Homes, Sweet Homes: Ben and Rose

16 Jan

Who was nice enough to show us around: Our dear blog mate Rose and her husband Ben (of Interval Press).

 What they told us about their home: They live in a 650 ft 1bd/1ba apartment.

 Where is the home located: Midtown, Sacramento, California

When was the home built and when they moved in: They think the apartment was built sometime in the 1940s and they moved in March 2010.

Why they chose this home: They liked the original hardwood floors, it’s a great location and the price was right.

Photos by Serene and Toni. There’s a slide show at the bottom of the gallery.

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What attracted you to MCM design?

Rose: I feel like “mid mod” compliments natural objects and earthy tones. I am getting into that sorta stuff. The clean lines and emphasis on the wood makes decorating easy for me. It’s also a style that stands a lone yet  plays well with others. OH and it brings the class.

Ben:  I’ve always been attracted to the minimalism of MCM. Although we have a lot of smalls in our home when it comes to larger items the simpler the better I feel. Your eye is able to freely move around and doesn’t get stuck in one spot. MCM is also a big influence in my illustration work and I try to apply this same philosophy as often as I can.

 Favorite designers and biggest influences for your style?

Rose: Charley Harper, freaking UPA 1950’s-60’s team wins…those cartoons are stunning.  DA EAMES of course, Finn Juhl, and Walter Bosse cuz he brings the cute. I also really enjoy the Brick House Modern blog.  The writer has an interior style that when I see it I go ‘man, you get me. You dont know me but you get me.’ Or less creepy is ‘I want to go to there.’ Native american textiles/art  make me feel at home and all around encompass what I enjoy esthetically. Ben is also very inspirational to me. I feel really lucky to have someone around who get’s my ideas and then challenges them.

Ben:  Milton Glaser, Saul Bass, the Eames, Jim Flora, Charley Harper, Eastern Europian folk art. Rose and I obviously have a lot of cross overs in our influences and some differences, I think that’s the key to the merging of any style when you’re making a home together, that and compromise

How do you feel about reproductions?

Rose: I’ am kinda on the fence about the whole thing really. I understand why people buy reproductions. The average Joe like eh myself is gonna have a difficult time being able to ever get enough cash flow together to purchase one end table from them big name wonderful designers. On the other hand I’ve started to really feel for creative folk and what they do. I want to support what they are doing because I want them to make more. I WANT ANOTHER GREAT DESIGNER-S who can make sense of what’s going on right now and what needs to happen to make popular home items and furnishings great looking and functional. In order for that to happen they need money or they need somebody with money to give them it. I dunno. This is a complicated question for myself. All in all if it is a designer I am really impressed with all around I’am gonna want to buy it from them because chances are I’am gonna be keeping that thing for a very long time.

Ben: What she said.

Furniture wise, what do you think is something you should invest in?

Rose: It really depends on the person living in their house and their I dunno function. Me and Ben love books and crafts so it was important to us to be able to have furniture that can store all of our stuff. We invested in shelving. LOADS OF IT. So I think you have to ask yourself what is going to make me love my home, what is important to me? Then you invest in whatever that is art, sofa, shelves, a tub I dunno. Invest in whatever is that you think is going to make your home livable to you.

Ben: I think that’s kind of a case by case thing. For me since I work where I live we needed to get items that catered to an office mentality.

 Where are your favorite places to shop for home décor?

Rose: SCOUT LIVING HUZZAH WHAT WHAT. Jk. Sorta. Even though I’ am a dealer there I buy stuff from my fellow dealer friends cuz ya know they got good taste.

We also do a lot of thrifting, and the internets. I love me some internet.

Ben: Rose pretty much summed it up.

 What are some of your best finds? From where? 

Rose: Best find to me was our bookcase we got from craigslist. When I saw it I loved it. When Ben saw it he said we were going to get dat.. I also enjoy the eagle painting my aunt did. It’s hanging in my bedroom across from my bed. When I was little my mom had it hanging in the hallway that led to the bathroom. I kid you not that thing scared the crap out of me. It took a lot out of me to be able to take a bathroom trip at night because I thought some crotchety old man spirit was trapped in that painting. There’d be long drawn out conversations I had with myself over whether or not it was really worth it.  I’d dash past those haunting orange eyes and awkwardly try to get myself squared away as fast as possible. It got to the point where I started to become pretty conscious of the liquids I was consuming pre-bed time. I feel like I’ve accomplished something great being able to have chrochety old eagle painting pretty much staring me down as I sleep. I am a freaking champion.  Oh and Ben’s unicorn wooden puzzle is pretty good too.

Ben: My favorite piece is either our small book case or my work desk, both of which where craigslist finds.

Greatest achievement in your home? Biggest challenge? 

Rose: Greatest achievement for me has to be the immense amount of shelving we have done or rather Ben has done.

I feel like I can be a freaking back seat shelf maker with out even talking.We kinda didn’t understand it at first. At one point in our shelving career Ben, wasn’t understanding why the screws were not going into the anchors. He bought new screws and everything. We then realized that he had been turning the screws to the left the whole time.

Ben: Moving said desk from Antelope into our apartment.

Future goals/ projects?

Rose: There is a lot of little things I want to get done throws and pillows stuff like that. I think though our biggest goal is to get a house here in midtown so Ben could move his office out of the living room and we could have enough space to make lots of stuff.

Ben: When we have some more space I’d like to be able have an actual office and own either a “small” Heidelber/Vandercook press.

 Do you have any home inspiration recommendations for our readers? 

Rose: If you are a bumrush freak like me self I’d say to take it easy man. Your spot prolly isn’t going anywhere anytime fast. Look at blogs, read some books, do an inspiration board-woah! See what’s really out there. Another thing I wish I did was make a list. An inspiration board and a list would have really helped me see what I was going for before I just went there. All I am really saying is if you plan to be somewhere for a while take it easy and try to gage what you want and how you are gonna do it.

Ben: Nah.

 Advice and last words?

Rose: Your house should be able to communicate to people who you are. It shouldn’t feel like a stranger, it should make sense, and it should make your life easier. When it’s done right the term home sweet home really does mean something.

Ben: Have fun, when working with vintage finds I think we need to remember that we don’t live in the 50’s/60’s, our homes shouldn’t look/feel like a museum. The spaces we live/work/play in are kind of a visual projection of who we are and our personalities. Look around for inspiration, but most importantly pick and use pieces that you’re drawn to and have character, otherwise what’s the point?

Thank you dearly for sharing your home with us. I know it feels like there’s always something to do/ fix/ replace, but your home looks a-freaking-mazing. Well done!

If you’re interested in having your home featured on the blog, shoot me an e-mail at:

2 Responses to “Homes, Sweet Homes: Ben and Rose”

  1. Brandi January 16, 2012 at 10:36 am #


  2. Donna and Tony February 4, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    We love how you two have incorporated art, words, letters, photo’s, camera’s, and fun into your home! It’s fun and full of things to look at. Nice visual surprises around every corner! LOVE it! You two are adorable! Come visit soon!

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