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500-Square-Foot Rental Alexandria Apartment | Apartment Therapy


Name: Jessica Jackson-Banks
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 500 square feet
Years lived in: 9 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: The apartment I live in now was built in the early 1940s. It is 500 square feet, so perfect for little ole me. After horrible roommate situations and by the grace of GAWD I was able to move in alone. Everything in my apartment is thrifted or was found on Facebook Marketplace because the way my bank account is set up… West Elm was not an option (still my dream though!).

My philosophy on decorating my apartment is that the item I purchase has to make me feel something. There have been times I’ve found a glass cup that’s just beautifully crafted and legitimately made me tear up. My home is my sanctuary and what I call my “black girl safe space.” It’s the place where I can truly just me me in all my Blackness in all its ways.

My identity is a mixture of so many things and so is my home! Thrifted photography, floating books, old school albums, color-coded bookshelf, vintage trunk to hold all my belongings that don’t have room in my space lol. It’s a mix of messy and maintained, which perfectly describes me as a person.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Thrifted, gifted, green, eclectic, warm

What is your favorite room and why? The living room! My Playboy poster and my thrifted green comfy chair and ottoman feel like literal extensions of my soul.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last think I bought was a canary yellow glass cup. I drank champagne out of it alone in my apartment on NYE and ate Pad Thai and danced around my apartment. My favorite memory in this home.

Any advice for creating a home you love? If it stirs your soul it deserves to be in your home!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.


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