Small DC Apartment Tour With A Focus On Books

Dominique Gebru rents a 500 square foot apartment in Washington, DC. With that small a space, she had to make sure every square foot counted.

It does my heart good to see bookshelves stuffed with books. Which was what they were made for.

I don’t adopt this “must style all the shelves” aspect of decorating. Yes, style some of them. And if it’s just a decorative shelf, style them all.

But I just want to cram a regular book shelf with books. Because I usually have plenty to store!

Now maybe if I had a big house with lots of rooms and lots of bookshelves, I’d feel different. But I live in a small apartment, so the books, for the most part, claim the book shelves.

You can see that Dominique likes a bit of boho in the decor she chooses.

And she likes plants. But then, I think many people who like the boho style like house plants added to their homes.

House plants are all the rage with most everyone right now. Spending so much time at home due to COVID-19 made people want pleasing surroundings. And house plants make a house feel cozy I think.

The white tulip table with mint green modern chairs is shifted a bit to the side of the room to make way for foot traffic.

More plants adorn the floor along the opposite wall.

Her style of artwork for her walls is what I’d call eclectic.

The kitchen is just a generic apartment style of kitchen. Brown cabinets, white appliances and tile floors.

Some landlords will not allow you to change things. So many apartment dwellers are stuck with dated styles. And they just make the most of what they are given.

Her bedroom seems fairly spacious with lots of natural light. This room just beckons you in.

The bathroom is pretty generic in terms of apartment bathrooms.

Her small apartment is filled with earthy tones and organic materials that are calming.

Dominique designed her whole dining room around an oil painting with a deep green backdrop and a vintage Heriz rug with lots of green and peachy tones.

“My penchant for interior design feels like an ode to my Nama,” says Dominique. Her love of family, culture, art, and nature have certainly influenced her design style.

She said she’d be remiss if she didn’t also share her grandmother’s favorite design tip: just paint it black. 

{Photos courtesy of The Every Girl}


Similar Posts


  1. I LOVE your tours of smallish apartments series. You seem to find the best spaces and I can gather decorating info from them all. Thank you.

  2. Brenda, thank you for the great post! I love seeing how others decorate small spaces. Happy Easter and enjoy the weekend.

  3. Having enough room for books has always been a problem to me…and I have given away the most of them over time too…yet from time to time I get more!! Reading as a child saved my life in ways…and it was fun to escape to the stories in books!! I used to have some lawyer bookshelves…wow did that save on dusting…I gave them to my daughter when we moved cross country. Here I just have some simple ones that collect way more dust than I wish and I am not good at keeping up with dusting!!

  4. I have a few bookcases around my house. I would love to have bookshelves like this if I had large rooms in my house! Lol
    Happy Easter Brenda to you and your family!
    Stay safe and healthy!

  5. I love this apartment! Light, airy, uncluttered, with plenty room for plants… it gives me many decorating ideas. Thanks for sharing, Brenda.

  6. What a nice apartment you shared! The furnishings are just enough to be interesting.

  7. The kitchen and bathroom are not cluttered and they are sparkling clean. Even if generic/dated, that goes a long way to making a good presentation. Not sure, but it looks like the kitchen countertops are covered in peel and stick faux granite paper. The white walls really make the most of giving the illusion of more space. I’m with you when it comes to bookcases. Mine are filled with books, a few internet printed pieces of free “art,” photos and souvenirs from travels over the years and even a mini collection of horses made from metal, composite, wood, ceramic and porcelain – a real mish-mash of stuff collected over time. The only shelves I attempted to “style” are built into a corner of the living room. It’s certainly not up to scratch as far as landing a spot in any decorating magazine, but they suit me (and my horse collection) just fine 🙂

  8. What a wonderful home she’s made for herself with things she obviously loves.
    Happy Easter to you and yours, Brenda!

  9. How cute is this place. With a little imagination and organization you can make a beautiful space and make small living work. Thanks for the tour. Wishing you and Charlie and Ivy a happy Easter. xoxo

  10. Beautiful home! It doesn’t matter how big your living space is, it can always look eloquent!

Comments are closed.