Stylish, Organic Style at a Compact Virginia Condo
For Sandy Grabowski of Virginia, decorating her first home was a family affair. Together with the assistance of elderly sister and interior designer Shanon Munn of Ambi Design Studio, fiancé and aircraft maintenance manager Andrew Clark, and Clark’s grandfather, Grabowski now has a condo that shows off a well-cultivated awareness of style.
A fashion show and event coordinator for Nordstrom, Grabowski often jets across the nation. She wanted her place, shared with fiancé Clark, to reflect “an artistic constructed over time — natural and natural, but also modern and trendy,” she states. She collaborated with her sister to blend in found bits, and elegance today excels throughout the home.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Sandy Grabowski and Andrew Clark
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Size: 628 square feet; 1 bedroom, 1 bath
That is interesting: The home’s quiet pocket neighborhood feels like a world apart from the bustle of neighboring Roslyn, but it is really within easy walking distance.
Neutral-toned walls give an airy feel to the small condo. Hanging in the corner, accenting a small office area, is a framed example by Native American artist Ruben Toledo. Toledo frequently works on commission for Nordstrom, and Grabowski brought home two of his pieces once they were used in a window display.
Accent table: Goal; wall mounted lamp: Jonathan Adler; small rug: Pier 1 Imports
Sheer silk curtains on the large windows allow plenty of natural light together with privacy — essential, since the condo is on the first floor.
Curtains: JCPenney; drapery hardware: Ikea; sofa: Cara, Mitchell Gold; cushion cloth: Highland Court; carpeting: Pottery Barn
“So many little stories go with every thing in my place. I’ve taken the opportunity to create it right and did not only get things to fill a space,” says Grabowski, who moved into her space three decades ago. The cushioned ottoman was rescued from a neighbor’s sidewalk by Munn and paired with a lounge chair from Overstock.com.
Bookshelves, desk: Sloane, Crate & Barrel; console: Newport Demilune, Ballard; mirror: Spiegel; couch chair: Overstock.com
Mirrors, reflective surfaces and clear acrylic accent bits brighten the space, adding warmth and an expanded feeling of space.
Coffee table: Waterfall, Plexicraft
This reflective finish table carries a framed wedding photo of Grabowski’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother. The mirrored vase was a gift from a friend at Nordstrom.
Picture frame: Missoni for Goal; magnifying glass: Nordstrom; end table: Grandin Road
This custom-built credenza is constructed of birdseye maple; it was motivated by a Jonathan Adler piece. Clark’s grandfather, Ed Carter, constructed the unit by hand and shipped it in Kansas City, Missouri, with no acrylic supports. Clark states, “The biggest worry was placing the acrylic pieces on it once it arrived.”
Situated in addition to this credenza is Grabowski’s favorite gathered piece, a handmade ceramic bowl found on a visit to Maui. To the left of this storage unit is just another example by Ruben Toledo.
Table lamp: Donghia
Grabowski found her dining room chandelier in a Jonathan Adler warehouse sale on a visit to New York.
Dining table, seats: West Elm; kitchen flooring: metallic porcelian tile, Prosource
A mirror with numerous squares complements the curved features of this Jonathan Adler chandelier and provides yet another reflective surface without overwhelming the space.
Mirror: Ballard Designs
Clark did a lot of the kitchen remodeling, using cabinets salvaged from Munn’s kitchen remodel, with a few new cabinets and doors from KraftMaid.
To optimize space in the small galley kitchen, the couple adopted several space savers, such as a cabinet-depth refrigerator and a shallow glass-front display cabinet in the end to free up counter space and provide more storage. Also, Grabowski went with an extra-deep stainless sink, a slim stove top and a full-size dishwasher.
The countertops are chocolate-brown granite with silver flecks that Munn got as remnants in her stone seller.
Dishwasher: Bosch; granite: Dynamic Stone; backsplash: Home Depot
The tactical use of a mirror in the four corners of the bedroom brightens the space and helps produce the illusion of spaciousness. A daybed is available for your occasional sleepover guest.
Bed: Goal; carpeting: Dash and Albert; drapery hardware: Ikea; silk draperies: JCPenney
Twig curtains on the walls of the bedroom add an interesting element of feel and offer a surprising solution to limited storage.
Nightstands: Cost Plus World Market; lamps: Jonathan Adler
The curtains slide open to reveal an efficient small cupboard with freestanding storage to the few to share. To get the curtains the suitable size, Grabowski needed to carefully untie them eliminate twigs and retie them. Clark then mounted the curtains on standard drapery rods using zip ties.
Twig curtains: Arhaus
Clark employs the closet’s original features for his clothes, while Grabowski’s fashionable wardrobe and
wide assortment of sneakers are organized on an Elfa storage program in The Container Store.
Back in the primary living space, Sandy Grabowski relaxes in her office area, close to two of her cherished leopard-print shoes.
See additional photographs of the home