Ariel’s urban warm whirling rainbow dream castle/condo #Families#Homes & Tours#colorful#hippie#kids#living small#Seattle March 3 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatariel Me and my son, doing what we do in the room where we do most everything. The offbeat occupant: Ariel Meadow Stallings, Offbeat Empire Publisher Other occupants: Andreas (spouse), Octavian (son), Sassafras (totem animal) Approximate square footage: 650-1000 sq. feet How many bedrooms? 1 Neighborhood: The tip top of Seattle's Capitol Hill How long have you lived in this home? Four years. Related Post Our one-bedroom condo in Seattle: Home to four people and a kitty living well We're a family of four that love living in a pretty small space. Our condo is 730 square feet, one bedroom and one-and-a-half baths. We... Read more Let's start with the neighborhood. What's it like where you live? I grew up coming to visit my grandmother and aunt in this neighborhood, back in the early '80s when it was known for drunks, junkies, and "the gays." I got my first apartment here in 1997, and with the exception of a few excursions (Olympia, WA; New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; South Seattle), have lived within a few blocks of that first place ever since. Photo of the hood, by Ben Haley I LOVE THIS NEIGHBORHOOD. We've made a lot of concessions and pay an ill-advised financial premium to live here, but it is so incredibly worth it. I wrote about this before, but we have everything within walking distance here, including downtown Seattle. But I don't just mean grocery stores, restaurants, bars, boutiques, parks, museums, libraries, etc. I mean like, I have a hospital out my back door if something goes wrong. The police and fire stations are so close I'd likely hear the sirens before getting off the phone with 911. Photo of the hood, by Ben Haley Capitol Hill is isn't that much of a gayborhood any more. The LGBT community has filtered out into the rest of the city (yay for people feeling safe outside the gay neighborhood, but boo for Pride Parade leaving), and the Hill is as much about 20-something creatives who like to drink (cough hipsters cough) as it is about rainbow flags. And let's just say we're not the only 30-somethings with strollers cruising down 15th Avenue… The ol' girl, back in 1937 What makes your home offbeat? The space we live in has had a lot of lives. It was a single family Italianate four-square built around the turn of the century. Then, in the 1920s, it was chopped it up into apartments and had a wing of studios built onto one side. In the '30s, a second wing of apartments was added onto the other side of the house. The whole weird complex was a rental until 2006, when it was converted from apartments into condos. Our foyer, with the staircase that way over-promises on the scale of our home. Also, note column on the left, split in half by the wall dividing our foyer from the neighbor's kitchen. This is all to say, the old girl is a bit odd. We have the original house's grand staircase, which leads you up to our humble one bedroom. There are odd angles and you can see where old walls were just cut open to open up rooms. We have the house's original balcony — but one of the balcony windows looks directly into our geighbor's living room. Luckily we love our neighbor Brett (who I've written about on Offbeat Bride) so instead of being weird, we use the window for gossiping and passing food, babies, and small dogs back and forth. The wings built onto the house create awkward closeness. Our bedroom window is about three feet from the bathroom and kitchen windows of one of the wings built onto the house… so our bedroom alternately smells like someone else's shampoo, or spaghetti sauce. Our bathroom window looks into Brett's kitchen and his bathroom window. From our toilet, you can sometimes see Brett in the shower. In the summer you can hear another neighbor getting spanked by his girlfriend, and his bong smoke oozes into our livingroom windows. Ah, the urban village! Our bathroom, with a POTTY sign from our wedding, and a trapezoidal cabinet made by my mother-in-law. Note the yurt painting from the Offbeat Home header! When the units were converted to condos, the decor was pretty standard Contemporary West Coast Yuppie. Stainless steel kitchen appliances with stone counters, nice window frames, laminate wood flooring (cheap and plastick-y to the touch, but looks good until it gets scratched, which is constantly), all beige and sage paint palettes. It was nicely done, but completely void of personality. Yuppie kitchen, haaaay! Also note presence of toddler pissed off by the only cabinet that he can't get into, and the griddle where I make my pancakes. And then we moved in. And the personality was inflicted. I don't have a very refined sense of interior style. It basically boils down to this: I love color. Lots of it. My color choices don't always (…ever?) fully work or coordinate well, but my appetite for color is boundless. Many blocks of bright color. Our living room, complete with a painting I did in high school titled GAY PEARY. ORANGE WALLS! PURPLE COUCH! PINK CHAIR! GREEN RUGS! BLUE WALLS! MY LITTLE PONIES AS DECOR ITEMS! I tend toward the modern end of furniture, so I've jokingly referred to my aesthetic as "Space Station Toddler" (and that was before we had a kid). I'm not sure anyone would call these things tasteful… but they're what I love, and what my partner puts up with in our living room. Bring on the color, bitchez Andreas, meanwhile, got complete domain over our bedroom, which he painted a pale purple called Silverberry and furnished with a bed straight out of the virginity loss scene in Twilight: Book 4. Andreas has apparently always dreamed of a lavendar bedroom with a white gauzy canopy over the bed, proving that (despite my My Little Ponies) I'm not the only one in the house with the aesthetics of an 8-year-old girl. Silverberry. Don't you feel calmer already? Although I suppose the psychedelic Kinoko painting doesn't help… Historically, our furniture has tended towards the very cheap and utilitarian, with lots of used Ikea crap from Craigslist (why pay full price for crap, when someone else can put the crap together for you?). But then my mother-in-law got into woodworking, and she makes the most amazing furniture I've ever seen… so we have this weird mix of gorgeous high-end custom fine woodworking, and second hand press-board modern furniture. Our dining area, complete with ponies lurking overhead The condo feels very much like a reflection of Dre and me: two urbanites who were raised in more rural areas by progressive outdoorsy types. There's this weird mix of very urban (condo! modern stuff! bright colors!) and very granola (wood! prayer flags! plants!). Bobos, I think we'd probably be called, although the term's a bit out-of-date. The ponies see all. What are the challenges you've faced with this space, and how did you solve them? Square footage is our biggest challenge. We are a family of three living in a one bedroom. Oh, and not only do three of us live here — one of us works here, too. (The Empire is run from a wall of our bedroom, a few feet from the closet where our son sleeps.) Offbeat Empire HQ, complete with the dual screen set-up I call THE CONSOLE, in all caps We've had to be super economical about space use, highly judicious about crap acquisition, and generous about quickly getting rid of stuff we're not actively using. We've also had to remember that part of the advantage of living urban is that the city is your backyard and living room — Dre and I spent a LOT of time wandering our neighborhood with Tavi. I worried that having a baby would make living here impossible, but it's actually working really well. We've made a concerted effort to keep the space pretty open and not filled with much stuff, so it very rarely feels crowded or cramped. Tavi surveys the scene. The biggest shift in making this space work for us was when I got my desk out of the living room. Our bedroom is big, but since both Dre's and my laptops were in the livingroom, we spent most days with all four creatures (two adults, baby, dog) in the living room, while the bedroom sat there unused. It was also extreeeemely hard for me to get any work done with the cute baby/cute husband combo in the same room with me. Now that my desk is in the bedroom, theoretically we can have a creature in each room (baby in nursery, me in the bed room, Dre in the living room, and the dog snacking in the kitchen) and actually get some personal space! Tavi's nursery, a converted walk-in closet What's your favorite feature of your home? The bookshelf my mother-in-law custom built for us. It pretty much owns the livingroom. My husband, the spawn of two academics, is a booklover who grew up surrounded by walls and walls of books. We split the shelves roughly in half (his on the left; mine on the right) and I'm not quite as bookish as he is, which means there's room for the baby's supplies in the bottom right quad of the shelving. Tavi's quadrant of the bookshelf Dre's got a workspace built into the left, and there are two sliding cabinets on the right that have become Tavi's toy chest. When I got pregnant, people looooved to tell me how once we had a kid, our house would get taken over by toys — "the plastic crap just seems to multiply," someone once told me, in a "you'll seeeeeee" kind of way. I am proud to say that thanks to these shelves (and our own resistance to acquiring too much stuff), our house almost never feels taken over by toys and baby stuff. Obviously, as someone who decorated with My Little Ponies and Sunshine Buddies long before I had a child, it's not like my taste in decor is so mature and sophisticated. I don't want to hide evidence of having a child, and I think it's pretty clear from our house that a little dude lives here. I just don't want my home to feel like it's been overtaken — we love our son very much, but he's one of three people living here. Dre, working away in his corner of the shelves. What's the most important lesson you've learned from this home? Downsizing is addictive; I've learned to LOVE giving shit away. When Tavi was born, I decided I'd enact a strict "one in/one out" policy with stuff. I may over-compensate a bit: it's worth noting that our house is emptier now than it was before I got pregnant. When this floor is littered with toys, shoes, coats, and sippy cups, it still manages to not too feel too insanely crowded. This is because I got rid of two couches, a coffee table, and a glass cabinet. I have pack-rat tendencies, and have spent years collecting little bits of Stuff that I would jokingly claim was for "The Ariel Museum." I've learned to stop doing this — I have my sentimental talismans, but they're all small. I shed crap constantly… in part because then it means there's room for new crap! A sampling of the bits of memorabilia I've allowed myself to keep around. Don't let me mislead you: I like crap. A LOT. I am a total materialist and I LOVE my things… but I love giving them away, too. What's your grandest plan for the space? I have a scheme for how we can turn the space into a modest two-bedroom, and rip out the wall of the stairwell to create an epic family room/mezzanine space at the top of the stairs. That stairwell is so grand and filled with afternoon sun… but it's a fucking stairwell. If we opened it up to a mezzanine, we'd really feel that square footage more. Plus, Tavi would have a bedroom. What advice do you have for other offbeat homies? Figure out what the priorities are for your lifestyle. Living small and in-city has made me happier than living big and suburban was ever going to. I can't say how long we'll stay here (I grew up on a forested island half an hour away, and the siren song of the island ex-urbs is hard to ignore — especially when I know first-hand how good the schools are), but these years in this condo have been some of the happiest and most… well, self-actualized of my life. I like where I am, both literally and figuratively. Any stuff or services you want to recommend? In my photos on Flickr, I've tried to caption all relevant artists, but here are a couple worth calling out: Nepotism alert: my mother-in-law's woodworking is amazing. She's in Iowa City, but does commissions all over. My favorite painting is by Kinoko. The big pink rocker is a brand called Nurseryworks. I got it half off because it's an atrocious shade of pink. Show me the decor porn! I made a point to caption my photos pretty extensively on Flickr, so if you have any questions about stuff in pictures — head over there! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Spring cleaning tips: doing it the not-overwhelming way NEXT My teen-dream cabin in the woods Toggle comments [ 100 ] I have SERIOUS bookshelf envy… that is exactly what we plan to do in our living room on one glorious "someday." 13 agree Reply "why pay full price for crap, when someone else can put the crap together for you?" I am *so* with you there. I used to shop at Ikea when I was in college but now I shop Craigslist for certain Ikea items. 3 agree Reply Hahaha, we've totally been haunting the Clist this week for just the right Billy! Reply I agree. This is exactly what I need for shelving… too many books, movies, etc. Reply My very first thought when seeing that very first picture was "Oh! I lust for that bookshelf!" I mean, we have a pretty huge ikea shelf, but it's not quite the same as a beautiful floor to ceiling, wall to wall. I want a book shelf that requires a ladder. 4 agree Reply I love it! The Pony collection is priceless. 1 agrees Reply This post fills me with regrets that I gave away my My Little Ponies… what was I thinking??? I still have the "next age up" model horses from childhood, but they're just not the same. Reply Your house is frakking amazing. It's incredible that it's a one-bedroom, because it looks so spacious. My husband and I both have serious packrat tendencies — not helped by the fact that we both have large collections of '80s toys and assorted geekery (and, being a pretty visual person, I end up getting all kinds of STUFF because it looks neat, even though it also makes me really stressed and overwhelmed to have it around) — so it would be the best thing ever if sometime you could do a whole post about how you've reconciled your packrattishness (a word?) with downsizing. I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally want to majorly get rid of a ton of stuff before we move this summer, but every time I try I freak out because it all has some obscure sentimental meaning to me. If you could share how you got to the place of loving your stuff but also love getting rid of it, I would appreciate it beyond belief. Loving the site so far, btw! So much awesome content (and variety of it)! 7 agree Reply Celeste, that's a great idea for a post! Overcoming packratishness has been a major ongoing project for me. 10 agree Reply Allow me to recommend the blog unclutterer.com as a great source of downsizing advice–including the psychological side of it. I appreciate that they don't have a monolithic idea of what constitutes "clutter" but only define it as, basically, "stuff that keeps you from living the life you want to be living." 1 agrees Reply I down sized to about 270 sq ft boat and can really recomend this for a way of getting rid of junk. Alot of my stuff is in storage and whenever I go and look for something I always end up chucking stuff out that I realise I haven't even thought about for three years. You don't have to move on to a boat though, just put stuff in boxes if you haven't noticed its gone in a few months just get rid! Reply For me, being able to find someone who appreciated the stuff, and getting to tell them some of the story behind it, has really helped me. I'm not there yet, but I *have* gotten rid of a pretty good amount of stuff in the last while, including a ton of awesome books from my college studies to a friend interested in the subject. Good Luck to us. ;D Reply I was so excited to see this! I've admired your house from afar via Flickr for a while – this is honestly one of the things I've been looking forward to most. Gah! Ariel, I totally want to be your new BFF and come hang out with you guys. And I mean that in the least possible creeper/stalkerette way possible. 3 agree Reply First date: you can stalk me on Twitter, and we can go from there? Heh. 1 agrees Reply Can do. Also, I realized that I wrote possible twice. An inauspicious beginning. 2 agree Reply Cool-old-house-turned-condo on the top of Cap Hill? I swoon! Mostly, I can't get the color "Silverberry" out of my head. Partly because of the name "Silverberry", also because it's the grayish-sherberty-purplish color I've been searching for. I hope whatever company made it still does! Reply Behr Silverberry. Reply Ahhh sweet! Thanks! Reply Lovely surroundings! It reminds me a lot of our old house in terms of decor. We were colour junkies too! As an aside; I'm either being really thick (or just British) but what exactly is a condo? Is it just another word for an apartment? 1 agrees Reply Ack! I fail on my globally-accessible language today! Condo is short for "condominium," which is an apartment that you own (instead of rent). Reply Ah, I see, thank you! 1 agrees Reply i love your pink rocker and don't think the color is atrocious. 1 agrees Reply Maybe it's just because I bought it online and it was called "berry" and looked a little bit more subdued. I was pregnant, and when it showed up, everyone was like "OH! You must be having a little girl!" I was like, "No, I just have a really, REALLY pink rocking chair." Reply Your house is so clean!!!! Reply I deserve no credit for that. Coming next week, there's a post about how I finally got over my liberal guilt and got a housekeeper. 7 agree Reply Oh, I cannot WAIT for this post. 3 agree Reply I can't wait to read that. Hiring a housekeeper was one of the best decisions I made when I was an intern and now I recommend it to every med student I run into when I talk to them about residency. My perspective is that of someone who works 50-70 hours a week so I'm interested to hear someone else's take. 1 agrees Reply THIS! My mom suggested to me that I should get a housekeeper as soon as I/we made money. She said: there's no sense in working (both) 40 hrs a week and expecting to have energy left to clean your house. Alas, I am not making money (yet), but I am sure planning on getting one! 1 agrees Reply We just opened our own business (a gamer/hobby shop) one year ago and I told my hubs that it didn't need to ever makes gobs of money, I would consider it a success when it brought home enough for me to hire a once a week housekeeper. Still waiting… Reply That's right! I've been thinking about how I have very few memories of my mom cleaning when I was growing up (except for the occasional vacuuming), but also have very few memories of the house being a mess. We had a maid service! I totally forgot! Thanks for filling in that hole from my childhood. 1 agrees Reply I love, love, LOVE your bookshelf wall and that you put those big soft lights on it. We're hoping to move soon and that's the first big project I want to tackle in a new space. *wishful sigh* Also, do you and Dre not own a TV or is it cleverly hidden? We don't have a TV and just watch movies on our laptops… And I'm in no hurry to get one, ever. Reply Love the purple couch…covet! Reply I love the couch too! Can I ask where it came from/who made it? Reply No idea on the couch. Purchased used, and I don't see a label. Reply Thought it might be a great used one, thanks for checking for the label. Any other readers know what this style of couch is called? Reply Your house just makes me ridiculously happy! Such great color and fun little bits everywhere you look. Thanks for letting us take a peek. 1 agrees Reply Let's make a deal, Ariel. You give me your condo, and I give you… uh… a broken down car and two cats? Uh. My rent is only $449 until November, so… fair trade? This is so remarkably much like the magical plans I'd had for my home six months ago. I'm so glad you guys are in a place where you can be you and with people who help you express that! 1 agrees Reply NO DEAL! 1 agrees Reply Gorgeous place. Love the orange walls and custom woodwork! Our bedroom is my domain decor-wise and painted a warm orange with a hint of rose/pink/peach in certain lights. I call it terracotta pink. Benjamin Moore calls it Adobe Dust. It's so warm and rich and friendly – the paint color makes it my favorite room in the house. Reply can I come over for tea sometime?? Reply Good to meet you. Love your card, too darn cute! Congrats to those LUCKY gals who won those classes and gift ceifrticates. Have a happy day! Reply I LOVE that bedroom. LOVE it. Reply I now feel the need to display my My Little Ponies and my Star Wars collection alongside my Royal Dalton figurine and crazy religious toys. Wonder if my dude will go for it. Loving the colours. I also have bookshelf envy. Reply WHERE did you get that tree comforter on your bed? I LOVE it. (I'm slightly obsessed with trees) Reply It's GLASÖRT TRÄD from Ikea. Reply I have a question: How does the potted plant/toddler combo work out? I've been dying for more green in the house but so certain that will mean potting soil everywhere, every day. Reply The bamboo pot has a layer of very large, heavy rocks over the soil. This keeps the plant from tipping over, keeps Tavi out of the potting soil, and gives it a sort of zen garden feeling. 2 agree Reply I am totally in love with your space! Reply Am so in love with your pink chair!! Reply While I love the design of the rocker, I will not lie: it is not as comfortable as it should be and even at half-off, shit was STUPID expensive. It was my special "It took me forever to get pregnant, I want this magic rocking chair for when I have the baby!" gift to myself, but I nursed much more often sitting on the purple couch. Reply Your place has so much personality, I love it! And you are totally right, downsizing is addictive! I absolutely love getting rid of things. We downsized from a huge 2 bedroom apartment in the suburbs to a tiny 1 bedroom condo in the city and had to part with a lot of stuff. It was hard at first, but now I can't stop! We're living in a bigger place now, but I'm still so careful with what I choose to bring into my home. I find that when I do decide on something to buy, I feel good about my purchase because I've thought about it and I really love it. Reply Just looking at your decor makes me happy! What a fun environment for Tavi to grow up in! 1 agrees Reply I have looked at your set like 3 times now because I love your house. And I've never been but I WAS at your old house and I can tell this place is so much better for you. *sigh* LOVE it! Reply I LOVE your space! I am a color fanatic too and also have realized my house will never look too put together because I like too many different styles I toss together in hopes they work hahaha! Thanks for sharing! Reply I'm digging the secretary desk. My mom has her mom's and they are just so cool. Also, the Twilight bed comment made me laugh: we have the exact comforter as Bella does in the movies because I'm secretly a fan girl. Anyway, I am learning to get rid of crap in preparation for our first place and every time I think of how it is impossible I have to remind myself that others have done it. I'll just read your post when I need strength. Reply Also, looking forward to the "small living" tag getting filled in. (Does Megan's apartment fit?) Our house is 675 square feet. Still in the process of putting it together but I'm enjoying the forced necessity of creating a place for everything. Neither of us work from home or anything like that, but it still has forced us to go vertical and creative with storage Reply Bookshelves! Gorgeous! *Aneurysm* We have been dying to make our living room look like a library. We'll totally be checking out your mother-in-laws link. I also love the "I Spy" game I was playing to find all your My Little Ponies. I'm pretty sure I still have a couple hiding somewhere at my parents' house. Reply It feels like such a privilege to get a sneak peak into your home. I have my ponies on the top of some built-ins but me thinks I may have to make a narrow shelf now above my office window. Reply Love, love, love. I absolutely live for a soft, neutrally palette in my own space, but I adore your colorsplosion! And I hear you on the downsizing addiction. I started doing it during college when I had to pack up all my crap twice a year to move in and out of the dorms. Also, the picture of Tavi at the window make me feel the need to refer to him as Crown Prince Octavian, Son and Heir of Empress Ariel, Our Lady of Offbeat. 2 agree Reply How could I not TOTALLY FREAKING LOVE your condo!? Everything about it! Seriously! The bookshelves, the color, the ponies, the fun! The baby closet is genius and I love the little window. (Also I thought I saw you on Cap Hill once and now I KNOW it was you!) Reply Oh, it is beautiful in there! As we move this coming summer (again) downsizing is my big goal — we have so much junk jammed in closets and stuffed on top of bookshelves because I hate to get rid of things. Too sentimental for my own good. Also: I don't want to hide evidence of having a child, and I think it's pretty clear from our house that a little dude lives here. I just don't want my home to feel like it's been overtaken — we love our son very much, but he's one of three people living here. YES. I know people who believe that having a child should have absolutely no bearing on their decor or household, and I can't disagree more. Our apartment is full of our adult stuff and we like that, but I don't think anyone would doubt that we have a toddler. The crayon on the walls probably helps. Reply I'm really loving offbeat house, but would love it even more if it was a bit more inclusive. Namely giving metric measurements for the floor area (Imperial square foot measurements confuse me) and maybe more descriptive house tag. By that I mean using some other tags as well as condo as I (as an Australian) have no idea what that manes and I am going to google it when I finish typing. ETA: as the result of my googling I've discovered a condo is just an apartment/town house/property in which you share communal space with other owners. 1 agrees Reply Yeah, http://www.escapeartist.com/Conversions/Square_Meters_Square_Feet/ is my new BFF (first hit when you google square feet to m2). I don't mind googling (? is that a word?), and I understand it's an american website, but it would be nice…. Reply Its simple enough to do a division by 9 to get a rough and dirty estimation as well – its just frustrating and I know in the near future I would like to google for "house design 32 square metres" and chances are that it will miss these posts. By no means do they HAVE to put it in, but it is one of those things that is frustrating to essentially all readers outside the US. Reply Rachel, we'll make an effort to include metres in future house tour posts. That said, I answered the condominium question up-thread providing a link and complete answer — I honestly had NO IDEA it was an American term. Reply Love love love all the colour. Got to be good for a kid growing up surronded by so much colour. Reply I love all the wall colors in your place! My husband and I are looking to buy a house soon, and I'm getting excited/anxious about painting the different rooms of our home 'theme' colors. What color says 'this is a kitchen'? What color says 'this is where the hanky panky happens'? Your colors gave me inspiration Reply That's the apt complex from Singles! Reply HA!! Funny you should mention that — Coryell Court is exactly two blocks from our place. Reply Although I love the idea of broad bold splashes of color everywhere, I can never bring myself to do it with confidence. I have to say, I LOVE the orange walls though! Andreas and I have similar taste – my bedroom is almost EXACTLY the same color (mine is SIlver Peony by Sherwin-Williams), and I have been seriously thinking of getting rid of my current bed for a canopy bed, and was looking at one almost exactly like the one you have! I currently have silver and black butterflies flying across the wall above the headboard, so the canopy won't quite fit in right now, but it will happen in the future! Reply I love the bookcase/desk where all the offbeat magic does down. Where did you get it? Reply Leaning Bookshelf and Leaning Desk from Area 51: http://area51seattle.com/office.html (Although Megan found the same set in Los Angeles, so I know they're around outside of Seattle.) Reply The pictures of your bedroom (props to your hubs' decorating style) made me realize that having matching (I think they match?) bedside tables and lamps makes a room feel so put-together and grown up. Of all the things I ever thought I could be envious of… bedside tables and lamps were not on the list. Until now. Thank you for sharing!! Oh, and I luuurve all those colors! Reply While the tables are a matched set from my mother-in-law, the lamps aren't the same … similar sorta Balinese styling, but not quite matched. Reply I love the cheerfulness of your color palette, Ariel. The fairytale princess bed canopy and wall color cracks me up in a delighted way, and it also looks peaceful and cozy, as a bedroom should. All in all I really enjoyed how put together, but offbeat, your space really is. Reply I love all the color! Once we finish painting, this inspries me to photograph and talk about our home! It's an old 50s house where sliding glass doors were the NEW COOL THING. On another note, I love your beet painting in the kitchen! Those are done by a local to me artist, http://trumblydesigns.com/. They're down at our Saturday Market ever week! I love seeing art I recognize around! Reply Yay Trumbly! We got the beet print at Oregon Country Fair. Reply Huzzah for Fair too! I work staff with the teen workers. Maybe I'll see you there some time! Reply I lived in that exact same neighborhood in Seattle for many years and never loved a 'hood more!! It showed me that feeling at home on my neighborhood sidewalks was just as important to me as having enough storage space and more important than a dishwasher! Hooray for finding living-space values. Reply Since I can remember I loved scavenging for hidden treasures at thrift stores. Although I have a pretty organized apartment, I started to see how much had accumulated. In the last few months I have donated and given away SO much stuff! Luckily, I didn't spend much money on the crap in the first place but if felt amazing to be free of it and have a simpler lifestyle and home afterwards. There is now less to clean and I appreciate the stuff that I have that much more. It really is the best idea ever. Your home is beautiful and has great personality Reply Just popping in to tell you how much I love your new site! And your condo – gorgeous and such a creative space! Reply First, that bookshelf = swoon! I have plenty of bookshelves myself, but a wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor is my dream. Lust is happening here! Second, I love how you have used colour – having grown up in a household where we painted every room a different colour every few years, neutral just doesn't do it for me. I applaud the way you've made colour work for you – what a happy environment for a child! My house is filled with super-bright colours but I feel the need to move to a more soothing palette (sherbets and jewels instead of eye-searing), so your shades have given me some inspiration. And I can't wait to hear how you learned to love giving away your things – it's a lesson I'm in serious need of learning. Reply 1) I am completely in awe of your ability to keep a bamboo healthy indoors. Do you know what kind it is? 2) Your observations on your husband's bedroom decorating choices crack me up, because that is pretty much the exact bedroom my giant 6'4" boat-rowing, blacksmithing Viking wants. 3) Colorrrsssssssssss!!! Reply The bamboo is meyerii, a gift from my father. He recommends http://mrbamboo.com.au/care/20-in-pots for more info! Reply What a delightful space! I love the living room colors they are really fun and your space looks so fresh. I'm sad to hear the squishy chair rocker is not super comfy, I like the idea. PS. Mother-In-Law has mad skills I looked at her online gallery and am in love with a bench of hers. (Kind of off topic: I have a kind of a rule 34 for "You'll seeeeee" comments, in that for every life change there are "You'll seeeee" comments.) Reply Oh my god! I can't believe that's your building. When I lived on the Hill, I would often stroll past and stare into that courtyard with envy and longing. Beautiful home inside and out! Reply HA! Funny. I've always thought the outside of the building was kinda meh: I mean, it's vinyl siding. That said, the courtyard IS lovely, although our neighbor who did the gardening has moved out … so it's a bit unkempt these days. Reply Slightly off-topic question: how do you keep your toddler from pulling all those lovely books off the shelves all the time? Or is he not as into that as mine? Reply We don't. There's a lot of reshelving that happens at the end of each day. Reply OK! I feel loads better knowing I'm not alone in my stubbornness to crate away my books. Reply your changing table is in the bathroom! that is the best thing ever. Reply Very pretty! Love the lime green rugs. Reply I'm kind of in love with your green carpets with the white animal borders. Wherever did you find them? Reply Ikea kid's section: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80172262 Reply Love LOVE love the bookshelves and desks, bright couches, color color color, clever use of space. The nursery looks huge! I'll check out that post, too. Makes me want to dial-in our space and share it with the tribe. Reply Oh, and: I could totally live with that explosion of color, love it. And finally got a chance to read the 'bobo' entry…that is so me, LOL. Reply Gah! SO jealous! My fiance & I are working towards a little old condo in LA. Luckily he understands my NEED for a smaller condo in the downtown area. He blames my father for raising me with all his hipster boyfriends. Haha. It's good to know that it is possible to do so much iwith a smaller space. Thanks for the tour PS Still jealous (especially of the bookshelf, my book collection resides in boxes in our closet) also PS The 2nd & 3rd pictures remind me of Mr. Roger's neighborhood, when they first pan in at the beginning of the show. I love it! Reply ok, i have to know about the lights and plants in the book case. is there any way we can get a close up of that? are they lamps or grow lights or what. i looove that book case!!!!!!! Reply We have extremely similar tastes in decor, though I'm a little less raver and a little more gothique. Reply Ariel, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home! Like many other commenters, I swoon over that gorgeous bookshelf. Quick question about boring logistics: How exactly does your one-in-one-out policy work for Tavi's toys/books? Are the choices made according to your preferences, or his, or both? I'd love to know your methods, as I'm currently attempting a book-and-toy cull for a not-especially-verbal 2 year old, and am unsure of what strategies/techniques to use. Thanks again! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.