Design & Home

Look Inside My Home: A Park View One-Bedroom With a Floor-to-Ceiling Bookshelf, Statement Wallpaper, and Tons of Plants

"I’ve come to appreciate our home’s odd layout so much since Covid-19 descended on our city."

Look Inside My Home: A Park View One-Bedroom With a Floor-to-Ceiling Bookshelf, Statement Wallpaper, and Tons of Plants
All photographs by Lauren Zillinger of Laura Metzler Photo.

When Dominique Gebru first moved to DC three years ago, she settled in a Trinidad one-bedroom which she filled with plants and mid-century decor (and was also featured in the Look Inside My Home series).

A few months ago, Gebru moved into a new Park View spot with her partner, Geoff Gilbert. The duo—Gebru works in digital communications and Gilbert is an attorney—share the one-bedroom, one-bath with their 13-year-old Pomeranian named Olive.

Before moving to their new place, the couple lived together in a group house that only had one bathroom. “Given how things have shifted with the coronavirus, I’m glad we made that change,” says Gebru.

When it came to the Park View apartment, Gebru decided she didn’t want to use as many neutrals as she did in past homes—hence the statement wallpaper and mustard yellow curtains. The couple had only lived in the new apartment for four months before the stay-at-home orders began. Gebru thought she’d finished decorating by then, but the increased time at home led her to tackle some additional projects.

“Now that we spend nearly all of our time inside of a 500-square-foot apartment, we needed to really maximize the space’s function,” says Gebru. So she switched her rectangular table for a round one, which still has plenty of room for both Gilbert and Gebru to work, and swapped out rugs. She also painted over the accent walls in the bedroom and bathroom to make the palette more serene, and turned the couple’s back step into a small sitting area.

And Gebru says she’s come to love the unique layout since spending more time in it: “It’s not far off from being a shotgun-style home and essentially runs along a fat hallway, but this also means there are distinct zones. This is great when one of us wants to host a group of friends, and it definitely helps our space feel much larger than it is.”

Who lives there: Dominique Gebru, Geoff Gilbert, and Olive the Pomeranian
Approximate square-footage: 500 square feet
Number of bedrooms: One
Number of bathrooms: One
Favorite piece of furniture: “Our vintage dresser set. We bought it from REmix Design in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and it was well worth the long drive,” says Gebru. “The set was built in the ’50s and the shop’s owner Kendra restored it to probably-better-than-original glory.”
Favorite home interior store: While Gebru is a fan of scouring Facebook Marketplace and tackling her own Ikea hacks, she loves GoodWood on U Street.
Favorite DIY: “Our library wall is my favorite DIY. I set it up using a Rubbermaid track shelving system that is designed for closet or garage storage,” says Gebru. “Since the whole thing is filled to the brim with books, the shelving unit essentially fades into the background, letting Geoff’s always growing book collection really shine.”
Splurge: The Sven sofa from Article—but Gebru found a like-new one on Craigslist for $600 less than it retails in-store.
Steal: The mustard yellow, velvet Ikea curtains, which were $45 for a pack of two.

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.