Offbeat occupant: Adrienne, science & museum educator, jack-of-some-trades
Other occupants: BFF husband and Ruby, the squat cattle dog
Approximate square footage: 1000-2000 sq. feet (between 92 sq. meters and 185 square meters)
How many bedrooms? 2
Lives in: Oklahoma City
When did you move into this home? Summer 2010
Let’s start with the neighborhood. What’s it like where you live? We live in an historic Victorian neighborhood on the prairie. Our neighborhood is among the most eclectic in Oklahoma City, and includes everything from hipsters, and wealthy politicians to hippies and low-income families. My husband is within biking distance of work and we are able to walk to many of our favorite restaurants and bars.
What makes your home offbeat? We furnished the entire home with family hand-me-downs, found items from big trash day, and IKEA. For us, thriftiness fits into our general ethos of living cheaply and eco-consciously. Our home reflects who we are, where we’ve traveled, and things we and our friends make. That, and the crazy candy-colored walls we’ve painted.
What’s the most challenging about this space? How do you deal with the challenge? Renting presents obvious challenges; we wish we had newer windows and insulation to keep energy costs down in the winter and summer. As an alternative, we taped and sealed windows off and used “Great Stuff,” a fabulous aerosol insulation-in-a-can to plug money-wasting holes. Next summer, we are going to invest in more tank tops and fans to beat the intense Oklahoma heat.
What’s your favorite feature of your home? The homemade (and totally legal!) fire pit in our backyard makes us feel we are camping, even when we’re just 20 feet from our back door. We love how we’re able to roast marshmallows and hot dogs at our leisure. The pit is constructed from salvaged cement pavers that we unearthed in the backyard and arranged around a hole.
I also adore the space! Oklahoma has such cheap real estate, and my husband and I are enjoying the fruits of this. We have over 1,200 square feet to make messes at minimal cost.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from this home? Finding ways to make things yourself is imperative; the hardware store is your best friend. Learning to do simple tasks such as cooking, home repair, weatherproofing, and gardening can enrich your life as well as keep costs down.
What’s your grandest plan for the space? In the works is an overly-ambitious plan for a backyard garden. Though neither my husband nor I have a lot of experience with the green things in life, we are currently poring over online advice. I am looking forward to fresh peas and herbs this summer, weather and skill permitting!
What advice do you have for other offbeat homies? I take to heart what Maya Angelou wrote: “a woman should have a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.” Learn to love your tools, make your own place, don’t blow money at the big-box stores when you can find things for free. Be safe and have fun!
Any stuff or services you want to recommend? Our parents’ houses and Craigslist are definitely sources for free and cheap home goods. And the creepy restaurant resale store on 23rd and Walker in OKC has also furbished some good things.
Show me the decor porn! (Adrienne has GOT IT!)