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Look Inside My Home: This NoMa Apartment Is Filled With Crystals, Plants, and Floor-to-Ceiling Windows

Look Inside My Home: This NoMa Apartment Is Filled With Crystals, Plants, and Floor-to-Ceiling Windows
All photographs by Maya Oren.

You may know Maya Oren as the brain behind the creative branding business Mojalvo, where she works with groups like Colada Shop and Underbares, but she also has a very cool home.

She often uses her 650-square-foot NoMa apartment as a backdrop for photo shoots and yoga sessions, and the space is filled with finds from her many travels. Oren also practiced a bit of feng shui last summer when she organized her home to make sure all her possessions have a designated space.

“The most important part of a living space is energy flow and movement,” she says. “I am constantly minimizing, and my goal is to find a ‘home’ for everything so that the flow of energy remains smooth.”

While she originally picked her apartment based on its amenities and proximity to the Metro, she now loves her NoMa neighborhood and hanging out at nearby spots like Union Market, La Colombe, and Bhakti Yoga. “I didn’t know much about NoMa until I moved here and started exploring on foot,” she says. “But within a year of living here, I discovered that this neighborhood is a pretty great fit for me.”

Who lives there: Maya Oren, 30
How long she’s lived there: Three years
Approximate square-footage: 650 square-feet
Number of bedrooms: One
Number of bathrooms: One
Favorite piece of furniture: Oren loves the Ethan Allen dresser and side tables she inherited from her parents, as well as the framed butterflies in the living room. “This was the first thing I bought when I moved to my first apartment in NYC,” says Oren. “I bought it at a flea market, and was so proud to put it up on the wall in this tiny studio I lived in on the Upper West Side.” And, even though technically not furniture, she loves displaying personal keepsakes from her travels, such as parrot feathers she found in Colombia or her ceramics from Tel Aviv. “I am very mindful with what I hold on to,” says Oren, “and everything I own has a rich story.”
Favorite home interior store: The New York-based spot Coming Soon.
Favorite DIY: The mini gallery wall above the desk, which features affirmations, photos, and a creeping plant.
Splurge: The West Elm couch and an all-natural mattress from Awara.
Steal: The vintage peacock chair that Oren snagged for $30.
Design advice: Oren recommends always incorporating natural elements in your home, such as crystals, plants, and wood, and while she promotes minimalism, she also prioritizes keeping meaningful items. “Less is always more, but don’t ever sacrifice memories for minimalism,” she says. “Keep the balance because the joy you feel from certain items definitely outweighs extreme minimalism.”

This interview has been edited and condensed. Have a house you’d like to be featured in a Look Inside My Home post? Post a picture of your space on Instagram and tag it with #WashMagHome or email Mimi Montgomery at mmontgomery@washingtonian.com.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.