This Washington D.C. Co-Op Is Colorful Plant Maximalism

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A living room with a gallery wall, a tan couch, a blue rug, and a dog on the rug
Credit: Sam Hsieh
The living room is our favorite room and the one that we spend the most time in.

Name: Sam Hsieh, husband Ryan, and dog, Brody
Location: Adams Morgan — Washington, DC
Type of home: Co-op apartment
Size: 913 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, owned

Credit: Sam Hsieh
We love our built-in bookcase. We installed the stick-on wallpaper ourselves, which took forever.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My husband and I were supposed to have our wedding in 2020 but we ended up cancelling because of COVID and used the money to buy an apartment instead. We are so happy with our decision! The building is almost a century old and surrounded by lots of green space.

Credit: Sam Hsieh
Our bedroom is a bit more pared down compared to the rest of the apartment. Brody is a big fan of laying in the bed.

We moved here in spring 2020. Decorating and renovating our place became a pandemic hobby. Some of our DIY projects include painting the second bedroom/office, installing wallpaper around the doorway to the entrance hall, and replacing the kitchen hardware.

Credit: Sam Hsieh
Credit: Sam Hsieh

We are both attorneys so it was important for us to have a lively yet relaxing space to retreat from work. Our dog Brody loves having plenty of room to run and play. We also are fortunate to have three sides of sun exposure, which we’ve taken advantage of with our 40 or so plants.

Credit: Sam Hsieh
We converted the second bedroom into an office/study with greenhouse vibes. It also functions as Brody's room.

I am definitely a maximalist when it comes to decorating and love colorful and unique decor and furniture. I’m not wedded to a specific aesthetic and am all for mixing and matching types of decor. As a woman of color, I wanted to feature art by female and BIPOC artists. I’m also a big fan of bargains and most of the things in our apartment were bought on sale or secondhand. Finally, I recently started doing ceramics and a few pieces I created are scattered around.

Credit: Sam Hsieh

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Colorful, eclectic, maximalist

Credit: Sam Hsieh
The reading corner features a vintage rocking chair from Nicaragua.

What is your favorite room and why? I love all of them but if I had to pick, it’d be the living room, which is the largest room and where we spend the most time. It’s a great space for hanging out, reading, and relaxing.

Credit: Sam Hsieh

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? One of our more recent purchases is this turntable, which we’ve been enjoying.

Credit: Sam Hsieh

Some of my favorite things in the apartment are our plants, including our dracaena marginata, which we’ve had for almost 10 years, and our five-foot tall bird of paradise, which I got for $30 on Facebook Marketplace.

Credit: Sam Hsieh
Our kitchen is small but mighty. This table is from the 1800s and likely has some interesting history.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Take your time acquiring things that you love from various places rather than buying everything from one store. If you’re on a budget and looking to purchase an expensive item, look for a used version or wait for it to go on sale. Make sure that what you add to your space is both practical and aesthetically pleasing by confirming dimensions/measuring, reading reviews, and envisioning it with your existing decor.

Credit: Sam Hsieh

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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