#mywholehome | DC Historian Doesn't Allow Square Footage to Steal Her Shine

Name: Christine Platt

Social Media Handle: @afrominimalist

City of Residence: Washington, DC

Number of years in current home: I have owned my condo for nine years. During my marriage, I rented the unit to a friend. But I recently divorced, so I have returned. It has been such a blessing to live in a familiar, comforting space these past two years.


Tell us the story of your home. To you, what sets it apart or makes it unique aside from the fact that you and your family are the ones who live in it.

I know that most people think their home is special, but I really really believe there is something magical about my living space.  When my daughter and I returned post-divorce, I literally repainted every wall in a crisp white (all the rooms were different colors before.) It was very intentional, very symbolic. I wanted it to represent a clean slate, starting over. I wanted my home to be a sanctuary. And that is exactly what it is.


How would you describe your personal home style?

I would say that my personal home style is minimalist décor influenced by the history and beauty of the African diaspora.

What is your favorite space in your home and why?

My bedroom. Definitely my bedroom! I am so happy whenever I am in that space. With my plants. Incense. Candles. My bedroom is a place of respite for sure.


If you could share one thing about yourself with readers that you've perhaps never shared publicly or via social media, what would it be?

Since turning the big 4-0, I spend a lot of time thinking about death. Not in a morbid sense, but in the “what do I want to achieve while I’m still here” sense. It has caused me to become very intentional about everything—from how I spend day to prioritizing goals to traveling. I actually wish that I had been this intentional with my life much sooner. But better later than never, right?!


5. What was life like for you growing up in your childhood home? (optional: if this is not something you care to share due to the possible sensitivity of the topic, I understand but I also believe there is something wonderful about vulnerability and what it does in others)

Much of my childhood was full of love! Lots of laughter, lots of singing, lots of music. There was one tragic incident that I won’t share out of respect for my brother. But even that tragedy, while sad, didn’t cripple our family and our love for each other. I actually didn’t realize how small our house was or how much our family went without until I went off to college. When I was a child, if asked for something and we couldn’t afford it, my mother’s response was, “do you really need that?” Or “let’s put that on our wish list.” I was never told, “We can’t afford that.” Or, “We don’t have money for that.” So, I thought that whenever we went without, it was optional, a conscious decision. I never realized we were broke! lol And I so appreciate not having to bear the weight of that as a child.

6. What does home mean to you? What do you want others to feel when they enter/spend time in your home? 

Home means sanctuary. A safe space to relax, to let go. That’s what I want others to feel when they spend time in my home. And I think people do—they usually fall asleep or tell me they don’t want to leave!


Proudest DIY? (if applicable)

I just love the print on CB2’s Korben window panels. I purchased an extra panel and used it to make a window valance and matching throw. It wasn’t an actual DIY on my part, just the idea – the lovely ladies of Cedar & Cotton in Baltimore did the hard work for me.


Do you think you've learned to embrace your story? Your home? Why or why not? Explain. 

Definitely! And I have learned that sharing my story can be a source of help and inspiration for others. Sharing my divorce, sharing my journey to minimalism—I have received so many ‘thank you’ messages from strangers. In the age of social media, it can appear that others have it all figured out and have their lives together. It’s very therapeutic to acknowledge the good and the bad, the struggles and the triumphs. To me, whether done publicly or privately, acknowledging the totality of your story is essential to embracing it.


If there was one piece of advice that you could give to others as to how to embrace their home and their story, what would that sound like? 

I would share the advice that I struggled to follow when I first started my journey to minimalism—Don’t be afraid to live in an empty space. There’s often a sense of urgency to finish a space. But taking a little time to live in your space will help you realize what you really need and love to make it a home.

How does what you do currently in your "professional life" tie into this idea that home is "more than just a place we live" but that it holds much more of a redemptive and restorative power than we may currently embrace culturally?

I currently serve as the Managing Director of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. I also write stories for people of all ages that focus on African and African-American history. Elements of the African diaspora are interwoven throughout my living space (hence, the Afrominimalist--smile.) I am constantly surrounded by, and thus always reminded of, the work that I know God has called me to do. I am always conscious of the past, thankful for the present, and comforted knowing that my work is contributing to bettering the future. 


Christine A. Platt is a historian and storyteller of the African diaspora. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida, M.A. in African Studies from The Ohio State University and received her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law.  When Christine isn’t writing or working, she is curating her 630 sq ft living space in Washington, DC. (Click here for professional inquiries and speaking engagements.)



I’ve expressed a bit more lately the gap that many of us (and you) are beginning to see (but not because it just began) in the blogger world where women of color are concerned and some of my thoughts on why it’s 1.) important to recognize 2.) important to talk about 3.) important to change.

The only way to really change anything is to first recognize it. Sometimes I think we get so used to the way things are, we just assume that’s the way they are supposed to be. And sometimes, until someone brings the fact that some things just shouldn’t or aren’t meant to be a certain way, well…we just go along with our dailies unaware of said “things”.

In this case, we’re talking the gap in the blogger + design world that becomes more and more apparent to me as a woman of color the longer I stick around here and make more connections and as my platform expands.

I could formulate all sorts of thoughts and opinions as to why this is a fact but I honestly don’t feel like there’s enough space here nor do I really have the time necessary to truly dig into that conversation enough to bring true education, clarity and revelation to that truth.

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@deenaknightinteriors | @sgardnerstyle | @nubiinteriors | @restorationhouse | @therusticlife

@thewinstonfamily | @saralampley | @purposefullybeing | @domicile37 | @euniandco

@steadycatalog | @karenokonkwo | @zimism | @evelynfromtheinternets | @nchanel

@mrserikaward | @justdestinymag | @dwellbycheryl | @nikimcneil | @maraboudesign

@nikishariley | @latonyvette | @jessicarychael | @themeganbaca | @inhonorofdesign

@arielleastoria | @curlsandcouture | @naturallytashag | @hellolaurenash | @themattiejames

@lauratully.co | @napturalnicole | @morgandebaum | @theambralife | @britneyjeanine

@designaddictmom | @afrominimalist | @isabeleats | @purecoliving | @thatschelsea

@boleroadtextiles | @reflextiondesigns | @satoriboutique | @ruthieridley

@morganharpernichols | @jenwithonen | @onceupona1912 | @hooverandgrace

@brandifreely | @grandbabycakes | @thekatrinablair | @mrscraftberrybush | @asaakemi

@thetinycloset | @trumatter | @mauvepaperco | @ghkimphotography | @gracekim

@vequebeauty | @olivecreativeco | @brightcoevents | @artxlagos | @reverielane

@skoopehome | @nikkicadestudio | @simplyshannah | @tactilematter | @floralsymbiosis

@casawatkinsblog | @ourfifthhouse | @juststyling | @afrochic | @kintsugicandleco

@nnekapeters | @ginastovall/@twodaysoffclothing | @jess.colligan | @solsoleilsoul

@brownkids | @saudasaleeminteriors | @almafied | @hearthwood.home | @myfarmhousenest

@nicolegibsonstyle | @cocobassey | @estlouis | @carpediemcollective | @jensane

@thekatrinablair | @thefancycatstudio | @mylene_raspado | @itscarlabethany

@thesteadycatalog | @asiyami_gold | @spiritedpursuit | @brightcoevents | @reverielane

@blueprintafrica | @melindawatts_ | @brunchnista | @travelnoire | @thefourtress

@homeyohmy | @hidayawilliams | @quinngwinn | @rashidabanks | @livelaughdecorate

@iamronnicole | @sweetpotatosoul | @michellemartelathome | @theglovergirl

@freddieharell | @nia_renteria | @prettyrealblog | @xojalyssa | @sitamontgomeryinteriors |

@indigofruit | @phreckles | @jodiepatterson | @mekdesmersha | @tamera.darden

@crwnmag | @dressmyroom | @papermonday | @milknhonee | @ggreneewrites

@matermea | @liveprettyonapenny | @simplylakita | @tania_nyclifestyle

This list is by no means an exhaustive list. I could honestly go on and on and on…and on. But, I figure this is a good start and as you begin to follow these women, you’ll be able to see more and more different aspects and ways that your own feeds are growing as they introduce you to others in their circles and lines of work.

It really is a beautiful thing, friends.

Here are a few thoughts from just a few of those tagged above on the importance of diversity + why it’s important not just as a part of your social media connections but even more so in life, from a few friends :

I’m a big advocate for diversity, whether in the workplace or socially. Diversity brings a fresh range of perspectives to any collective and dismantles subconscious prejudices. Visible representation for people of color in the creative industry fosters a cultural awareness and human connection to others that is far too often overlooked or misportrayed. -Brandy Brown

— Brandy Brown, @maraboudesign
I was fortunate to grow up as a child of a diplomat, we were often exposed to different cultures, environments and people. Our parents efforts truly enabled my siblings and I to view life, and people differently. I feel that following people with feeds that don’t necessarily look like ours gives us glimpse into a different life, something they may not be familiar with, hence opening the door to have those difficult conversations.
— charlotte betts, @milknhonee
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I think having a diverse feed helps us identify with the “other” to see people regardless of their background like we see ourselves. I also think it’s important to put your money where your mouth is. It’s one thing to say you support people of color, it’s another to support their content and hustles.
— nikki johnson, @nchanel

WHAT I'M READING RIGHT NOW + WHY (black history and beyond)

I feel like I’ve been having babies for the entire last season of my life and either nursing or pregnant for the rest and while I realize that’s a complete exaggeration but also something that many of you mama’s out there will relate to, it’s nonetheless the way I feeeeeeelllll…

Speaking of feelings, I have had such a hankerin’ for more reading lately.

You know the drill, the Amazon cart’s loaded and we’re ready to hit the “checkout” button but then we “save for later” ‘cause we realize there’s still that stack of books on your nightstand, in your closet, in your car, under your sofa, on your coffee table…that you haven’t read still.

If you’re anything like me, you have stacks everywhere. This is where I will defend myself and say that it’s for convenience sake. You know, so that I can have a book to read anywhere I go.

If I were to actually tell the truth here it really because I am just way too ambitious and seem to believe I can will myself to read a book a day even with all the things I have going on in life right now.

If you’re following my stories on Instagram then you’ve seen me talk about some of my most recent purchases and those that are in the “dreaded cart of eternal damnation”. I mean, the ones that are in my “save fo later” category on Amazon.

If you’re following, you’ve also heard my heart lately about what I am reading and why it’s becoming more and more important to me that I am educating myself even more as I’ve felt such a burden (in the best way) to begin having more conversations surrounding race and reconciliation and even sharing my own personal stories of not only growing up black in the South but the beginnings of my thoughts on being a black female blogger in the design/interior styling world. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

We’re probably going to have more conversations in all the spaces about some of these things but I thought, today, I’d share more of the books that I have read, am reading and have in my cart.

You can click on any of the images below to shop them and add them to your personal library. From history to autobiographical recollections to poetry and novels, these are just a few that I have found helpful and that have aided in making me more comfortable with having what can be a very tough topic to talk about and a hard conversation to have:

The ones above are a few of the ones that I have read (plus a couple that I am working on) but I thought I’d include a bit more for those of you who have asked about book and other references for your kiddos—teenagers included and for yourselves.

Here are some of my faves that I think you’ll also find resourceful, helpful, insightful and perhaps even a little fun:

The Warmth of Other Suns

African American Religious History


Dust Tracks on the Road


White Rage

Black Like Me


Deliverance: Mary Fields, First AA Woman Star Route Mail Carrier in the U.S.

Accomplished: African American Women in Victorian America

Autobiographies of a People: Three Centuries of AA History Told by Those Who Lived It

I’ve obviously only discussed a few here but I’d love to hear any that you have to suggest or that you’ve read and found to be helpful or enlightening to you!

Leave those titles for me below and I’ll add them to my personal list.