Yassir's Mid-Century Modern with an Asian Twist

Yassir's Mid-Century Modern with an Asian Twist

Rachael Grad
Aug 18, 2009

Name: Yassir & Sheba (8-year old retired racing greyhound)
Location: U Street corridor, Washington, DC
Size: 1,080 square feet

Yassir's condo has stunning floor to ceiling windows, which he wanted to keep as a focal point in decorating his home. Having spent much time in Europe and Asia, Yassir has collected some amazing antique furniture and accent pieces. A longtime DC resident, Yassir has picked up mid-century modern designs. The open, clean lines of the mid-century modern pieces suit the bright, light-filled apartment.

An avid gardener (he runs a website on orchids: Argus Orchids) and excellent cook, Yassir grows rare plants along side herbs and tomatoes for use in the kitchen. The effect is a green oasis in the middle of urban U Street Corridor. Yassir has a large collection of antiques from his travels, but he carefully edits which pieces to keep and display.

Apartment Therapy Survery

My Style: Danish modern with a dose of organic Asian minimalism

Inspiration: minimalism. I like the bones of things. The chairs, tables are about the bones. Minimalism creates room for the furniture to breath. The Danish modern pieces are made to be seen from all sides. The space is airy but small, and I have to keep it uncluttered.

Favorite Element: the light

Biggest Challenge: it remains: what color do I paint the walls? It was how to arrange the living room furniture. I arranged the furniture on a slight angle to get the best views.

Biggest Embarrassment: The closets and kitchen cabinets, spotlight fixtures, framed posters.

Proudest DIY: Putting up all the artwork.

What Friends Say: They call it a refuge.

Biggest Indulgence: Moving here! The Luminette (Hunter Douglas) blinds but they are worth it — the windows are what make the place. These windows needed nice treatments. The blinds create a softness that works with the concrete, hardness, and rectangular shape of the room.

Best Advice: Don't feel you have to be a purist — find your design leitmotif and add pieces/decor that embody that irrespective of period or style. But don't go overboard and try to be disciplined about it to maintain cohesion!

Dream Item: Finn Juhl "45" easy chair


Rugs: Living room from Urban Essentials. IKEA under the dining table. Habitat in the den. The rest are Pakistani and Chinese silk rugs from my parents.

Furniture: Drexel cabinet, coffee table, couch, big living room lamp from Millennium, The bed and dining table are from Urban Essentials. Two Finn Juhl matching chairs in living room from Home Anthology. Victorian library table in foyer and chest of drawers in bedroom from Goodwood. Elephant table from Vietnam. The Luceplan standing floor lamp in the living room from Italy. The Chinese wedding cabinet from 1900 was bought at the old U Street flea market. The bedroom chair was a gift. The bedroom bookcases are from Crate & Barrel. The office vase and Blu Dot office desk and cabinet are from RCKNDY. The TV stand and cabinet are from Bo Concept. The teak outdoor furniture is from Home Decorators.

Lighting: Bedroom Noguchi lamp from Japan; the office wall lamp is from Muleh. The lamp on the Drexel cabinet in the living room is from an estate sale.

Artwork: living room hanging piece from India; Japanese posters bought at auction. 17th century Chinese paintings from my parents (my mom picked them up in Vietnam). Two photos and collage in the hallway by me. The bust is by Anna Ratta. Indian Pakistani sculpture by Amin Gulgee. Photo transfer by Wave (Provincetown). Poster in office from New Orleans – the commemorative poster of the queen of Carnival. The bedroom photos are by Pradeep Dalal. Buddhas from Vietnam.

Accessories: couch pillows and green bedroom pillows from India; cushion on white chair in living from Greenworks in Georgetown; other pillows from Pier 1 and made from Indian fabric. The bedspread is from Bloomingdales. The handmade quilt is from India. I've had the Mickey Mouse top since I was 2-years old and the Casper I've had since I was 7. The antique puppet is from Rajasthan. Planters from Garden District and Hip Haven. The orchids were bought online. Zen alarm clock in the bedroom is from 'Now and Zen.' The bedroom curtains were custom-made by G Street fabrics and blinds from Luminette (Hunter Douglas).

(Thanks, Yassir)

Images: Rachael Grad

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