A Small D.C. Rental Apartment Has an Envy-Inducing Rug and Art Collection

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Name: Mikela A Thrasher and boyfriend
Location: Washington, DC
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 2 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My boyfriend and I are both artists so we use our space to showcase collections of artwork that we’ve made in addition to our friends’ works. We are both drawn to heavily patterned textiles as decorative elements to our space. Our home is both minimal and eclectic; while the individual pieces we own are vibrant and colorful, we enjoy open space and breathable areas, which is necessary in a one-bedroom apartment. We also add accents with smaller art objects and souvenirs from our travels.

We recently moved from Baltimore to DC and made several furniture upgrades seeking mostly vintage mid-century modern furniture pieces from stores in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, and DC. We chose different furniture pieces that would both mirror and contrast the dark wood floors and taupe walls. A few IKEA pieces are interspersed tastefully around our home. Most notably, the Craig Green IKEA Art Rug in our bedroom.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic, patterned, tropical, vintage mid-century

What is your favorite room and why? The living room houses two of my favorite pieces in our home: the Hans Wegner AP33 sofa, which has original upholstery, and the authentic Turkish area rug. While both pieces are heavily patterned, they work together seamlessly.

We found a handmade bookshelf on Craigslist from a woman who was moving into a tiny home. She had made the shelf to fit her apartment’s measurements exactly, and ended up selling it to us for only $30. The tropical tapestry is made by an L.A. artist, BFGF. I have some digital prints from a series I created in graduate school titled Paradisiacal, which reflects one of Jackson’s foliage-themed paintings that hangs in the hallway.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We found a mini mid-century cabinet for our hallway from a local dealer, whose Facebook page is run through the name “Tico Atomico.”

Any advice for creating a home you love? While I may dream of a minimal space: Saarinen tulip table and sleek black leather couch, staying true to the aesthetic qualities I have as an artist has made building a home more unique. Never force creating a specifically curated space that doesn’t reflect your personality. At home, I want to be reminded of my love for nature and travel, and bring those memories in through an earthy color palette and objects that are reflective of those experiences. Additionally, trust in the process that you can find pieces that you’re calling in. Don’t settle for purchasing any furniture out of necessity. For weeks we were couch-less, but dreaming of a Hans Wegner piece after looking on Eventually we found one locally at a furniture warehouse in Baltimore, Home Anthology.

This submission’s responses have been edited for length and clarity.