Anne-Marie & Vytas's Sophisticated Comfort

Anne-Marie & Vytas's Sophisticated Comfort

Leah Moss
Aug 6, 2009

Name: Anne-Marie, Vytas & 1 year old daughter, Maddie
Location: Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase, DC
Years lived in: Rented 3 years

Refined and loungeable are two styles rarely used in conjunction, but stepping into Vytas and Anne-Marie's home you can't help but sense both an acute attention to detail and a respect for relaxation. Their furniture is grand and substantial and their decorative pieces certainly make themselves known, but the overall feeling is romantically unpretentious and thoroughly inviting — like a fine, aged wine paired with comfort food.

One of the most impressive elements of the 1 bedroom apartment is its balance. The warm, inviting palette in the entryway, living room, and kitchen is complimented by the soothing grays and crisp whites of the adjoining bedroom. Heavy, regal furnishings like the large round dining table and media armoire are balanced by the laid back slip-covered sofa and IKEA bookcases. Anne-Marie painted them white to match the molding, making them look more like built-ins than mass produced storage. All of the artwork in the living room ties into the gorgeous, colorful oriental rug, and gold accents are sprinkled subtly throughout the home for a unified look.

The young couple's love of ease and order continued even after welcoming their new daughter into their one bedroom home — not an easy or a common feat. Often, having a baby translates into opening the floodgates of bulky plastic toys and mountains of baby gear, but Anne-Marie and Vytas have — quite masterfully— managed to maintain a clutter-free, kid-friendly environment by keeping toys simple, well-made, and limited in number.

Apartment Therapy Survey
Our Style: A mix of French eclectic and beach cottage
Inspiration: I love design magazines and blogs and they are a constant source of ingenious ideas. But underlying all that, much of what I do in my own home is affected by my grandfather. He was an artist and loved beautiful things. He lived in an old Federal-style farmhouse in upstate New York and inherited an old house in Nantucket and he was constantly working on them both — stripping, sanding, staining, painting. Almost every memory I have of him over the past twenty years is of him restoring something, leisurely and meticulously. He had cans of antique nails in his studio so if he needed to repair an old piece he could do it right. He painted furniture beautifully, in the early American Dutch style, all of which are now family heirlooms. He instilled in me a love of place, and an appreciation for the beauty and value of elbow grease and patience. Every time I embark on a project in my home (which always involves elbow grease and paint) I am inspired by the way he worked and the beautiful things he created.

Favorite Element: The light (our living room has 5 windows) and the architectural elements like detailed molding and French doors into the kitchen.

Biggest Challenge: It's a small living space for our family. When we realized we'd be staying here for a while after our daughter was born, I was on a mission to make the space seem more bright and spacious. One big change was painting the wall of bookcases in our living room white (they were a dark brown wood). That made the whole room breath more. I also added the white stenciling to our yellow entryway — that brightened up the space a lot and made that space feel more like its own room and less like a hallway.

What friends Say: That it feels inviting. And NEAT! My husband and I both hate clutter. When we got married one of the first pieces we bought was a computer armoire for our living room where we could hide our computer (which doubles as our TV), printer, papers and other mess. It is wonderful to close the doors and make everything disappear

Biggest Embarrassment: My biggest embarrassment is my bathroom. I painted it 4 times trying to get the right color, only to end up with cream walls — which I love. The apartment's biggest embarrassment is the kitchen, which has plastic cupboards that look like they were installed in the 80's. I couldn't do anything about them so I just ignored them and picked a paint color I love for the walls.

Proudest DIY: The wall lamps mounted between the windows over our dining table. We had no light source on that side of the room and our options were eating in the semi-gloom or turning on the garish overhead fixture. There wasn't any place to put a table lamp and no room for a floor lamp. The wall lamps are the perfect combination of practical and cozy. They come with cords and plug into the wall so they were a hassle free installation.

Biggest Indulgence: We only buy things we really love. It usually means more expensive and a longer wait but over time it means a home that's just right. We waited two years to buy our bed but I appreciate it every night.

Best Advice: When you're painting wood — furniture, trim, floors — always use oil base paint. It doesn't chip or scratch the way acrylic base paint does.

Dream Source: John Rosselli in Georgetown. It's an education just walking into the shop. Everything is a wonderful combination of unique and beautiful, with a touch of whimsy.


Hardware: Bird hooks through Anthropologie

Furniture: Craigslist

Lighting: Sonneman Wall Lights through Bellacore Lighting, Crystal table lamp through Restoration Hardware

Window Treatments: Bamboo shades through Pearl River

Beds: Ethan Allen

Artwork: Panteek Prints, clocks through ebay

Paint: Living Room wall paint is Farrow & Ball "Farrows Cream", Hallway is Farrow & Ball "Yellow Ground", Bedroom is Farrow & Ball "French Gray" and Kitchen is Duron "Candleglow"

Thanks Anne-Marie and Vytas!

(Images: Leah Moss)

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