“My penchant for inside design looks like an ode to my Nama,” says Dominique Gebru, Washington D.C. resident and inside fashion extraordinaire. With one fast look, you’ll be able to undoubtedly inform how a lot love for household, tradition, artwork, and nature have influenced her design fashion. From rising up within the Italian and French countryside-inspired Napa Valley to spending three years in tropical flora-enveloped Jamaica, Dominique has discovered inspiration to fill her residence with vibrant, rustic, and welcoming touches that really make it a setting that showcases her persona fantastically. Her house teems with earthy tones and natural supplies that floor and supply a way of calm for anybody that steps foot on this abode, whereas nonetheless being an area that may domesticate power.
Hold studying to find out about Dominique’s perfected design course of, her recommendation on which items to spend money on, and what she will’t go away her home with out these days!
Title: Dominique Gebru
Location: Washington, DC
Hire/Personal: Hire (however we simply purchased a condominium!)
Sq Footage: ~500 sq. ft.
To begin, inform me extra a couple of day within the lifetime of Dominique? You and your companion dwell within the DC-area, what does your very best weekend appear like? What are your favourite and least favourite components of residing in DC?
My days have clearly seemed a bit completely different for the reason that begin of the COVID-related stay-at-home orders. I work for the federal authorities, and like many white-collar employees I’m working from residence full-time now. Being at residence much more than ordinary has actually pressured me to look at the performance of our house, and I redesigned many of the areas in our residence as soon as lockdown started.
I really like residing in DC—it has all of my favourite components of metropolis residing (it’s walkable! There’s nice meals! There’s first rate public transportation!) whereas additionally feeling like a small neighborhood. In my free time, I really like exploring town by foot or bike, often with my companion Geoff and our senior Pomeranian, Olive. My very best weekend features a lengthy stroll (with plenty of stops to admire outdated row houses) and a mission—like portray an accent wall, writing, or studying a brand new craft. I’m additionally a number with The Lounge, a brand new neighborhood mission from Women’ Evening In, and have loved attending to know fellow homebodies by that neighborhood’s gatherings.
My least favourite a part of residing in DC is, actually, that it’s a website of maximum gentrification and displacement. The long-time, principally Black residents who made this metropolis what it’s at present have more and more much less enter in the way forward for town, and it’s actually irritating to look at occur.
You talked about that your dream is to develop into an city planner in hopes of contributing to the preservation and constructing inexpensive housing inside the DC space. What are your short-term and long-term targets inside the subsequent few years?
Yup! I didn’t know that city planning was a self-discipline that existed till fairly lately, however now I’ve bought my sights set on turning into a metropolis planner. My companion reads a ton, particularly about constructing extra equitable economies, and he’s launched me to authors like Samuel Stein. Stein is a educated city planner who wrote Capital Metropolis: Gentrification and the Actual Property State; it was a very eye-opening learn that helped me give language to questions I’d lengthy contemplated. Quick time period, I’m targeted on studying as a lot concerning the historical past of housing in DC as I probably can, and long run I hope to contribute positively to the way forward for housing on this metropolis. City planning is a mix of my pursuits in communication, neighborhood engagement, design, and placemaking, so in a method, it looks like my work now straight contributes to that future objective. Subsequent cease: grad college evening lessons!
The place did your ardour for inside design stem from? Was it a category? Watching HGTV? (Responsible) Pinterest?
I owe an immense debt of gratitude to my grandma—she helped foster my love for design, and I give her full credit score! She raised six daughters and all the time needed to adorn with a small price range in thoughts. She’s instructed me tales of adorning her first residence with non permanent vinyl flooring, which completely jogs my memory of the hacks I’ve tried in my own residence. Discuss a pattern setter. Once I was younger, we’d construct and adorn doll homes and doll home furnishings collectively—I’m speaking large, extravagant homes and custom-painted furnishings—and in a method, I believe that helped me really feel emboldened to design on a bigger scale. Now that she’s handed, my penchant for inside design looks like an ode to my Nama. I’d be remiss if I didn’t additionally share her favourite design tip: simply paint it black.
Has rising up in Napa, CA to residing in Jamaica for 3 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer to now residing in DC modified or influenced your fashion when designing your own home in any method?
Completely. California generally and Napa specifically is bursting with pure magnificence. I grew up loving hikes, crops, and being exterior, and that’s undoubtedly mirrored in my fashion at present. There, it’s widespread to search out areas influenced by Italy and the French countryside. Assume ethereal, rustic, and earthy—all attributes that I really like at present. Life in Jamaica… nicely, let’s simply say I give candy Jamaica FULL credit score for turning me right into a plant girl. My host mother’s yard was stuffed with attractive orchids, birds of paradise, and different tropical foliage, and once I moved again to the U.S., I actually missed residing amongst all of that life. Jamaica reveals up in my house by each plant I develop and each pop of coloration I incorporate. Residing in DC has opened my eyes to the huge world of exterior structure, and deepened my love for historic character.
In your Instagram bio, it mentions your title after which, “earthy fashionable residence.” Is that your objective/imaginative and prescient when designing your own home? An earthy, fashionable, look and feel?
Sure! One in every of my Instagram buddies described my residence on this method as soon as, and it felt like the proper characterization of what I’m going for. Assume wealthy earth tones, pure supplies like wooden and ceramics, and crisp whites. I would like my residence to be the type of place that I really feel relieved to return to, a spot that offers me power to tackle the world.
How would you describe your private design fashion?
Impressed by nature, rooted in earth tones.
What are the qualities that you simply search for when trying to buy a house?
That is in all probability one thing that most individuals search for in a house, however pure mild is basically vital to each of us. We truly virtually backed out of our final rental as a result of we weren’t certain if it could be shiny sufficient!
My companion and I simply bought our first residence: a two-bedroom, two-bath condominium in Northwest Washington, DC. We had loads of desired attributes in thoughts, however in a metropolis like DC, all of it comes all the way down to price range. We undoubtedly needed to make some compromises on location and facilities, however our new house is the proper clean slate for me to personalize whereas nonetheless being near our communities.
Take us by your course of, the place do you often like to begin when designing a house?
I all the time begin with a plan or inspiration picture. Typically my inspiration comes from panorama photographs! I framed an image I took at Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park, and might actually say that these colours are my favourite leaping off level.
I additionally like discovering methods to design across the gadgets I already personal and love. For instance I designed my complete eating room round an oil portray with a deep inexperienced backdrop and a classic Heriz rug that has plenty of inexperienced and peachy tones. Take a while to gather your ideas (I often use Pinterest or simply paste photos right into a Google slide) and it’ll repay tenfold.
Are there any particular items of furnishings or residence accent staples you consider are good to spend money on?
I consider in investing in high quality items throughout your own home, however that doesn’t should imply you’re spending plenty of cash—most of my furnishings is classic or second-hand (together with our leather-based couch, which I discovered on Craigslist!). As a rule of thumb, I intention for stable wooden items, just like the hardwood classic dresser set in our bed room. It takes longer to search out high quality items with out spending your entire cash, however it’s nicely value it. In case you’re on the lookout for your first funding piece, I recommend beginning with high-quality bedding.
The artwork throughout your own home, from the artwork wall to items above the sofa and across the residence, simply provides a private contact and I adore it. Do you will have a favourite artist you wish to buy from?
The artwork in our house is a mixture of collections. The epic portrait in our eating room is a classic discover from my favourite DC classic store, GoodWood, and the prints above the couch are from Sara and Wealthy Coombs, the sensible minds behind the Joshua Tree Home. I haven’t framed it but, however I lately purchased a print from DC-based artist Lindsay Adams (@lindsaybriadams on Instagram) and I’m obsessed. I attempt to help native artists once I can as a result of, hello, help small companies, and likewise as a result of I don’t desire a residence that appears like everybody else’s.
Your blue wall is such an announcement in your house. Was that wallpaper initially there or did you add it in? The place do you discover design inspiration? Are there any magazines, blogs, or websites you look by usually?
The wallpaper within the hallway is definitely peel-and-stick from Goal! It’s undoubtedly essentially the most daring design selection I’ve made thus far, and I selected it as a result of I wanted one thing to steadiness the neon colours in our “houses for individuals, not revenue” print from @chichaads. I’ve a large crush on Justina Blakenly and Dabito’s houses (of The New Bohemians fame), and whereas they’re each extra courageous with coloration than I’m, following them on Instagram has helped me really feel extra emboldened.
You’ve gotten a wall devoted to books in your house. Are you and your companion large readers? Or is that strictly decor? What are your favourite books to learn? And have you ever and your companion learn all of them?
Residing in a small house, I don’t consider in maintaining issues round strictly for decor. All however about 20 of these books belong to my companion, Geoff. He devours books about historical past, economics, and social actions, and he has learn the overwhelming majority of the books on our e book wall. The others are in his queue! I rely extra on e-books and library books, so I don’t amass as many, however I have a tendency to succeed in for novels written by girls of coloration. Bonus factors for books about household drama.
Your bed room seems prefer it got here out of my Pinterest dream board and I’ve three phrases, I.AM.OBSESSED. The place do you get your inspiration when trying to design your own home?
Thanks!! I had the toughest time with my bed room as a result of it’s a little bit of an odd form and doesn’t get a lot mild. The important thing there was portray the partitions a heat white (my favourite is Clare Paint’s Whipped) and specializing in pure textures, like linen bedding. Typically easy is best, and that was undoubtedly the case for our bed room.
What types of challenges did you face whereas engaged on residence tasks? Have you ever completed any DIY tasks in the course of the stay-at-home order?
House for storage—there’s by no means sufficient! I’ve completed extra DIY tasks than I can hold observe of, however most notably, hanging the e book wall and portray the toilet ceiling pink.
How do you keep on with a price range for furnishings and decor? Do you will have any suggestions?
Extraordinarily cautious planning. Attempt to supply second-hand when you’ll be able to, and set cash apart for when you’ll be able to’t. Funding items are solely value it whenever you’re not going into debt to purchase them.
What do you consider makes a home a house?
Items that inform a narrative are what make a home into a house. In my view, it’s higher to construct an area slowly with collected items than to attempt for a completed look on day one. You’re not a house stager, you truly dwell there.
What has been your proudest accomplishment but?
In life? Positively shopping for a house with my companion. I by no means thought homeownership was an choice for me, and now that it’s my actuality, I need to pour power into increasing that choice to others who need it.
What recommendation would you give your 22-year-old self?
The entire decisions you make would be the proper decisions for you—even when issues don’t end up as you’d anticipated, your decisions will nonetheless assist you to develop into the individual you’re meant to be.
Dominique is The Everygirl…
Ideally suited Friday Evening? A post-dinner stroll adopted by watching a comedy on the couch with Geoff and Olive.
Favourite E-book? I can’t select! Proper now I’m studying Brit Bennet’s The Vanishing Half, and I can’t put it down.
Favourite design pattern? White plaster built-ins
Final residence decor merchandise to procure? A SNIDAD basket from IKEA for blankets
Merchandise you’ll be able to’t go away the home with out? Currently, my canine.
In case you may have lunch with any girl, who wouldn’t it be and why? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a result of I don’t know the place she finds the energy to hold on.