozy and welcoming.

Biggest Embarrassment: the kitchen and floors.

Proudest DIY: the ode to Diana Vreeland room – red on red on red. Also putting up the shelves, trim, cornices, and curtains.

Biggest Indulgence: I didn’t pay more than $300 for anything here. So I guess the two West Elm desks, which I brought brand new.

Best Advice: always go with classic pieces for big items. You can use trendy accents and accessories.


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Paint Colors: Caroline Pines from Dutch Boy in the green room; Sangria from Benjamin Moore in the red room; the “bruised” hallway was inspired by Domino Magazine’s purple rooms

Bedroom: trunk was my grandfather’s; the bed is a French antique given to me by friends; West Elm desks and chairs; Martha Sturdy lamps from Craigslist; two dressers from thrift stores
Green Room: crewel sofa and hickory chair were found; bench from the Georgia Avenue thrift shop; marble top console table from Craigslist; dressers from West Virginia antique store; two Captain’s chairs from Century and Craigslist; Z Gallery mirror table; two Asian benches from Miss Pixie’s; console from the back alley trash; outdoor table and artist’s stool from thrift stores
Bathroom: vintage chair and trash can
Hall table from a flea market
Red Room: red sofa from Ruff ‘n Ready; cabinet from Salvation Army (cost $100); two slipper chairs from the Salvation Army; lucite coffee table boxes were a store’s Christmas decorations found rescued from the trash; cabinet from Goodwill; corner table from a yard sale

Lighting: lamps from yard sales, ebay, thrift stores; the sconces are from Ikea with Baker shades; kitchen chandelier from Craigslist

Rugs: West Elm; the dining room rug from ebay

Accessories: the mirrors are all vintage except the sun mirror from Marshall’s; Homegoods; shower curtain from West Elm; the shells in the Red Room cabinet are a new collection and inspired by the home of Goodwood owners shown in Apartment Therapy House Tour Anna & Dan’s White House Laundry Loft; needlepoint pillows are vintage finds; dishes in the kitchen are a wedding set bed in a thrift set; kitchen mirror from Ruff ‘n Ready

Windows: mostly Matchstick Blinds

Art: all vintage finds


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Alex!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)