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Heather Bien’s Stylish 614 Sq. Ft. Apartment

If you think of Washington, DC, you in all probability think of political leaders, the White Home, and perhaps even the current authorities shutdown — and for those who’re anything like me then Olivia Pope from Scandal undoubtedly comes to thoughts. She’s principally like a political leader, proper?

Right here, Heather Bien, a Digital Content material Director, shines a light-weight on how the opposite half of Washington lives and why it is so far more than a government city. After shifting from neighborhood to neighborhood to lastly finding her residence on H Road, a bustling space recognized for nightlife and eating places, Heather has seen all of it. She shares her favorite elements of dwelling in DC and will make you need to move there too!

From a digital content material directing to running a blog to copywriting, Heather does it all — she is our definition of a true go-getter. As a remote worker, she knew her new condominium wanted to be useful but nonetheless fit her aesthetic. Her passion for design has led her to craft the right area for her and her husband. Hold reading to find Heather’s love for DC, the most effective vintage purchasing advice, and learn how to adorn your property as a couple!

Identify: Heather Bien — by day, I work remotely as a Digital Content material Director and Copywriter at a artistic agency. I’m also a freelance author, copywriter, and blogger.
Location: H Road, Washington, DC
Sq. Ft.: 614
Years Lived In: 1.5 years
Lease or Own: Lease

What was your first job out of school and how did you land it?

My first job out of school was as a Design Assistant. I cold-called every interior designer in Charlottesville in search of an internship during my fourth yr of school and landed one with a wonderful agency that makes a speciality of high-end residential design. By February, that they had provided me a full-time job upon graduation. I started the Monday after I graduated!

How did you transition to freelance writing?

I’m truly a copywriter at a artistic company in my day job, however I’m a hustler by nature. If I’ve free time, I’m going to fill it with significant and fascinating tasks. I first began putting myself out there every time I saw calls in search of writers, I took on each challenge I might get my palms on simply to construct up my portfolio, and ultimately individuals began discovering me via word of mouth.

I take on shoppers for each net copywriting and content material writing — the factor that ties all of them collectively is that they’re all superior ladies and superior corporations doing superior issues. I write for photographers, designers, way of life websites, and tremendous gifted entrepreneurs.

What is your favourite factor about dwelling in Washington, DC?

The range of the neighborhoods and the walkability of all the city! I’ve lived in Glover Park, Dupont/Adams Morgan, and now on H Road. Each neighborhood has a distinct character with unimaginable local restaurants and outlets. Every time I have an appointment or assembly in one other part of city, I’ll make an effort to spend my entire day there in order that I can discover all the things that’s new and changing. I’ll work out of a coffee store for a bit, stroll by way of the aspect streets, and perhaps pop in a boutique or two. DC is such an evolving and vibrant city, it deserves much more credit score than just being a authorities town!

Additionally, the personalities which might be drawn to DC are typically Sort A and scrappy — individuals which might be going to get shit accomplished. I really like the motivation and ambition that you simply find in this metropolis.

When looking for a brand new place to reside, what was crucial facet or function you have been in search of?

The most important priority was walkability. I don’t have a automotive, and I’ve zero want to get one (my husband does have one, however we solely use it to get OUT of town). If I’m going to pay the premium that comes with dwelling in an enormous metropolis, I need to be on the market experiencing and profiting from the town daily — the easiest way to try this is by walking or taking public transportation! Our house is in the midst of tons of restaurants and bars, a number of grocery shops, coffee outlets, and more health studios than I can rely. I really like the variability that’s at our fingertips.

My different priorities have been pure mild, wood flooring, and a contemporary kitchen and toilet. I was 100 % prepared to sacrifice square footage to be able to have an up to date dwelling area.

After shifting in together with your husband, how did you manage to make the area really feel prefer it was each of your houses relatively than just yours?

My last single woman condominium was over-the-top female, so I felt like I’d gotten that out of my system! Whereas I did a lot of the adorning in our house, it was necessary to me that it feel like residence for both of us. I tried to incorporate Adam’s opinion every time potential (although his tried veto of animal print was overruled.) For gadgets like the living room rug, bar cart, and dresser, I might select three or 4 choices that I felt labored after which let him have the ultimate say. I additionally labored to discover a area for every of the pictures and prints that he introduced with him. Over half of the gadgets in our front room gallery wall are his!

We’ve labored to create a space that strikes a chord between colourful, eclectic, and practical, with the useful part being so important to preserving it “ours” fairly than “mine.” With a tiny area, I knew that every inch of our condo needed to be habitable – as a lot as I really like a superbly styled bar cart or bookshelf on Instagram, I had to find a stability between fashion and performance, female, and masculine.

As a lot as I really like a superbly styled bar cart or bookshelf on Instagram, I had to find a stability between type and function, female, and masculine.

What advice would you give someone who’s working with a smaller area when adorning and styling their house?

Make every inch rely, but don’t overlook to include your character! I wish to maintain surfaces on kitchen counters, the espresso table, and dressers fairly minimal and clutter-free in order that we will truly make the most of these areas, however I’ve added issues we love on all of the walls, on our bar cart, and in the bookcase. Minimal, small-space dwelling doesn’t need to mean you don’t have stuff. You possibly can nonetheless have books, prints, and delightful gadgets — you just be sure that every thing has which means, perform, or makes your area really feel extra habitable.

Don’t overdo it on the furniture, each when it comes to amount and measurement. I might have beloved a bigger sofa, however I additionally didn’t need it to take up half the room, so we went for a compact, practical piece (also the coffee table, which I’m never, ever eliminating already took up half the room!). An additional chair in the living room would start to cramp the area, so we simply pull in the slipper chair from my desk if we’ve friends over. The dressers within the bedroom multitask as nightstands, because we didn’t need to overcrowd a space that ought to be calming.

Additionally, you don’t have to go all mild, white, and brilliant just because a space is small! There’s something to be stated for a comfortable, welcoming room, and there’s additionally some design advice that may inform you darkish colours can truly make a space seem greater. We did just one darkish grey wall in our front room, and it visually makes that wall recede into the background, which then creates the phantasm of a much bigger room.

Your gallery wall is pretty superb! How did you begin designing it and what was your inspiration?

The gallery wall is likely one of the options that ties each of our types together. There are previous photographs from Adam’s nice grandfather; there are nods to Texas, the place Adam is from; and Virginia, where I’m from, there are political references, there are photographs of us, and there are these 19th century sporting canine prints I discovered in London and framed in gold. (My dream is to at some point have a lobby that’s painted in a neon shade with a gallery wall of ONLY fowl dog prints framed in gold.) There’s also this fabulous mirror I truly discovered at Target on clearance — the two critters you see climbing up it are literally from a pair of sandals! When the sandals lastly gave approach, I knew I couldn’t throw these eccentric little gold guys away, and now they stay on this mirror.

I wish I might say the gallery wall was rigorously planned out, however I’m not a perfectionist. I have an honest eye, so I simply began nailing and hanging and hoping things would work out. Now, I just fill within the spots each time we’ve something new! I did, nevertheless, ensure there was a cohesive shade scheme. Every part is pretty impartial and the frames are both dark or gold, which brings at the hours of darkness gray and gold that’s in the rest of the room.

You’re a huge fan of vintage purchasing! That’s great! How did you incorporate some classic pieces into your house?

I wish to say our area is a mix of antiques and Ikea. Whereas it hasn’t made sense to spend money on a nice, new couch or mattress because our area is so restricted, I’ve splurged (and found superb deals!) on fascinating, classic items that may stand the check of time as move from one place to another.

Our espresso desk is a 1970s Mastercraft greek key brass and glass desk that I snagged for $40 off Craigslist from a lady that was simply promoting a bunch of antiques her mother and father had unloaded on her. Both of our dressers are vintage — mine is a refurbished 1970s lingerie chest that I found on Etsy (that was the most important splurge in our house!) and Adam’s is a two-part mid-century chest that we don’t consider was meant for use as a dresser, however it works! My aunt truly found it and did the paint work on it — she has a sales space at an antiques store in Richmond, VA the place she does superb, colourful, whimsical takes on vintage items.

I also have so many great antiques from my grandmother — the kitchen chairs are a mid-century take on Windsor chairs that I painted dark gray, the top desk is another mid-century piece that I painted glossy coral and switched out the knob to this funky glass Anthropologie discover, and the steamer trunk in the bed room is nicely over a century previous (I really like its rustic look — no need for paint here!).

Whereas it hasn’t made sense to spend money on a nice, new couch or mattress as a result of our area is so restricted, I’ve splurged (and found superb offers!) on fascinating, classic pieces that may stand the check of time as transfer from one place to a different.

Do you could have any advice for learners who need to begin purchasing vintage? What should they search for?

I’m a classic shopper via and thru. Once I travel, vintage clothing boutiques are the primary I place visit — you by no means know what you’ll discover! Nevertheless, relating to vintage finds for the house, I have three-part recommendation.

First, go in every retailer you see, notably whenever you’re in a new city. Yes, they’re going to hold loads of the identical trinkets and tchotchkes, however every every now and then, you’ll spot one thing you will need to have. That is how I’ve discovered pieces just like the brass cowboy boot that lives on our bookcase or the odd little mirror by our front door. If we had more room, there are such a lot of occasions I might absolutely have walked out with a tremendous chair for a track.

Second, don’t get discouraged by the Craigslist recreation. It’s exhausting to spend weeks or months scouring listings and arising empty handed, however once I knew I needed a brass coffee desk, I searched that time period each single day, and it paid off. In case you’re not on the lookout for one thing particularly and have the area to deliver residence unusual finds simply because, scroll by way of the listings and see what comes up! Chances are you’ll not have recognized that you simply wanted a 1950s finish desk — but when it’s there and it’s a deal, why not?! With Etsy, it is advisable be a bit more specific. I knew I needed a classic lingerie chest, and that’s what I searched. There were still lots of of listing, however after a number of weeks, I found the one.

Third, be open-minded and look for the potential in a bit. Notably with my grandmother’s antiques, they could not have been my fashion in their unique finish, but, with a coat of paint, they’re good for our area. Also, I’m the world’s worst DIY-er, and whereas I did these myself, there are so many locations you’ll be able to outsource the work, simply in case you might have the imaginative and prescient, but not the endurance.

Have been there any quirks within the area you had to design around? In that case, tell us about them.

The awkwardly giant hallway was a design quirk that absolutely worked in my benefit! It’s a weird spot, nevertheless it’s the right house for my workplace.

The bed room was a design challenge — two of the walls are windows and one is the closet and door to the room. That leaves exactly one wall to suit ALL the furniture. We have been working with a max of about 50” for both dressers (there was undoubtedly no room for nightstands, so our dressers serve as nightstands!). Luckily, I’d all the time needed a tall, skinny lingerie chest, so this was the right opportunity to splurge on one. It was like in search of a glass slipper — I spent two months scouring Etsy and antiques outlets to seek out the proper measurements to fit inside the area. In any case items have been in place, I feel we ended up with exactly 3” leftover on that wall.

As a blogger and a contract writer, was it necessary for you to create a space in your house where you can work and write, or do you favor to keep your work and the home life separate?

In addition to my work as a blogger and freelance author, I additionally work remotely for my day job, so creating a space where I might work and write was essential. I am not the type of individual that may work from the couch! Once I’m within the work zone, I have to be sitting at a desk with a candle burning and music on.

In fact, finding area for a desk in an house with out an workplace or a second bed room isn’t straightforward, however I used to be capable of make do with an awkwardly giant hallway. I carved out a space there for my desk and chair, and I made that area into a female retreat. While the lounge is rooted in dark gray, my “office” has mild, vibrant prints in white and gold frames. There’s a shiny gold lamp and my white, Parsons-style desk. It’s the right spot to hunker down and crank by way of copy docs.

How has working as a travel blogger inspired the aesthetic and styling of your property? What parts have helped you achieve this?

Apparently, I’d truly say that my area is more impressed by my love of design slightly than our travels! I want I might say we convey house superb decor souvenirs from each place we visit, however the one things I sometimes deliver back are photographs, vintage clothing, or a bit of fascinating jewellery!

My husband and I do, nevertheless, have a map in our front room the place we pin every place that we’ve gone collectively.

What advice would you give to your 22-year-old self?

I, like everybody, made loads of errors in my 20’s, but one factor I did right was give attention to constructing a full, wealthy life that brings me joy, unbiased of anyone else. Don’t watch for someday or somebody to fill your property with lovely issues, to travel to Europe, to launch that side-hustle. Do it for your self and do it now. Stay up your 20’s as a lot as attainable and don’t fear about making an attempt to quiet down! Focus in your profession and honing in on what makes you cheerful.

And, as a result of I didn’t take this to heart until I turned 30, don’t waste your time on meh relationships — date everybody! It’s the easiest way to seek out out what you truly want and wish in a associate.

Heather Bien is The Everygirl…

Go-to date night time activity?
I wish to maintain it basic! We’ll start the night time at residence with cocktails and snacks (my husband fancies himself fairly the bartender!), then go out for a multi-course meal.

Last ebook you learn?
Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass On a regular basis. I haven’t learn her different books, however I picked this up on a whim in the airport and it was JUST what I wanted at the time.

Favourite Instagram to comply with?
Daphne Moreau

Residence important everybody wants?
Candles, in fact! I wish to assume our residence’s signature scent is a tobacco or wood scent.

Last merchandise you splurged on?
An antique sapphire and diamond ring––I truly purchased it shortly before getting engaged! It was a meaningful gesture to deal with myself.

In case you might have lunch with any lady, who wouldn’t it be and why?
Garance Dore