A One-Bedroom Rental Was Turned into a Two-Bedroom Thanks to a Clever Layout
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Name: Laura Moore and son
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’m a single mom, and for a few years my son and I lived with my parents to save money. During this time, I dreamed about my next home constantly! I knew that I wanted to live in Arlington to be closer to Washington, D.C. and to live in a walkable area, but the housing is very expensive. So I decided that I would save money by finding a one-bedroom and creating a “bedroom space” for my son to have when he is home part-time from college. I searched for a while to find a floor plan that would work. There are so many apartment buildings in Arlington but many of them have compact, modern layouts that use space too efficiently to make my plan work. For this reason, I knew I needed an older building, and I didn’t mind because I love the aesthetics of older homes. My building was built in 1966, so not super old but it fits with the retro style that I admire.
I created the bedroom space by putting up some bookshelves and hanging curtains behind them for extra privacy and coziness. I closed it in and created a door with a room divider I snagged for cheap on OfferUp. I made sure that my son felt comfortable with this plan and he really seems to enjoy hanging out in his little area when he’s home. He loves living in an urban area, and he understands that the trade off for fun and convenience is space!
I care about sustainability, so I tried to incorporate natural materials or thrifted items where I could. I purposely have a lot of wooden furniture, and I scattered jute rugs throughout. I splurged on linen curtains and bedding, and I love how they look and feel. My favorite sustainable items are the bamboo curtain rods in my bedroom — I felt this was a bit of a risky experiment but I’m very happy with the outcome. I think they add a grounding element.
I also bought natural/organic mattresses and am so impressed with their comfort! My favorite thrifted items are my green chair and my chinoiserie bar. When I found the green chair it was love at first sight. When I brought it home, my dad called it the ugliest chair he’d ever seen! I didn’t care, I knew I was going to create a real vibe with it one day. I also enjoy having the old, beat-up end table from my parents basement as my tiny coffee table.
When I come home to my apartment I feel the perfect mix of inspiration and peace.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Retro, nature-inspired, cozy, eclectic, and “vibey.”
What is your favorite room and why? My living/dining area because I can just sit of my sofa, look around, and catch a vibe!
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My big rubber tree. I told myself it’s the last plant I’m allowed to bring inside… will see if that holds up! I bought the rubber tree and many of my other plants from HeyRooted and I’m really happy with their quality. So far all are surviving, and even thriving!
Any advice for creating a home you love? If you feel nervous about putting together items and colors that you love, create picture collages to see how things come together beforehand. I knew I wanted my green chair and a mustard sofa but I was apprehensive about making them work together so I played with a lot of photos of things I liked before I made actual purchases.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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