Are you guys loving this feature as much as we are? It’s so much fun! Today we are sharing Shannon Smith’s gorgeous apartment. We can’t pick a favorite room! Also, you’re about to see the cutest dog everrr. Shannon works full-time in marketing at a major university in DC, and has a design business and blog on the side. She’s also an artist (she sells commissioned pieces– the painting above is hers. And, she’s opening an art shop soon.)
“I moved to Washington, DC and this apartment a year and a half ago from North Carolina. My husband and I have long been in love with DC. So we took the plunge, downsized and moved to the city! We knew that we wanted an older apartment with a lot of character, and we certainly got that (and more)! The building was built in the 1920s, so we’re still getting used to the old radiators and the super textured walls, but the high ceilings and french doors more than make up for it.
“My favorite spot in our apartment is probably our bedroom. It’s large (by apartment standards) and bright. When we moved in, the walls were already painted white. The light was so great in this room that I left the white and brought in some color through other things, like our banana leaf headboard. We built this king-sized headboard in a weekend—it was difficult and time-consuming, but oh-so-worth it! I love waking up in the bright morning light with a fun pattern on my headboard and the city out my window.
“Renting presents a different design challenge. Try to think of things outside of the box! Mount shelves to the wall instead of taking up floor space, like I did with my Ikea hacked wall shelves. And if your landlord lets you, paint, paint, paint! I painted both my bathroom and hallway ceilings, so make sure to consider putting paint in different spaces as well. I love to switch out the lighting—it’s an easy way to customize a basic rental space. Just make sure to keep the original lighting so you can make the swap when you move out!
“One of my favorite things in our apartment are the mid-century chairs in my living room! I found them on Craigslist for $140 from a man whose mother purchased them in the 1950s. She kept them in pristine condition for over 50 years, and they even had the original citron velour fabric on the cushions. I kept the original cushions so that I can switch them out when I like, but I also had new ones made with a gray tweed fabric from Lewis and Sheron Textiles. I also am in love with my dining chairs—my friend Cassie found them on Craigslist and sent them to me because she knew I’d love them. I recovered them in a spotted fabric from Minted, and I love the finished look. Chairs are my favorite second-hand finds!
“We had to donate or sell a lot of things when we downsized, so we were able to pretty much start over in this new apartment. That being said, it’s taken me almost the entire time we’ve lived here to consider our home “finished”! I have an interior design business, so I am constantly furniture and accessory shopping. I’ve learned to live with what you have until you find what you really love! When you do, it will be that much more rewarding.”
Credits//Author and Photography: Shannon Smith.