sneak peeks by 73

Sneak Peek: Kiera Kushlan


Kiera Kushlan, her husband Michael, and their 7-year old dog Copeland moved into this Washington DC home in June 2012, following a two-month renovation. The couple fell in love with the building’s classic 1920s feel. Three years ago, Kiera started the interior design firm, Residents Understood with friends from graduate school. The mission was to bring approachable, affordable and personalized design to DC’s young professionals. Each day, Keira works with clients to help them find their design voice and to make their homes a reflection of who they are. This was her first project where she got to take her own advice and take the time to make her house into a home. Thanks, Kiera and Michael! And a big thank you to Katharine Hauschka of Kate Haus Photography for the lovely photographs! – Amy Azzarito

Image above: Our bedroom is one of my favorite rooms in our place. It took me forever to commit to a color scheme but we couldn’t be happier with how the yellow and green accents always have us waking up happy! All of the walls in our place are Benjamin Moore Decorators White – I have a thing for white walls (and white floors for that matter…next house perhaps). After a few months living here we decided the room needed something else so we did a little DIY with a custom stamp and inkpad and added the yellow diamond stamps to just one wall. We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out it!


Image above: Our living room was a labor of love for me – each piece was specifically picked for the room and everyday when I walk into it I still pinch myself. Before I started designing the room I told Michael I would only be adding one major pink piece to the house (because if left to my own devices the entire place would probably be some shade of pink). With compromise in mind, we agreed on the watermelon pink coffee table and it was placed front and center. I managed to sneak a bit more pink through the vintage library map we picked up at the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen flea Market on a trip to Paris.


See more of Kiera’s DC home after the jump!


Image above: In all of the bedrooms we’ve shared as a couple we’ve always hung pictures and mementos from our travels on the wall opposite the bed so we go to bed every night and wake up every morning reminded of all the places we’ve been together.


Image above: These 96” wall mounted bookcases from CB2 are one of my go-to items for a lot of the small spaces we design. They provide a ton of storage and really make great use of the shallow vertical space.


Image above: The big focal point in the dining room and one of our best finds to date is the large produce bag we purchased for 50 cents at the market in Chichicastenango on a trip to Guatemala this past September. My good friend Kaleo Kala of KALA Studios made the amazing walnut frame for it.


Image above: My best friend (and business partner) Jessica gave the 20008 zip code pillow to us as a housewarming gift. Both pillows on the sofa are actually from Etsy – my favorite place to buy throw pillows.


Image above: Michael and I collect books from all the countries we’ve been to and then write about our trip on the front flap of each book (we figure it will help with our memory down the road). In grad school I studied abroad one summer in Copenhagen and Tivoli gardens was one of my favorite spots.


Image above: Ahh Hans my secret (or not so secret crush) – the Hans chair from Dwell Studio was my most coveted item. When we bought this place it was my first big girl furniture purchase.


Image above: The kitchen is the room we spent most of our time, and literal sweat equity, on – the before and after pictures still blow my mind. It was in such disrepair we had to gut it and start from scratch, which included taking down walls to make it a more usable and open space. It’s definitely a point of pride for both of us – we put in a lot of our own blood, sweat, and tears (there were lots of those). The final product is everything we hoped for!


Image above: I’m constantly looking for unique large-scale artwork for my clients and it’s always a challenge to find just the right thing. So, needless to say I had the same design dilemma in my own home. Michael really wanted something unique that represented DC but red didn’t completely fit the design for the space. Michael really wanted to tap his inner artist, so we decided to create our own homage to the city – in the perfect coordinating colors of course. Since then our take on the DC flag has become a hit with all of our friends and neighbors so we started our own Etsy shop and now make custom flags for DC and other select cities in the seasons most popular hues!


Image above: When we first purchased our place the bathroom was put on our long-term renovation list.  We thought, well, it all works; so let’s just leave it.  Even so, we decided to invest a little bit of money in some new fixtures. We then tested our patience with one another and painted the black and white horizontal stripes (which Michael thankfully measured and taped out for me). Once that job was done the entire room felt dramatically different and now we’re not even sure if we’ll change anything else – behold the power of paint.

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73 Comments

Sarah

I love all the pops of color in this home! The textures, the patterns, and the different pieces are just wonderful. One of my favorites so far! Thank you for sharing!

SYED RAFAY ZAHOORI

GREAT AND WONDERFUL LIKE YOU ,YOURS,
SYED RAFAY ZAHOORI

Jenny

Lovely space! Can I ask where the coffee table is from?

Bridget

The coffee table looks like a Blu dot strut table.

I love the wall art. If I could I would transplant everything into my apartment

Sarah from a fine line

I love all the gallery walls, and the kitchen is quite lovely as well! You always appreciate the rooms more where the “sweat equity” is invested!

Roza

Those “love you, love you more” mugs are so sweet. Can you please tell us where they are from?

Cottage Katie

Beautiful home filled with bold and graphic notes. The home reflects a shared residence with shared interests and personalities. Wonderful compromise that came together cohesively!

Kiera From Residents Understood

Thank you all for the kind comments! The sofa is from Room & Board the Hutton in Tatum Salt (the fabric hides everything it’s amazing). And the coffee table is the Strut from Blu Dot in watermelon. Happy to answer any other questions anyone might have!

Ann Howell Brown

LOVE! Where are those “Love You” and “Love You More” mugs from?!?!??!?!?! Obsessed with the handwritten letters and the tiny hearts on each

Bérangère Bouffard

Wow, eye candy everywhere and so well put together. That sexy leather chair really looks yummy and cozy!

emily

gorgeous space! such thoughtful attention to even the smallest of details. i especially love the diamond stamp on the wall. easy, but brilliant!

Shan

Love the art wall above the sofa. The comment about the bedroom being a favorite space has me thinking about my go to spaces in my house. Thx for the inspiration.

Elizabeth

Where is that awesome bar guide thing from!? Love!

Danielle korneliussen

Oooohhh la la…. That gray sofa!!! Who designed it?

Megan

This is the most beautifully designed home I have seen!! I would kill to have you assist me in my home. Nicely done:)

Marie

Fantastic! Where is the bedside table /task lamp from? I love the color.

miriam

Such a cute space! Where are those great black and white bedside tables from!?

Rox

I love the yellow touch of the lamp&wallpaper and the framed maps! So pretty!..

Scott

I’m looking for options to redo my countertops myself…..I considered butcher block but was worried about the upkeep…. I like your countertops because they look like they have a durable finish? Can you please share more info on your counters? Thanks

Janet S

I love the subtle use of the DC flag over the bar area! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and eclectic home.

Kate

Adorable home! I really like the idea of writing down travel memories in books. It’s a great way to grow a collection and maintain memories! So smart.

Heather M.

Your home is beautiful! I was wondering if the marble in the bathroom was real or man made? If it is real, is keeping water off the surface to maintain the patina a major issue? Cheers!

Jennifer

I love the unique lines and textures woven into the fabric of this house. It feels like every shot is directed by the decor.

Ryan

I love love love your pillows on your sofa!. I read that the zip code pillow was a gift but which Etsy shop did the other two black and white pillows come from? I’ve been looking for something just like them!

Kiera From Residents Understood

Again – wow I’m overwhelmed by all the wonderful comments!! Here are the answers to some of your product questions;

The bedside table in the bedroom are actually from Target 4 years ago the table lamps in there are still available at West Elm. The diamond stamp we used was from The English Stamp Company http://www.englishstamp.com and the oversized ink pads we used for the stamp we purchase through Amazon.

The bar guide was a vintage find on Etsy!

The sofa is from Room & Board – the Hutton.

In terms of the countertops the butcher block in the kitchen is from IKEA and we couldn’t be happier with the decision to use it – super easy to maintain! I’m not sure about the countertop in the bathroom as that was installed by a pervious owner.

Happy to answer any other product questions!

Megan

It’s wonderful. Just about all of our art comes from our travels and so I LOVE your book idea.

Where did you find your living room rug?

Jamie

Where is your recipe binder from? It looks so lovely

isabel

Beautiful home! The green and white blanket/coverlet at the foot of your bed caught my eye. Is that from your travels?

K

May I ask what brand of kitchen appliances those are and if you are happy with them? I normally do not like the way the microwave looks over the range and was dreading that my new house will have this, but the way you have put your kitchen together everything looks like it belongs!

Melissa

I love the print of your dog on the nightstand! Where did you get that done?

Sara

I saw your kitchen at TKOW’s tumblr. I wonder where the black and white canisters are from? You have lovely taste.

Kiera From Residents Understood

Thanks for keeping the wonderful comments going! Below is some information on the products you’ve asked about;

Rug – from a seller in Amsterdam on Ebay (a great resource for vintage rugs)
Recipe Binder – A gift from my mom many years ago, source unknown :(
Kitchen Appliances – Frigidaire
Dog Print – Portraits from Carter Kustera http://portraits.aol.com
Etsy Pillow – From Earth Cadets on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthCadets
Kitchen Canisters – From Canvas http://canvashomestore.com/collections/ceramics/products/covered-jars-with-chalk-surface

Here’s a link to my Pinterest Board which has many of the products I used http://pinterest.com/r_understood/kiera-wants/

Sarah K

This is great! I love your use of wall space, combining both large and small pieces. It adds such depth to the aesthetic! I recently came across some great large scale (and affordable!) artwork at http://www.artistadambuehler.com. Check it out! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful space!

Meg D

Love your place! I have been thinking about adding a bar/counter similar to your space under the DC flag — I’d like to add bookshelves and a wine rack, too, and was planning to use an Ikea butcher block. Were your cabinets custom made? Thanks!

Carol J. Ditto

This is beautiful and Grandma Dianne is so proud.

Alexandra

Lovely home! Where did you purchase your headboard?

Kimberly Hughes

Love so many of the personal items – it’s a truly ‘collected’ home and they’ve done a fantastic job :) Lovely lovely space!

Blythe

I absolutely love the ink nude hanging above your sofa in the final photo. I would love to know who the artist is. Thank you!

Tania

This home is so great but what I especially love is how her enthusiasm for her own living space comes across. You can tell she’s thrilled and I love that!

Michelle Martel

Just beautiful !!! So welcoming and warm .
I love the sofa and the gorgeous green dresser .
Amazingly put together and yet it looks so relaxed and not over decorated.

So inspiring !
thank you for sharing with us :)

Kiera From Residents Understood

Hi Everyone – here are some more answers to your awesome comments!

The cabinets weren’t custom – they’re IKEA!
The headboard was from West Elm but 4 years ago probably
The nude print is also from IKEA but from several years ago too

Lily Anwar

I am an American living in Norway, our flat is decorated very similar to yours. We have traveled a lot so I have a lot of nostalgia throughout our place from the different countries we have been to. Also, our furniture is all Scandinavian, mainly Danish designed. It is again similar to the different pieces throughout your place. Very nice place!!!

Michelle

I actually saw the same recipe binder (inside pattern anyway) for sale at Barnes and Noble today! Very cute. Love your style!

Trisha Tyo

Kiera this is absolutely stunning and beautiful. It screams you and Im so proud of you both!! Very amazing and love your style one day maybe you can help me out!!

Noel

What was ur inspiration for the color scheme? I would have never thought all those colours would work together so well.

Julia T

I am obsessed with that Map! Please tell me how I can get something similar!

Lauren

Love your home! Where did you find the black and white pillow that you have on the bed? That is so unique!

Karen

I can help with the identity of the RECIPE BINDER…I have one just like it. It is by C. R. Gibson. I bought mine at a local store, but you can order online from the manufacturer. I had to order some refill cards from them. There are all sorts of cute designs to choose from. Just Google C.R. Gibson.

Jenny

Hi there! Gorgeous home. Can you please tell me the paint colour on your bedroom dresser drawers? Thanks!!

Denise

Where can I get the powder blue bean bag chair in your living room?! I’ve been looking for it. Great home!

Diane Anderson

Perfect makeover! Back in the 70’s I owned a co-op at 1835 Phelps Pl.. My windows
looked out at the old school across the street, is that where your co-op is? The layout
was very similar to mine. This is just curiosity on my part, it would go no further.
Thank you.

Sara

So pretty! Where are the pillowcases from? I just love them and have been on the lookout for new linens for a while!

Lisa

Just read about you in the Hartford courant today and went to this site to see more pics. Ditto to all the above comments! Surprised no one asked where you bought the striped throw rugs in the kitchen and bedroom – appear to be black & white. Thanks so much.

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