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Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: Kiera Kushlan

by Amy Azzarito


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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