Rachael’s Apartment Therapy Inspired Design Lab
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Name: Rachael & Cassidy (1-year old Doodle, a Dashchund-Poodle mix)
Location: U Street Corridor, Washington, DC
Size: 1,025 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5
My home is a mini-design lab, where I’ve tried out many of the inspiring ideas shown on Apartment Therapy. I replaced the barn door with sliding bookcases — my version of a secret passageway — and tried out my favorite colors and ideas. It’s a work in progress and you can see which AT ideas I tried out and learn from my mistakes.
Reading (and writing for) Apartment Therapy inspired me to install floor to ceiling drapes as room dividers, a cheaper, homemade version of the bookcase doors, using picture ledges to display artwork, and painting IKEA’s ornate frame. The apartment had never been lived in before I moved in and had few light fixtures and no blinds. There was a strange open space to the second room, which I filled in with glass blocks. I wanted to keep the light in the room (to use as a studio) but also make it private when guests visit so I added a curtain behind the glass blocks.
This home is the first place where I chose my own paint colors and light fixtures, and could decide what to do with walls! I had a lot of fun trying out color combinations and bold accents.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our style: eclectic
Inspiration: color, the space of the apartment
Favorite Element: the huge windows and even having a window in the bathroom
Biggest Challenge: trying to make all my different design ideas and projects work as a whole – I don’t think I succeeded.
What Friends Say: when’s your next party?
Biggest Embarrassments: so many! Not ordering enough wallpaper for the second bedroom, trying out lots of projects that didn’t always work, and not having a sense of cohesiveness throughout the apartment. I’m also over the red couch and some other pieces I’ve had for while and I plan to slowly replace.
Proudest DIY: Figuring out how to replace the barn door with the sliding bookcases — my version of a secret passageway!
Biggest Indulgence: The painting in the master bedroom.
Best advice: Only have items you really love in your apartment.
Furniture: IKEA bed, brown sleeper sofa from RCKNDY, red leather sofa from a store in Potomac Mills, living room side table, rocking chair, saddle chair, and antique mail sorter from flea market in Raleigh, North Carolina; Pottery Barn Kids green chairs and bases in master bedroom; pick swivel chair and ottoman from Theodore’s; gold bamboo tray table from Goodwood; West Elm white bathroom shelves; TV stand trunk from family; Calligaris folding table and chairs
Lighting: IKEA, Urban Essentials, Noguchi lamps, other lamps from RCKNDY
Accessories: black and gold mirror from Goodwood; pillows from RCKNDY, Smith and Hawken, and Anthropologie; shelves from Brocade Home and Pottery Barn
Artwork: painting in bedroom by Ron Livingstone; graffitti art by local artists; the rest is mine – some from as early as high school (some of the landscape paintings in the kitchen) to more recent paintings and sculptures
Window Treatments: Next Day Blinds; Pottery Barn
Images: Rachael Grad