This Light-Filled Loft Is Nestled in a Converted 1800s Schoolhouse — House Tour

Name: Austa, Jasmine, and Ewok, Bambi
Location: Capitol Hill — Washington, D.C.
Size: 780 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months, renting

After looking at so many gorgeous images each day, what motivates Austa Clausen—our Instagram Manager here at Apartment Therapy who curates content for @apartmenttherapy, @thekitchn, and @iplanteven—as she designs her own living space? “I’m very inspired by natural elements—earth tones, plants, etc. and also by my grandma, who does an amazing job of mixing antiques and Eastern style with modern design elements,” she writes. “I think traveling always helps to inspire, too.”

These natural elements feature prominently in this rental apartment shared with roommate Jasmine, who is a director at Polished Pig Media, a food and hospitality public relations firm. The two women met at a press dinner for the opening of a new restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Their mutual love for food, culture, and travel is reflected throughout the home—from the art (some from Austa’s time working at National Geographic) to the sweeping floor-to-ceiling shelves in the living room, which house their books and collective treasures from various travels.

The apartment itself has quite a bit of personality, too. It’s on the top floor of a renovated schoolhouse building, built in the 1800s, which makes for a quirky floor plan with a lofted bedroom.

After only six months in the space, however, our freshly minted Instagram Manager is making moves to New York City to join the team at Apartment Therapy headquarters. Look out for a future house tour of Austa’s style reflected in a new, NYC home!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, global, warm.

Inspiration: I’m very inspired by natural elements—earth tones, plants, etc. and also by my grandma, who does an amazing job of mixing antiques and Eastern style with modern design elements. I think traveling always helps to inspire, too.

Favorite Element: I love the dining area so much. The slope of the ceiling and skylight above the dining table, and the chandelier fixture make it such a special spot. I also love the chalkboard wall in the kitchen and the wall of bookshelves in the living room! Sorry, I’m bad at picking favorites.

Biggest Challenge: My bedroom is a loft, and the stairs leading up to it are extremely narrow, so I wasn’t even able to get my dresser up there, which is why we decided to put it underneath the TV in the living room and use it for general storage. I feel like you can never have enough storage space in an apartment!

What Friends Say: You wanna stay in and drink wine on your balcony?

Biggest Embarrassment: We never really got around to hanging any of our art! That’s my resolution for my next apartment.

Proudest DIY: I’m ashamed to say I don’t really DIY, but I’m proud of how we decorated the bookshelves!

Biggest Indulgence: Living in a city.

Best Advice: While you’re on the search for furniture, decor, anything really, pick up items that make you really happy to see them (even if they aren’t in style).

Dream Sources: Antique stores, ABC Carpet and Home, Loom + Kiln, The Citizenry.


MALM White 6-Drawer Dresser — IKEA
Jasper Sectional Sofa — Room & Board
Coffee Table — IKEA
Geometric Diamond Shag Rug — nuLOOM
White Throw Pillow — Target
BORBY Tealight Holder — IKEA
Antique Brass Martini Side Table — West Elm

TORSBY Dining Table — IKEA
Dining Chairs — World Market (unavailable)
Firefly Pendant Light — CB2

Rhys Platform Bed — Wayfair (Brand is Langley Street)
Duvet Cover — Target
Embroidered Wilma Pillow — Anthropologie (unavailable)
Amherst Mid-Century Modern Desk — Target
Gold Round Wall Mirror — Target
Catalonia Woven Chair — Target (unavailable)
White LANGRIA Clothing Rack — Amazon

String Lights — Target (unavailable, but here’s similar)

Thanks, Austa and Jasmine!

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