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How Sarah Lyon Divided 900 Sq. Ft. in a Charming 130-Year-Old Building with Her Roommate

How Sarah Lyon Divided 900 Sq. Ft. in a Charming 130-Year-Old Building with Her Roommate

I LOVE previous houses — they’ve a lot character that alludes to the time they have been constructed, and their little nooks and crannies all have a story to inform. (I do know, I do know, so cliché, however it’s the reality!).

Once I first began studying about Sarah Lyon’s house, I instantly wanted to see photographs. I imply, I might solely dream of waking up each morning, throwing on a silk gown,  and waltzing down a spiral staircase. Then I began to see every thing Sarah has carried out to her place to convey out the previous allure and nonetheless hold the place trendy and funky. From her completely trendy bar cart to the fashionable touches of her home equipment (these brass lamps get me each time), she’s created the right mixture of classic and stylish. I might significantly go on endlessly as a result of I’m #obsessed, however as an alternative, I’ll allow you to all examine how she discovered her beautiful condo, what it was like designing a loft area, and her favourite DIY tasks.


Identify: Sarah Lyon, larger schooling skilled and blogger
Location: Washington, DC
Sq. Ft.: 950
Years Lived In: 1
Lease or Personal: Lease 


What was your first job and the way did you land it?


My first full-time job after school was at American Child journal in New York Metropolis, the place I used to be an editorial assistant. American Child was a publication beneath Meredith Company that has since merged with Match Being pregnant to develop into Match Being pregnant and Child — you’ve in all probability seen it in a ready room sooner or later! I used to be lucky that the summer time earlier than my senior yr of school, I used to be chosen to be an ASME (American Society of Journal Editors) intern at Parade journal.

That have not solely helped me affirm that I needed to return to New York Metropolis and work in magazines as soon as I graduated, but in addition offered me with some nice connections to editors. I undoubtedly discovered it a little humorous to be masking being pregnant and newborns as a younger, current school grad, however I completely liked my position at American Child and made some nice pals throughout that point in the town.



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Your previous house was featured on The Everygirl final yr – what’s totally different about your new place and elegance?


I don’t even know the place to start out, as my new area is the exact opposite of my previous one in terms of decor! I liked my first DC condo, which was in a pretty previous constructing however in any other case had fairly conventional options, however am equally thrilled with the place I’m now.

This area, which I share with a roommate, has a rather more distinctive format. It has two flooring, one in every of which is a loft space, and plenty of built-ins. The unit I stay in is certainly one of eight inside a constructing that’s 130 years previous, and I used to be undoubtedly impressed by the architectural options and the age of the house when adorning. My bed room is on the second flooring, and adorning a lofted area has pressured me to get artistic, as there are all types of nooks and crannies to work round (and don’t even get me began on how nerve-racking it was to get the whole lot up our spiral staircase into my room!).

Right here, I actually tried to go for a classic, collected vibe when sourcing furnishings and decor, and I’m actually comfortable with the way it’s all come collectively — although don’t get me flawed, I’m always redecorating and shifting issues round!


What prompted the transfer out of your earlier condominium?


A ton of things — wanting a extra social and cheaper dwelling state of affairs (after a few years of dwelling alone, I made a decision I might be happier with a roommate), a want to reside nearer to downtown (my new place is true close to so many superb bars and eating places, which has been a good plus), and type of simply an itch for change in basic! As a lot of a ache it’s to maneuver, particularly in a massive metropolis, I’m 100 % glad that I did — and I’ve no plans to go away this condo anytime quickly! I’ve been actually completely satisfied exploring my new neighborhood and attending to know extra of the town over the previous yr.



It sounds such as you knew immediately if you had discovered the right place. How do you know this was the proper house for you and your roommate, and what have been you in search of?


Truthfully, we actually lucked out. After a number of failed condominium searches, I used to be spending yet one more late night time going by way of postings on Craigslist and got here throughout a itemizing that appeared completely good in each means — one way or the other it was situated in a vibrant, protected spot, had tons of character and lovely architectural particulars, was listed at a tremendous worth level, and even had a personal roof deck! It truthfully appeared too good to be true (and by this level, we had each encountered our justifiable share of rip-off listings, so we have been skeptical!).

Nevertheless, I used to be surprised and instantly adopted up with the owner the subsequent morning, who scheduled a displaying for me and my roommate that night. We each bolted out of labor to snag the primary appointment of the night time, having already determined earlier that if our in-person impression was simply nearly as good as our intestine feeling, we might take the place on the spot. Inside about 5 minutes, we knew the unit was proper for us, and the owner needed to truly begin turning different individuals away as they walked via the door! It could possibly undoubtedly be onerous to seek out a dwelling area that’s appropriate for 2 separate adults — versus a couple — and whereas our rooms are very totally different, they every have their execs and cons (mine is a little extra personal however is up a slender spiral staircase).



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Have been there any quirks in the area you needed to design round? In that case, inform us about them.


This area has so many quirks, which I (principally) love. It was a household house in the late 19th/early 20th century and is now a 4 flooring, eight-unit constructing. Each time I go to buddies in extra trendy buildings, I take into consideration how a lot easier their lives have to be, however I’m a large sucker for locations with character and wouldn’t commerce our spot for the world (as useful as it will typically be to have luxuries like in-unit laundry or an elevator!).

I’d say the most important quirk is definitely the spiral staircase that leads as much as my room. I’ve gotten used to navigating it, however shifting in was no small activity, and including and eradicating furnishings — as I ceaselessly love to do — may be a little bit of a problem. It additionally will get HOT up in the lofted space in the summer time — DC warmth is not any joke, particularly when your room is actually an attic! Some individuals might contemplate issues just like the uncovered brick or built-ins to be a bit too quirky for his or her style, however I actually like these options. They’ve impressed me to create a extra antique-inspired, vintage-y lookup right here, and I’ve included some darker furnishings to go with the wood flooring and uncovered beams.

One other quirk was that earlier than we moved in, the loft was only one massive, open area — which was nice, apart from the truth that there was zero privateness! Our landlord kindly organized to have one other wall and door added, and as soon as the bed room was sectioned off, I used to be capable of arrange a little lounge space proper outdoors — that’s the place the orange sofa, peacock chair, and another items are situated. It’s been good to have a separate little dwelling area upstairs, and I’ve undoubtedly loved having a further area to embellish.



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We love the way you introduced your classic decor and theme all through your entire condominium. How do you discover your distinctive items?


Thanks! Truthfully, Craigslist is my go-to 99 % of the time! I’ve additionally had luck with comparable websites like LetGo and Fb market, and thrift shops and flea markets are additionally my jam. The joys of discovering a particular piece for a nice worth won’t ever get previous to me — plus, furnishings was simply made higher again in the day! I just lately scored a wooden, mid-century American of Martinsville dresser for our front room for less than $30 — comparable items promote for over $1,000 on Chairish!

In all of those instances, you undoubtedly should sift by way of some not-so-great stuff alongside the best way, however I really like not figuring out what I’ll discover once I set out for the day or with the ability to give a well-loved piece a new residence. I’ve written a number of weblog posts about learn how to discover one of the best treasures on Craigslist, and I really like seeing the superior items that different individuals discover, too.



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What impressed you when adorning your condominium?


The pre-existing architectural particulars in my room undoubtedly have been an inspiration. I’ve by no means lived in a place remotely like this one and noticed it as a chance to vary issues up a bit. My final condo was rather more glam and girly, whereas right here I’ve drifted towards a extra mid century trendy/rustic type and have included a lot of cane, rattan, and marketing campaign items to play up the brick and wooden. Once I was youthful, I used to be drawn to extra fashionable items and patterns, and now my fashion is certainly a little extra “granny.” I’m impressed every single day by rooms I see on Pinterest, on Instagram, and in actual life by means of my freelance work for Houzz. I spend approach an excessive amount of of my spare time serious about decor, however social media has made it really easy to continuously get new concepts and develop your type.


The considered shopping for furnishings and adorning a new residence might be overwhelming for many. What do you search for and what course of do you undergo earlier than deciding to buy?


I’m not affected person on the subject of furnishing and adorning a house and wish to get the whole lot completed immediately! Nevertheless, even for those who’re like this, give your self permission to vary issues up a bit. Simply because your condo appears a sure approach on move-in day doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t change issues across the subsequent month as you turn out to be extra accustomed to the area. I’m all the time shifting issues from one room to a different and discover that a lot of design lovers are doing the very same!

Since I do a lot of thrifting, I typically should make snap selections about whether or not or not I’d like to purchase a piece, however figuring out what types I like has made this a bit simpler. Whether or not you need to furnish your condominium by shopping for model new items or scrolling by way of Craigslist, first sit down and determine what kinds of items you’re looking out for — is your type extra basic, boho, trendy, or a mixture of a few issues? We’re confronted with so many various shops and decisions and worth factors that it could actually really feel tremendous overwhelming to start out from scratch should you don’t know precisely what you’re in search of.



What recommendation would you give to freshmen on placing collectively a bar cart as superb as yours?


Browse classic or thrift outlets and flea markets for enjoyable glassware that tells a story. I’ve gotten most of my bar cart decor from secondhand outlets like these (simply wash the whole lot out completely when you deliver it house!), as a result of I really like funky, one-of-a-kind items which are a bit whimsical. Select bottles of alcohol which might be each aesthetically pleasing and useful. Bombay gin is usually a crowd pleaser in relation to making drinks, and the blue bottle provides a splash of colour. Stash paper straws in a cute cup, add a enjoyable piece of artwork, and also you’re all set!



Your weblog supplies readers with ideas and tips on DIY tasks. What’s your favourite residence undertaking that you’ve executed your self?


My favourite current venture was reviving an previous cane chair with a recent coat of white spray paint. It was tremendous easy and gave a well-loved piece a new life in a matter of hours. Spray paint is a miracle employee!



Sarah Lyon is The Everygirl…

Final e-book you learn?
From the Nook of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein.

Favourite brunch spot in your city?
Le Diplomate. Their do-it-yourself bread basket is to die for!

You’ll be able to’t depart the home with out…
Sun shades and a good ebook. I convey books in all places!

House important everybody wants?
An accent mirror that makes a assertion.

I want I knew tips on how to…
Drive! I’ve gotten accustomed to dwelling in cities with out a license, however it’s undoubtedly a bit limiting!