Settling into D.C.

So my cousin is starting her second year of law school at American University in Washington, D.C. She has a little difficult adjustment at first but has finally gotten her groove. I asked her to write a post about her journey to D.C. and learning to love it. Read her post below about moving into her first studio apartment in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.


After living in DC for a year, I have moved into a studio apartment that I can (hopefully) call home for the next three to five years. It’s my first real place, and I could not be happier with my decision! It gets plenty of light, the closet is spacious, and the carpeted room means my bunnies can binky about as they like. Of course, once they handed me the keys, I got to work on organizing and decorating my space.

Seriously, thank goodness for Pinterest! I knew from the beginning that I needed to find a way to create a “bedroom”—a bed-nook. I am a rather territorial person. My space is my space, and I like having some things (like my sleeping area) boarded off from the common space. While curtains or screens can be cute, I decided to close off my sleeping area with furniture.



The bookshelf (a “cubby organizer,” actually) is from Target and comes in a variety of sizes and colors. I might buy another one to attach on top, or even just set them side by side, just to block my bed a bit more. And, of course, it provides space for books and décor items. I can still store things in cubbies, and it doesn’t block the flow of sunlight through the apartment.

The desk is from Wal-Mart, and I got the idea of a corner desk when I visited a friend’s 1/1 apartment. Originally, I was going to purchase a table and have it double as my work space. Then I saw her corner desk and fell in love with the idea! Also, it has a shelf running around the bottom—that is where I am going to be storing the textbooks currently in use. I wished it was pure white, like my bookshelves, instead of a cream, but it is so useful and space-efficient that the mismatch of colors does not even bother me.

I hope to replace the air mattress with a real mattress and bed frame by next weekend. This whole indoor-camping thing is wonderful, but I am ready for an actual bed. Then, of course, all of the “living-room” space needs to be filled.


There is still a lot to be done. I want to get a dark couch to offset all of the white furniture, and then brighten things up a bit more by using the color scheme on this pillow. Shelves would give me more storage in the kitchen, a trio of stools would make the counter a good eating place, and my art pieces need to find their places on the walls.

But I am so in love with my little place! I straddle Petworth and Columbia Heights, both of which are residential areas within D.C. The metro is a 10-minute walk away, I have convenience stores and tiendecitas all down my street, and, as a transitional area, there are so many bars or restaurants cropping up around me that my social life will not just wither away once school starts. It is one bus ride into downtown, the circulator gets me to Adams Morgan if I don’t feel like walking, and Georgetown…well, Georgetown is always a pain to get into.
Moving is always stressful—I suppose there is no way around that—but I am loving this transition in my life. I love my new place, I love my new community, and, dare I say it, I love my new city. Miami will always be my roots, but now I happily call myself a Washingtonian.


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