House Tour: Chris' Cozy Autumn-Colored Condo

House Tour: Chris' Cozy Autumn-Colored Condo

Rachael Grad
Oct 31, 2008

Name: Chris
Occupation: Program Manager for an Environmental Non-Profit
Location: Columbia Heights, Washington DC
Size: 625 sq.ft.

Chris took his time getting used to his space and spent over a year and a half researching furniture and design ideas. As an environmentalist, Chris was concerned about the source of his furniture and extensively researched product origin and content. He also wanted to incorporate his love for travel, especially Africa, into his home...




Chris' condo is his first home to own and also his first to live in without roommates. Chris started out with neutral colors, bare walls, and handed-down furniture from college. Over time, he slowly replaced his furniture with pieces specifically chosen for this home. Chris accumulated art and accessories from his favorite countries through his work travels.

After trying out many different color combinations, including bright navy blue in the bedroom and green in the bathroom, Chris found his current (and much loved) color choices. Chris especially loves the living room green because it changes throughout the day according to the light: the walls look gold in the daytime and khaki at night.

The building is a former DC slumlord building (one of the places where the housing was so terribly maintained that the slumlord was court-ordered to live in it himself for a time as punishment). The building was gutted and renovated 6 years ago and Chris was able to see it being rebuilt. Having lived in Columbia Heights since the slumlord days, Chris has seen the neighborhood dramatically change from having few pedestrians out at night to crowded streets with new stores and many people.

AT Survey:

Style: organic, contemporary, some traditional throwbacks.

Inspiration: warm colors and tones that evoke wood, stone and nature.

Favorite Element: the couch. My home is a comfortable place that reflects that i like to travel.

Biggest Challenge: getting the couch into the apartment. It took 2 and a half days to get into the apartment. The delivery people wouldn't bring it in, but I knew it could be done because my neighbors have the same style. I finally got it in with the help of different friends and many shifts!

What Friends Say: old and new friends say that my place really does reflect me ant that feels good.

Biggest Embarrassment: the bathroom. I bought the white laminate shelving 5 years ago as a temporary solution and still haven't replaced it.

Proudest Element: my home reflects me and has an international feel to it but is not exotic.

Biggest Indulgence: the framing of the two paintings from Bali (long paintings in the living room). The art was inexpensive, but not the frames. I love how they came out.

Proudest DIY: doing all the painting myself.

Best Advice: live in your space and get a feel for it before you decorate. You can redo things like the painting (which I've done many times!).

Dream Sources: because I really want outdoor space someday, it would have to be a really nice set of outdoor patio furniture. I love to spend time outdoors and when I finally do get outdoor space I would love to do it up well. Of course a top of the line gourmet kitchen with a Viking or Wolf stove would also be lovely.



Paint: Behr Premium from Home Depot
- Entryway: Chianti (Eggshell Enamel)
- Living room: Wool Tweed (Eggshell Enamel)
- Bedroom: Mother Nature (Eggshell Enamel)
- Bathroom: Riviera Sand (Semi-gloss Enamel)

- Living Room/Kitchen: Green Culture Furniture, an environmentally friendly company; Couch and chair are Max Home from Hecht's; Dining set from Urban Essentials; Entertainment pieces from Create & Barrel
- Shelves in bathroom and wall cubes in living room: West Elm
- Bench in entryway from Ikea

Bedroom: bed from Green Culture Furniture; Leather chair from Arhaus Furniture; Bookcase from West Elm

Lighting: Lamps in living room from the Lamp Factory Outlet (Fairfax, Fair Lakes Shopping Center (703)818-7430); Lamps in bedroom from Pier One Imports

Floor: Rug in living room from Storehouse; runner in entryway from Create & Barrel

- Photographs: one in entryway is from coastal Georgia; the three above the bed are from (left to right) western Indonesia, Botswana, and Bali;
- Masks: butterfly mask above TV from Mali; some of the others are from Ivory Coast, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Madagascar, Indonesia, China, Philippines
- Paintings: Bali
- Statues on table in entryway: bronze leopard is from Benin; goddess and statue head are from Bali

Accessories: Baskets mostly from Bali, but also elsewhere in Indonesia, Botswana, and Philippines; Dogon Doors on wall in bedroom fromMali
- Wine rack above refrigerator: RCKNDY
- Pillows: bedroom - Z Gallerie; living room - Paris flea market
- Bed linens: DKNY, purchased on eBay (by the way they were new, not used) ;-)
- Throws on couch from RCKNDY
- Vase and willow branches: Ikea
- Floor mirror in bedroom: Ikea

Window Treatments: Curtains and hardware from Storehouse; blinds

Thanks, Chris!


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