An antique-filled Midwest bungalow for four

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The offbeat occupant: Lindsay, park ranger/student

Other occupants: Matt, my partner, Raleigh St. Clair (Boston Terrier), TJ (Beagle)

Approximate square footage: Under 650 sq. feet (fewer than 60 sq. meters)

How many bedrooms? 1

Lives in: Oklahoma City, OK

When did you move into this home? November 2010

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Let's start with the neighborhood. What's it like where you live? Our neighborhood is really quite awesome. We live within walking distance of the arts district, downtown, our favorite pub, both of our work places, and our favorite taco stand. It's a diverse group of people, as well. Most of the homes and apartments were built in the '20s and '30s, so there is a lot of character. The cost of living here is SO LOW, it's awesome!

What's your flavor of offbeat? We're into old/used/homemade. I don't understand the pressure to buy furniture new. Old couches can be reupholstered, old headboards and dressers can be repainted and repaired. It's a way to save money, keep things out of landfills, and also have a home that is completely unique.

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What makes your home offbeat? Most of the things we purchase are from antique stores, estate sales, or they're handmade. We really enjoy having a small, cozy place to call home. From the ape jaw on our mantle to the hipster bike, our home really reflects us. It's not a museum space, nor is it flawless. It is our first place together. I love that it's a true medley of all things us.

I never really thought of our home as "offbeat" until this site was launched! I saw that this website, as opposed to other interior design blogs, was really more our speed. It comes as no surprise, as I have been following OBB for several years. I am an addict to all Offbeat Empire p0rn!

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What's the most challenging about this space? How do you deal with the challenge? The biggest challenge is the lack of storage. There's a built-in cabinet and drawers in the hallway, and one closet in the living room. It just doesn't cut it. In order to deal with this issue, we have to get creative and really think about what we NEED. We try to use the "one in, two out" rule. If I buy a new pair of shoes, I should probably think about getting rid of two pairs. And my partner really has to think about saving every single plastic coffee container. It's mostly being mindful of accumulating junk.

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What's your favorite feature of your home? The space has character. I love all of the natural light. During the day, we open all the blinds and we don't turn the lights on until it gets dark. I've often rented apartments that didn't have character and I think this one really does. The wood floors, layers of old paint, the old fireplace, crown molding, the weird phone cubby — it all comes together to make a really special space.

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What's the most important lesson you've learned from this home? That small spaces are the best. Although they might not be the most comfortable for hosting parties, they have a lot to offer. Keeping a small place clean is easier, heating/cooling is cheaper, and we save money by not buying junk to fill up space.

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Also, living in an apartment building with seven other tenants teaches you a shit-ton of patience.

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What's your grandest plan for the space? My next project is to create a sewing/crafting space. Hopefully we can use an area in the dining room. This is going to be very challenging.

What advice do you have for other offbeat homies? Homes are meant to be lived in. I know I sometimes fret over things in the home not being perfect or clean all the time or showroom quality. I've embraced my inner hippie to just chill the fuck out. I don't have to have creative control over the whole place, I'm not the only one who lives here. It doesn't have to be spotless. Our home is lived-in and comfortable. I love it.

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Any stuff or services you want to recommend? There are so many great local businesses here!

  • Rink Gallery in Bethany, OK, is an awesome warehouse of antiques and used stuff, full of different vendors.
  • DNA Galleries, Collected Thread, and Bad Grannies Bazaar in the Plaza District (OKC) are amazing for art, homemade goodness, and vintage/used finds.
  • Blue Seven (OKC) is awesome for more modern home furnishings (they also have awesome clothes and local art, too!)
  • Treasure's Past in Midtown (OKC) is where I found the mid-century modern secretary for several hundred dollars less than what it would be elsewhere — also, the owners are very nice folks and they have lay-away!

I really hope I didn't forget anyone!

Show me the decor porn!

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  1. I went to college in Norman and rented a house there – I love the older homes that are in so many of the neighborhoods in Norman and OKC.

    Yours is lovely; I especially love that turquoise bed!

  2. "Homes are meant to be lived in. I know I sometimes fret over things in the home not being perfect or clean all the time or showroom quality. I've embraced my inner hippie to just chill the fuck out. I don't have to have creative control over the whole place, I'm not the only one who lives here. It doesn't have to be spotless. Our home is lived-in and comfortable. I love it."

    This! I am trying really hard to embrace my inner hippie (she's an outer hippie in most other arenas) and accept my lived-in home as it is. Thanks for articulating that.

    I love tiny-bungalow-with-character spaces too (in fact, we're closing on one this month and I can't wait!). Looks like you've made yours comfortable, beautiful, and interesting throughout. Way to go. 🙂

    • Katie Mae! Thank you so much for your kind words. Sometimes it's hard for me to let go of control, it's a process. I'm working on it every day.

      I love our home and I'm so happy to share it with you!

      Thanks again!

  3. First I LOOOVE your "stuff" as you called it, it's so wonderful 🙂 I am in the same school of thought that buying new isn't always best! My favorite lamp belonged to my great grandma and I get so many compliments on it, older stuff just has more character. I also adore how the door ways are all arched, it really does lend a lot of character to a place. I will also say amen to it being easier to keep a small place cleaner. I moved from a 1200 sq ft. townhouse to a roughly 350 sq ft. bachelor suite and it is way easier to maintain because of it's size! Everything has to have a place and when it's not in use it HAS to be in that place 😉

  4. Yay! I'm so stoked to see my hometown on here. As an Okie now living in San Francisco, I sure miss that cheap rent. Part of me wishes I could go back to OKC and live near the Plaza/Paseo…but I know I'd miss SF way too much!

  5. I love how you store that bike, what a great idea. I too am in the process of trying to create a crafting space so it would be REALLY good to see what you come up with – good luck! 🙂

    • Thanks! It might be awhile, but if I come up with something snazzy, I'll be sure to share it.

  6. Dearest Lindsay:

    Seriously, I think you broke into my house and stole my stuff. We have that EXACT same dresser in my son's room, and I'm at this very moment using the EXACT same watering can to water our house plants. I love your style. It's comfortable, functional, and fun, and that's exactly what a home should be.

    • Ha! You caught me! I did steal all of your things. It's because I think you're cute.

      Thanks for the kind words!

  7. fantastic. i LOVE the space. specific question, can you tell me about that up-the-wall bike rack situation? my husband's expensive bike 'lives inside' when it's not being ridden and we have very limited space. it looks awesome!

    • Thanks! The bike rack came from IKEA. It's actually a structural part of a shelving unit that I just bought by itself. It is screwed into the ceiling. I use these mini bungee cords to wrap around the rim and the pole thing to keep it in place, although I cheat by resting the wheel of the bike against the wall. It's kinda weird how it's all rigged up, but it works! I hope that made sense.

    • Headboard and footboard, I think. I dig it too, it actually came exactly how it is. Painted that color and everything! $90 from the Rink Gallery.

  8. Record player and vinyl FTW!

    Your place is adorable and awesome and amazing and a-I'm running out of "a" descriptive words.

  9. Thanks! I put the "Rumors" album up front to see if anyone would say something. Alas, no one yet. I was waiting for some one to say, "THUNDER ONLY HAPPENS WHEN ITS RAAAAAAAIIIIIIIININ, PLAYERS ONLY LOVVVVVVVE YOU WHEN THEY'RE PLAAAAAAAAAAAAAYIIIINNNNNNN……."

    Anyway, thanks!

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