I am so excited about today’s post—welcome to my Dupont Circle apartment! My coworker told me last week that she loved going home to her apartment every night because it felt like a big hug at the end of a long day, and that’s just how I feel about this place. Though I liked my Arlington apartment, which you can see here, here, and here, I love this place so much more and am just so much happier here. It’s smaller, so it feels much more cozy, and I love the location and how I’m just steps away from anything I could ever want—bars, restaurants, shops, exercise studios, the Metro. I just resigned my lease, and am excited to live here through at least October 2020! If you’re feeling meh about your current living situation and it’s easy for you to move when your lease is up—seriously take the leap! The physical process of moving sucks, but I’ve learned over the years my surroundings have such an impact on my wellbeing and finding a place where your happier is worth the few weeks of purging, deep cleaning, and shuffling boxes.
My apartment is essentially a studio, but instead of the bed being right in my living room, there’s an area for it that is separated off from the main living area. It doesn’t have its own door, but I’ve never minded it since I live alone. If you’ve been reading here since last year, you’ll notice many of the pieces in my apartment are the exact same. Over the last few years, I feel like I’ve really tried to surround myself with things I love, and when I moved, I didn’t have a desire to redecorate or use it as an excuse to buy any new investment pieces. That being said, I was really excited to shoot my place with my go-to photographer, Kimberly, since it shows how the same pieces I had in my last apartment work just as well in this one. I’ll share all the details about my apartment decor below, but since I made a cameo in a few of these pictures, I wanted to share my jeans are from LOFT, my shirt is old from Nordstrom, and my earrings are just $10 from Amazon.
As they say on MTV cribs, come on in!
When you walk into my apartment, the bathroom is immediately to the left and a hallway leads down to the rest of the apartment. On the wall next to my entrance are some of my favorite paintings of my favorite place ever—Charleston! I picked them up on my solo trip let year. I have three of her prints, but for this space, simplified down to two. I bought them in-person at Charleston City Market, but artist has a website in addition to her market stall, which you can check out here.
On the same wall as my front door is a Crucifix I bought a few years ago, with my palm from Palm Sunday this past year. The Catholic store I bought it from has since closed, but there is a really similar one on Amazon for just $20.
I’ve had this adorable Z Gallerie umbrella holder for a few years now, and love how it’s both decorative and practical. I hung one of my favorite vintage photos of young boys swimming in the reflecting pool at The Lincoln Memorial over the umbrella holder in the front hallway because it’s like they are waving at you when you enter! I purchased it from this amazing Etsy shop, Historical Pix, that curates rare vintage photos. There’s still a large, empty wall next to my umbrella holder and that photograph that I am looking for the perfect piece to fill, which is probably the only “unfinished” project in my place.
The first main area you hit off my hallway is my bedroom area. Directly across from my bed is my closet, which you can take a look at in this post. My bedroom should look extremely familiar, as it’s basically the same room I’ve had in my last three apartments.
I bought my clipped nail headboard from Target in 2015, and while they don’t sell the exact color anymore, they do have the shape available. It’s a great headboard option if you’re renting because it is super easy to assemble / disassemble when moving, and it hooks right into one of those cheap metal bed frames you can get at the mattress store. Around the same time I purchased my new headboard, I also upgraded from a very colorful comforter to the PB essential white duvet cover. I can honestly say it is one of my all-time best buys, and it makes me feel like I’m going to bed in a luxurious hotel bed every night. The fabric doesn’t wrinkle all that much, and it’s super easy to wash.
The question I get asked the most is where these colorful pillows are from! They came from a store called The Blush Label, which has since gone out of business—however, if you want to track them down online, they were called The Bombay Pillows. You may be able to find them on eBay or another second-hand retailer.
You can shop my nightstands here and I wrote them in this post—I’ve had them for about two years now, and I’ve been really happy with them. (They are also super easy to assemble—no tools needed!) In terms of decor on my nightstands, I switch out the books pretty regularly, so the ones above are what I’ve loved in the past year—you can find them all on Amazon. The lamps are from Target, and while they’ve discontinued the exact lamp, you can buy a similar one here or here. On one nightstand is one of my Jefferson Cups, which are a tradition at UVA in honor of the pewter cups Jefferson used to favor. My dad gave me one for high school graduation, and one for college graduation. I love using them to hold matchbooks and as decor around my apartment. For years, I had them boxed up as a keepsake—but then I came to the realization that I should enjoy them throughout the years and not just save them for later. Lastly, on each nightstand, I have one of these mirrored picture frames, and my jewelry box on the left nightstand is from Target a few years ago, but an identical one is here for just $20.
Over my bed hang a set of watercolor flamingo originals I purchased from Inslee a couple of years ago. She put them on her website a few days after I had received an unexpected cash windfall, and I just decided to YOLO and buy them. Initially they were framed in these really clunky white frames, but I had them re-framed in Framebridge’s Mandalay gold bamboo frame and am so happy with how they turned out.
GREEN DRESSER /
Once you walk past my bedroom area, you hit my main living area where I spend the majority of my waking hours in my apartment. One of the focal points of this area is my green dresser, which I’ve written about before here and here. I purchased it from an Esty shop, The Resplendent Crow, and the shop owner custom lacquered it in the color of my choosing. I am obsessed with how it turned out. The one thing I will say is that earlier this year, I noticed a small chip in the dresser, and I wanted to get some touch-up paint from the owner of the shop. I chased her down for nearly a month to get the paint, and that was a little frustrating given how much money I spent on the dresser. So, when you place your original order, I’d ask for touch-up paint so you have it if you ever need it!
Over my dresser is one of my favorite and most cost effective pieces of art—a sample of the Beverly Hills Hotel wallpaper. I ordered it from this website and then had it framed in Framebridge’s Layfette frame. In full disclosure, was able to make an account at Designer Wallcoverings because when I bought it, I worked for a real estate developer, but if you don’t work in the industry, find a friend that does and they should have no problem!
On the dresser sits one of my favorite lamps—the glass pineapple table lamp from the Opalhouse line at Target. The gold lining on the inside of the shade means the light it produces is really warm and welcoming. I have it sitting on top of In the Spirit of Palm Beach, In the Spirit of the Hamptons, and In the Spirit of Monte Carlo. I love the spines of these books, and hope to collect more of them over the years! Target sent over this ceramic striped vase last year, and I love how looks with some palm leaves. I also have several frames from Target on the dresser, including this feather frame and a few older ones I’ve had for years. My jewelry tray is old Target—are you sensing a theme here?!—but they have some cute ones on the market right now, too.
On the wall next to my green dresser are my favorite pieces of art in my whole apartment—my grandparent’s paintings from Vietnam. My grandfather brought these paintings home from one of his tours of duty during the Vietnam War, and they hung in a stairwell at my grandparents house. When I was a little girl, I used to stare at these for hours trying to figure out how the mountain turned into the volcano, not realizing they were two different scenes. Eventually, my grandparents replaced these paintings with three smaller Parisian paintings, and I didn’t see these scenes for years. After my grandparents passed away, my Dad asked me and my sisters if there was anything we wanted from their house. These paintings were the only thing I wanted—and since my grandparents were children of the Depression and thus had hoarder tendencies, it took him quite a while to find them. I also didn’t know whether or not they had been spoken for by one of their other six children or 20 grandchildren. But, on my 24th birthday, my Dad wrapped them up for me as “one last gift from Nana and Pop-Pop.” I’ve loved having these as a prime spot in my apartment.
Also—I’ll give you some behind-the-scenes scoop. Though we took it out for photos, my trashcan usually sits in the space between the wall where my Vietnam paintings hang and my green dresser, which is why my dresser isn’t centered on the wall.
Like they do in MTV cribs, I had to show y’all the inside of my fridge in this post. I don’t cook a ton, so my fridge is often just a storage unit for drinks and condiments, which is why you don’t see the inside shelves and drawers—they were literally empty the day we shot these photos. On the outside of my fridge is one of my favorite quotes, “Life is always now,” and a magnet for a Jackie Kennedy Time Magazine cover that used to hang on my grandparent’s fridge.
My kitchen in this apartment is very small, and the sink and dishwasher are about half normal size. But, given I don’t cook elaborate meals or very often at all, it works for me. I hung my 42 Pressed Washington, DC Map at the end of the kitchen, and on the countertop next to the sink, I have my favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 43:2, framed. Last year, I found an amazing Etsy Shop, Majesty Writes, to handwrite it for me. It’s such a great reminder to look at often when I’m home! The artist’s calligraphy is beautiful, and I would absolutely order from her again.
I store the utensils I use most in this marble utensil holder from Target. The whisks I grabbed on Amazon, though, in hindsight, I wish I had snagged these. The rose gold and white utensils are the Felix line from anthropologie. I have the pasta fork, the solid spoon, two slotted turners, and the spatula. I’m a big fan of the Oprah line of thought when it comes to using your good stuff, so I cook with these on a regular basis. anthropologie recommends you hand wash them, but I throw them in the top rack of the dishwasher all the time and have never had an issue.
On the other side of my oven is this pineapple cookie jar that I use solely for decoration because I don’t trust myself around an endless supply of cookies when I’m the only one around to eat them. I then have several cookbooks on display—it’s a week collection, but I find most of my recipes online when I do cook! A recent addition to this part of my kitchen is a hand-painted spoon saver I picked up in San Antonio, Texas Travel Guide last December. Whenever I travel, I try to find a souvenir that I can use and enjoy around my house to remind me of the trip, and was so thrilled when I stumbled on the spoon saver in a small Mexican market there!
LIVING ROOM /
When I moved to Dupont last year, I decided to mount my TV to give me more space since there was no way a coffee table and a TV stand were going to fit in my apartment. You can read all about my experience with TV mounting here. I love having my TV mounted, and am not sure I’ll ever go back to having it on a TV stand!
The rest of my living area I pretty much recreated from my Arlington apartment. I have been extremely happy with the couch I purchased on Wayfair almost two years ago now. When I was looking for a couch, I knew I wanted a chaise lounge, but also didn’t see an end to apartment living in my near future, so I wanted to pick a size that would fit into many different sized homes. This 85″ one I’ve ended up with has been perfect for me! It’s definitely not the deepest or longest couch, but since I am 5’4″, it works perfectly for me and fits the space very well. I also love that it’s neutral so it can evolve me with me as my tastes change. The only downside is that you cannot change which side the chaise is on—but, luckily for me, it’s worked in both apartments. You can read all about my palm throw pillows here and my blue dot throw pillows are from Society Social.
Underneath my couch is this beautiful blue patterned Safavieh rug I bought in my last apartment. (You can read all about the drama I put myself through when I was deciding on this rug here.) I am really glad I went with this rug in the end, and think it really ties the room together. On the far corner of the rug is my faux fiddle leaf fig tree which I bought on sale at Pottery Barn last year. I have mine sitting in the large tote beachcomber round handled basket, also from Pottery Barn. Since I didn’t have room for a Christmas tree this year, I jokingly bought a string of Christmas lights for my fiddle leaf fig, but I loved how they looked and they add a little bit of extra light to my apartment, so I’ve never taken them off.
One thing my coffee table is never devoid of is books. I have always loved and collected books, and think they are such a fun way to bring personality and color into a space. Currently on the bottom of my coffee table, I have a collector’s edition of To Kill a Mockingbird (my favorite book in the classic American canon), The Kennedys: A Portrait of a Family (which used to be my grandparents), Vanity Fair Portraits, Audrey Hepburn Treasures, Influence (no shame, hah!), All in Good Taste (a gift from Monica!), Lee, Gray Malin’s Beaches (a Christmas gift from my BFF Molly!), and In the Company of Women (which I picked up at work team building event) on display.
On the top of my coffee table, I have a tray I picked up from Target years ago. I keep the flamingo coasters I picked up in New Orleans on there (another practical souvenir from a trip!), a candle or fresh flowers, and a vintage dish my maternal great grandparents were given for their 50th wedding anniversary in the 1970s. They were my grandma’s parents, and their last name was Teal, which is my middle name—hence the name of this blog. Because I am the only one of my grandma’s eight grandchildren who carries the Teal name, she gifted me her Teal family China, which like this dish, is glass with a gold rim.You’ll note on this dish, much of the gold has rubbed off, which my great aunt made special care to note when she gifted it to me—the lesson being to always use your good stuff. While on a normal day, I keep matchbooks in it on my coffee table, I do use is to hold chips or crackers when I’m hosting a party. Don’t worry, I hand wash it after! Next to the tray, I keep several Slim Aarons books—Women and Once Upon A Time, Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup, and another Jefferson Cup filled with matchbooks.
And that’s pretty much the grand tour! Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much fun I had in my first apartment in Arlington, and am definitely romanticizing my life there. I know one day, I’ll romanticize my life here, too, since I love living in this 350 square foot studio I call home. As the cherry on top, I don’t have to move this year, which I am SO grateful for—I have no desire to leave and it saves me money, time, and the agony of living amongst boxes for a few weeks. Plus, I’ve found that if I stay somewhere longer, it starts to feel even more like home.
If you have any questions about my apartment decor, don’t hesitate to reach out—firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a comment below! x
Last thing I’ll leave you with—the painting above is the Britt Bass Navy Geo print from Artfully Walls, which I bought two years ago and love. I have the 20×24″ size and have it framed in their Frosted Gold Metal Frame with a 3″ mat.
I love how your space turned out! You’ve given me so much inspiration for my own tiny, DC studio!
Thank you so much! I am sure yours looks great! x
Love your space and how you have utilized it! Also loving all of the pineapple and bright color elements. I also have the same coffee table and love it!
Thank you so much! Best coffee table ever!
Your apartment is lovely! I love all the details you have-it has such heart! We used to live in an apartment in Arlington too, and while I’m thankful for our new home, I think fondly back on our time living in a little box in the sky!
Thank you so much! One day I will want more space – but I love how you described it as your little box in the sky! x
You’re new space is adorable… but I have to ask what the closet space is like?! 🙂 that’s always my #1 concern! Ha
HA! I relate – I can fit all my clothes in the main closet, and that’s all I want in life! x