Auction house odds and ends — emphasis on the odd!

Guest post by Andy

Casa Sugar is running an interesting home tour today, and CS editor Elka made sure we got early access to the juicy bits of this unusual home. Enjoy a taste of Andy’s decor before you take the tour!

entry wayCome in! I live in Alameda, CA which is an actual island connected to Oakland by way of tunnels and bridges. This means I’m an islander and automatically makes me cooler than most people.

I teach art at a private art and music school and I flip antiques via on-line auctions. I work part time at a San Francisco auction house, because it allows me hands-on access to lots of wonderful objects for my art and for my home.

So, this is my house, where I keep all my Things and make my art. Right this way, into the living room…

living room

The victorian wooden manikin on the sofa was given to me for FREE. I got it from work — they were going to toss it out!

My decorating style is basically buying things I like then putting them in my home. I have always loved Charles Addams‘ cartoons have always wanted to live in that world.


I like antique taxidermy — especially Victorian taxidermy — because they had lots of free time so they were extra clever. The Victorians made lots of household objects out of animals and nothing says Addams family like an otter paw shoehorn or an elephant foot ottoman.

IMG_7728 living room

I found the vintage pond sail boat at a rummage sale, but it was missing the mast and sails so I had to make those. Since I had to make them I decided to make them twice as large as they should be so they could double as curtains for my front window — the boat looks more whimsical as well

living room

The black crow is a prop from the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds” and is signed by its star, Tippi Hedren. The dresser is a school rummage sale find, and I added the glass handles.

IMG_7795 kitchen

When I moved into this house the kitchen had cheap new cabinets in awful condition, so I ripped them out and replaced them with found pieces. I like the floating orange road cone you can see through the window at the end — my neighbor is having some construction work done.


The drawer unit here was salvaged from my childhood home.

IMG_7814 bathroom detail

When I moved in the bathroom actually had a marble sink and gold plated fixtures. I tore that out and replaced with these rusty old things. I think they have tons more character.

IMG_7809 bathroom detail

This is a sculpture I made titled “The Visible Man.” This the closest thing to a white pedestal I have in the house.

IMG_7781 bed

This butcher’s sign welcomes me into bed at night.

IMG_7776 home office detail

And at the foot of my bed hangs this anatomical diagram — among other finds.

I really enjoy my things but don’t live in a very large home so every time I buy something new I sell a couple of my older pieces. This keeps me from being featured on “Hoarders” and it is also an excellent way to keep improving my collection. I get the best pieces I can find and afford and trade up whenever possible.

Interest piqued? Hope over to Casa Sugar for the whole picture of Andy’s house.

Comments on Auction house odds and ends — emphasis on the odd!

  1. Okay, that elephant foot ottoman creeps me out a little, but I really like the kitchen cabinets and drawers. I wouldn’t ever think to just scavenge old cabinets and install them, very neat!

    • Thanks Jen you are right to be creeped out by the elephant foot because it is creepy. That is what I like about it. You know right after did my kitchen with found pieces I read an article about some interior designer talking about doing the same thing for his wealthy clients. So yeah go to the flea market buy some junk toss it in your kitchen and be like the rich and famous.

  2. I’ve had to resist the urge to re-renovate the kitchen and bathroom in our house. The previous owners renovated them in very modern style to sell the house, and spent a lot if money on them. I’ve compensated by hanging vintage art. Currently searching for a cute medicine cabinet with obligatory rust for the bathroom wall, too. Love what you did with the kitchen!

    • Thanks Eliza I understand you not wanting to mess with a new kitchen and bath. My kitchen and bath were not in good shape when I first arrived on the scene so it wasn’t a sin to start over. I am amazed at how during the 1990s to present everyone felt there was no other way to go when doing a kitchen or bath other than to install stone counter tops. That look is going to be more dated than formica.

  3. How great to see the inside of your house Andy – the inside of mine is decorated with awesome gifts from you over the years. Now I know the kind of thing to look for you 🙂

  4. This is such a fun post! I used to live in Alameda. I was going to chiropractic school at the time so your anatomy poster and ‘The Visible Man’ really speak to me. I love your sailboat too. Thanks for the peek inside, Andy.

  5. This is just a fantastic home. I can tell that you cherish your space and really sought to make it your own. I’m also oddly envious of that ottoman. I just want to touch it~

    • Not to worry I have your brain here in a bell jar on my desk and it looks great next to my monkey leg lamp thanks so much for the donation.

  6. Wow! Andy, we should be friends. I invite you to come check out my tiny apt. in Oakland which is so in tune with yours. I’m a painter & a jeweler, so you can imagine the items I collect and hope to use someday. I like your comment about ‘Hoarders’ and your dark sense of humor.

    • Thanks you know the entry way was a rather cold area because of the door and foot trafic so the red helps give it a warm feeling at least mentally and yeah it does make that small space pop.

  7. Great place! The SOMA sale at Bonhams can yield some great things(I should know, I worked there for a year). Hooray for creative Bay Area dwellers!

  8. my father would be very jealous of these antique taxidermied items. He has a bed and breakfast and he filled many of the rooms with antique taxidermy he found from several sources.

Join the Conversation