At first glance, the black-and-white wallpaper in the bathroom of Kate Zaremba’s Adams Morgan apartment appears to be an abstract swirl—maybe vines or raindrops? But look closely and you’ll spot female nudes, a whimsical contrast with the vintage green tiles below. Those voluptuous figures make up one of dozens of punchy prints dreamed up by Zaremba, several of which are showcased in the light-filled two-bedroom she shares with her husband, Jeremy Ney, and their baby daughter.
“Creating wallpaper is like piecing together a collage,” says Zaremba. “You find elements and puzzle them into an interior accessory. It’s like new earrings but for a room.” In addition to the cheeky print in the loo, the couple’s walkup rental includes an accent wall in the living/dining room covered in the fruit-forward “Banana Nicole Smith” and hallways plastered in the oversize “Pinstripe Floral.” Their daughter’s snug nursery is decked with “Muse,” a multicolor paper inspired by Matisse cutouts.
Art fills the apartment, too: a midcentury still-life painting—an $11 thrift-store find—above the sofa, a macramé hanging by Lemon Collective co-owner Linny Giffin in the nursery, and an abstract rug by Julia Mior on the couple’s bedroom wall. Thanks to relatively simple furniture, things don’t look too busy. “We’re careful to balance the textures and colors,” says Zaremba.
Special pieces that made the cut include a shabby-chic white-and-yellow side chair that belonged to Zaremba’s grandmother as well as Ney’s piano—he’s music director at the Phillips Collection. “Jeremy is as into art as I am, so he’s open to this apartment being my lab,” says Zaremba. “It’s always changing. Come back in a few weeks and you’ll see a totally different place.”
This article appears in the December 2019 issue of Washingtonian.